Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: 2015 Suzuki Swift 1.2 A/T

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Pssst…you want in on a little secret? If you’ve been dying to get an affordable, fun-to-drive, and frugal hatchback, consider the Suzuki Swift 1.2. What? You haven’t looked at the Swift? Well, I don’t exactly blame you. With the constant marketing barrage from bigger automotive brands, the Swift has always been left out as a top-of-mind choice when it comes to getting a great sub-compact hatch. In fact, its odd-looking and oddly-named brother, the DZire got more attention, but for all the wrong reasons. So, in the spirit of marketing equality, I’m here to announce: if you want to get a great hatchback, head over to your nearest Suzuki dealership.

End of story.

It’s a mystery why there aren’t more Swifts running around. I mean, look at it. With the exception of the overly ballooned tires (appropriately enough, they’re Goodyear) and the tall ride height (the so-called “rough road package”), it’s a looker. It’s been around for a while, but it still looks fresh and modern. The floating roof, short overhangs, and large lamp clusters all contribute to a sense of style that’s sporty yet devoid of unnecessary angles, lines, and gashes. It’s clean any way you look at it. Dig deeper and there are more interesting cues here and there. The front wiper blades come with little spoilers which contribute to less lift, hence a better wipe, at higher speed. It also comes standard with front fog lamps, turn signals integrated into the side mirrors, and a rear spoiler—normally unavailable in this price range.



Inside, the Swift’s all business. The choice of materials is reflective of its budget positioning, so it’s understandably of the hard variety. And yet, the craftsmanship is good. The texturing on the plastics is consistent and the controls all feel durable. Ergonomically, the Swift is also sound. The driver’s seat only moves four ways and the steering wheel only adjusts for tilt, but it’s easy to find the comfortable seating position in no time. All the stalks, buttons, and knobs are also chunky and can be easily operated by feel alone. And despite the budget pricing, it’s got standard iPod playback via USB and steering wheel controls. Classy move, Suzuki. There’s perhaps one minor gripe: rear visibility. It’s compromised by the small rear glass and the headrests poking out of the rear bench. Thankfully, the Swift’s stature is so small, it doesn’t necessitate having back-up sensors.

With smaller dimensions than other sub-compacts, the cramped interior is expected. Despite other sub-compacts touting how many adults and stuff it can fit inside, the Swift’s not going to do any of that. It’s got rear seats, sure, but if you need to fit three abreast, good luck. It’s best suited to two adults or three kids, assuming they’ve outgrown child seats already. It’s also got a luggage compartment with a standard cover, but it’s not exactly segment leading in anyway. What’s more, the rear seats fold down in a single piece limiting its flexibility. In short, college students, single yuppies, and empty nesters are a perfect fit for Swift ownership. Families with three kids may need to look elsewhere.



Fitted with a 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine, the Swift 1.2 doesn’t have the figures you’ll outright crave: 87 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 114 Nm at 4,000 rpm. In reality though, it behaves in a way that matches the sporty looks. Even when mated to the 4-speed automatic, there’s good power from a standstill. It’ll even scoot all the way to triple-digit speeds when needed. And unlike the Ertiga which suffers from a peaky power delivery, this application feels much more suited. The acceleration-biased gearing maximizing the modest power outputs and doesn’t make the Swift feel taxed at any point; well, unless you’re taking it up above 130 km/h—at which point, progress on the speedometer halts. 100 km/h is hit at 2,500 rpm at top gear (compared to 2,650 rpm in the Ertiga). Fuel economy is good, registering 11.37 km/L in city driving.

While its ability to handle a straight line comes out as a surprise, the fun-to-drive nature is even more so. It’s best suited to the confines of traffic, where it feels tossable through traffic. The small stature, short overhangs, and quick steering all give a smile you your face even when you’re actually stuck at just 40 km/h. At higher speeds, the electric power steering loses more its limited communicability, but the trade-off is a very stable ride. NVH isolation is extremely good with just some tire noise managing to permeate the cabin.



Priced at P 648,000, the Suzuki Swift 1.2 is one of the best valued, if not the best, among the current crop of sub-compact hatches. The Indian-made Swift comes reasonably loaded (it has all the safety necessities for instance) and looks like a complete car inside and out. It’s also fun-to-drive and frugal. It gives up a bit in interior space (and some flexibility), but it’s a wonderful car to drive, even if you find yourself stuck in traffic most of the time. College students, take note: this makes for a great car. And in case you’re really, really, really turned off by the stance, you can always get a set of aftermarket rims and coilovers. But take extra care not to get pregnant; that child seat’s going to be a squeeze in the backseat.



2015 Suzuki Swift 1.2 A/T
Ownership 2015 Suzuki Swift 1.2 A/T
Year Introduced 2014
Vehicle Classification Sub-Compact
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Hatchback
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.2
Aspiration Normally Aspirated, VVT
Layout / # of Cylinders Inline-4
BHP @ rpm 87 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 114 @ 4,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 4 AT
Cruise Control No
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 3,850
Width (mm) 1,695
Height (mm) 1,530
Wheelbase (mm) 2,430
Curb Weight (kg) 1,035
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Tires Goodyear Duraplus 185/65R15 S (f&r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors No
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights No
Auto Wipers No
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjustment Tilt
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment Manual
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 60/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes
Climate Control Manual
Audio System Stereo
CD
MP3
USB
No. of Speakers 4
Steering Wheel Controls Yes

93 comments:

  1. i have one! been enjoying it ever since! mine's probably from the first few batches that arrived. i've seen a good number of them plying our streets, maybe sales is picking up though far from vios or even wigo numbers. but at the price segment, arguably the coolest looking, so cool that it's my wife who chose it!

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  2. Small cars nowadays are very comfortable, quiet, fuel efficient, and cheap. If possible, I'd like to read a Hyundai Grand i10 and Suzuki Swift 1.2 comparison. Thank you.

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  3. Nah. I'd still get a mirage over this.

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    Replies
    1. care to elaborate why?

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    2. We (the family) previously had a Mirage GLS and we sold it after 5 or 6 months of using it. Personally, I never enjoyed nor had fun driving that crappy little car. In terms of power its so weak, in terms of interior the only thing you can say that is not cheap is the touch screen navigation display/radio and the push start button, otherwise, everthing in that car is so cheap that's why we decided to sell so early. Mind you we have other cars like 2008 1.8 Civic (which we sold after 7 years because of its age), 2013 Hyundai Tucson and then I bought myself this 2015 Swift a week ago. <-- I can say that the Swift has much worth than the Mirage,

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    3. @anonymous 11:29am
      why did you not test drove the mirage before buying one and calling it crappy later on?... and calling explicits describing the car, then calling a much smaller car (swift) a much worthy car?.. Its your fault. stop blaming a lousy purchase which you blindedly took yourself. sheesh!

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    4. @Anonymous 4:19PM

      I did not test drove the Mirage because I was not the one who bought it. I also pointed out that "Personally" I never enjoyed driving the car. Further, "a much smaller car" really? I don't think that the Swift is much smaller than the Mirage, have you seen both personally? Have you driven or ride both of them? I "personally" think that the Swift is "not much smaller". Another, I'm just making a comparison between the Mirage and Swift since I was able to use both of them and if I were to refer one of them I would refer the Swift more than the Mirage.


      By the way, I'm selling the Swift since I just realized that I'm not fond of driving small cars. Yet, for the budgeted I think the Swift would be better than the Mirage.

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    5. The Mirage may be cheaper, but it's also smaller. Also, its 1.2 liter engine is weaker than the Suzuki's because it's only a 3 cylinder. The Suzuki 1.2 is a four cylinder engine.

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    6. Is the Mirage G4 glx, at the same price, a better buy than Swift 1.2?

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  4. hi there. does it have a full-sized spare tire?

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    Replies
    1. Full sized spare but steel rim.

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    2. Full sized-tire with alloy rim :)

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  5. Not steel rim but alloy same as of the 4 other wheels :-)

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    Replies
    1. Whoops. Well it's been a while since I had the Swift 1.2. Thanks for the correction guys.

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    2. Hi sir Ulysses! Were you able to drive the Mirage G4 before? At the same price, is the Mirage G4 GLX a better buy than Swift 1.2? Thanks

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    3. I did get to try the Mirage:
      http://www.carguide.ph/2013/05/review-2013-mitsubishi-mirage-gls-cvt.html

      Mirage G4 not yet. At least not for an extended period.

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. I heard that in order to achieve maximum fuel efficiency on all suzuki vehicles you need to fill it with a 95 RON grade gasoline otherwise it will be a gas guzzler or produce an engine "knock" if filled with 91 RON grade. Can you please comment on this sir?

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    Replies
    1. What gas brand would you recommend?

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    2. A Euro 4-compliant gasoline with 95 RON would be good for the Swift. I don't wanna go into certain brand but there are pumps like Unioil or SeaOil, for example.

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  10. Had mine since August last year. Been enjoying it! Sobrang fuel efficient. Full tank is about 1300pesos which lasts for almost 2 weeks (93 octane) - that is city driving during weekdays and going back and forth to batangas during weekends.
    It actually fits 4 sa likod, and i never felt na hirap yung makina.

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  11. Nicely written story about a nice looking car.

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  12. Loved this so much so that i bought 1 with 2 reasons
    1. as a graduation gift for my son,
    2. so that i can also have fun with it while he's in the office :D
    cheers

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  13. The Swift just proves that, in this segment, a clean, classic yet stylish design can stand the test of time better than a boring, safe design (Toyota, Nissan, Mitsu) or an "OA", overstyled, trying-hard, ricey design (Honda, Hyundai, Kia). I still couldn't help but stare when I see a Swift on the road, while I get sickened when I see yet another one of its more common competitors...

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  14. What gas can you recommend?

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  15. The gasoline recommended for Swift 1.2 is with 95RON and above such as XCS, GOLD, etc.

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  16. Is the Mirage G4, at the same price, a better buy than Swift 1.2?

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    Replies
    1. Depends on what you're looking for. If you're after space get the Mirage G4. It's a lot more spacious both for passengers and luggage. If you want a sharp handling, fun to drive hatch with upscale looks, get the Swift. Personally I would get the Swift because I'm single and would rather enjoy driving my car instead of worrying about who and what I will fit in it. The Mirage G4 looks too cheap/econo for me and it handles like shit to be honest. But if you want space and comfort, go for the Mirage G4.

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    2. Swift Dzire 1.2 AT 2015 with Minor changes.
      718,000
      New bumper design
      Black interiors
      With GPS touchscreen Display.
      4-cylinder engine.
      Same engine as Swift 1.2..

      Mirage G4 has 3cylinder engine. Lesser power.

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  17. Is the rear drum brake standard for all swift? I'm quite worried when I had my oil changed because thats when I noticed that the rear brakes are not ventilated disk like the front. I was thinking that casa might have changed it for over two hours wait? Im noob with cars. I need quick lecture please. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Front ventilated disc and rear drums are standard across all Swift models whether it's powered by the 1.2- or 1.4-liter engine.

      You cannot simply swap out a disc for a drum set-up and vice-versa because there are a lot of things you have to consider. Things such as brake bias, hardware, etc. etc. in order to do a proper conversion.

      In short, your dealership CANNOT have changed the brakes from disc to drum during your scheduled PMS.

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    2. Help guys, Which is better, Ford fiesta 2015, Chevy Sonic 2015 or Suzuki swift 2016?.. cant decide.. help please..

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    3. Here are handy links:

      http://www.carguide.ph/2015/05/review-2015-suzuki-swift-12-at.html

      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/04/review-2014-ford-fiesta-10-ecoboost.html

      http://www.carguide.ph/2014/11/review-2014-chevrolet-sonic-ltz.html

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  18. Happy with my Swift! Medyo nakulangan lang ako sa features nya nung una kasi hindi sya kasing "techy" ng Mirage AT GLS, which was also priced at 648k at that time. But Swift's handling was spot on for me. I drive it everyday from Antipolo to Ortigas and vice versa. City driving ko average 13km. :)

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  19. Any comment on the upcoming upgrade? I heard Suzuki's releasing the units next month with a price increase. Should I get the current version or the upgraded one?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Next upgrade for Swift 1.2 is by Sept 2015.
      Price Increase of 20K
      Unit Price:
      628K MT
      668K AT

      Changes:
      New Grille (honeycomb)
      New Bumper Design(bulky)
      60/40 split fold rear seats
      GPS TouchScreen display DVD USB AM FM Aux
      Audio control on steering wheel is removed.
      New Alloy wheel design
      Chrome accents at fog lamps' bezels.
      New Seat Fabric design.
      New shade of Red and white colors.

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    3. You may check the latest Swift 1.2 in our Facebook Page Suzuki Nueva Ecija.

      You may contact me with this number
      09051677807.

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  20. Help guys, Which is better, Ford fiesta 2015, Chevy Sonic 2015 or Suzuki swift 2016?.. cant decide.. help please..

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  21. Hi guys, I just my swift last August 2015 for my wifey. We were looking at Celerio, Toyota Wigo and Mitsubishi Mirage. MIrage was almost the final candidate but for the price, we grabbed the swift AT for its mini cooper-like design and the 4-cylinder engine. After spending a decade with an AUV (Isuzu crosswind), driving an AT gas subcompact brings a lot of difference, many for the good reasons.

    I find the suspension a little stiff, but I'll give it a chance to loosen up dahil bago pa. The steering is also a little hard to turn but maybe due to "unbroken-in" steering gears. Despite its engine size, I love its acceleration and its AT transmission is not "lurchy" on shifts. At leisurely speeds could not feel the shifts at all.

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    Replies
    1. Have you tried having your tyres inflated with nitrogen air? I just did with the Montero when we had our holidays last December in Ilocos. My general observation was that the suspension was smoother. This is maybe due to the fact that nitrogen air is not affected by heat or cold. Normal air inflation is affected by such factors including moisture. So as you drive longer on the road, the normal air in your car expands and you end up having various pressure readings when you check your four tyres. That adds up to a stiffer and bumpy ride. Try it and you'll feel the difference. There are service stations like Servitek who have nitrogen air service.

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    2. I also have the same remark with having tires inflated with nitrogen... i drive a frontier bravado and noticably the ride felt miles better... it's a tad pricey but well worth it!

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  22. Hi Sir Uly, I'm just curious if the Swift 1.2 is coming out with a new model in 2016. Do you have some info on this, sir 'cause I'm planning to get one. I'm looking at the manual variant. Does it also have the same steering wheel controls and the push button start/stop?

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  23. I'm planning to buy a car soon on a limited budget. I see lots of favorable review for the swift. However, I see it more fit for city driving. May I know if it will be good also for long drive like say manila to baguio? I have a jimny before with the 1.3l engine and except for the high way (limited speed good up to 100km/hr maybe) everything is really great driving to baguio city (with wifey, 2 kids and bundle of things). And I see the swift 1.2 more powerful than the jimny 1.3 today. Can anybody give advise on the performance of swift 1.2 in long distance driving.. thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Yes it can go to baguio...even to sagada...maliit nga n mkina like i10 nkakaakyat swift 1.2 p kaya..:).long distance travel is more ok sir you will amaze in the result lalo n sa fuel economy...i got mine last august den ngulat ako sm bicutan to angeles pampanga balikan kasama n mga traffic dun almost 500 pesos lng

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    2. Yes it can go to baguio...even to sagada...maliit nga n mkina like i10 nkakaakyat swift 1.2 p kaya..:).long distance travel is more ok sir you will amaze in the result lalo n sa fuel economy...i got mine last august den ngulat ako sm bicutan to angeles pampanga balikan kasama n mga traffic dun almost 500 pesos lng

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    3. Pwd po b sya mag travel ng 500km diretso?? Ty

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  24. Have u seen the crash test of the swift? Not safe at all

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    Replies
    1. It's because the car has no airbags... current models have airbags...

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    2. It's because the car has no airbags... current models have airbags...

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    3. That's because they tested the base version in India... no airbags or ABS. Later on, they tested the higher end variant and it actually did much better.

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  25. Too bad they removed the stirring wheel controls which is a pretty cool feature for me though the navi multimedia display is already touch screen. It will still be a lot easier and safer to adjust using stirring wheel controls��

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  26. is there an armrest add on here tulad nung sa mirage gls? i usually go on leisurely trips and having an armrest really goes a long way in terms of comfort...

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  27. I have one since May 2015, I choose it coz of it's safety features (dual airbags), fuel economy and overall exterior/interior design. I'm comfortable with it. Price competitive.

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  28. I will buy celerio or swift next week...any advice?

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  29. Im planning to buy a car my choice is toyota wigo but when i read this review now im confusing any advice guys?

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    Replies
    1. Mas ok ang Swift kasi mas malakas ang makina at thr same time bettet looking pa. Ang advantage mo lang sa Wigo is that Toyota sya so parts and labor is not pricey. Mahilig ako sa Toyota, pero when it comes to small hatchbacks lagi ako napapalingon sa Swift and mas masarap sya idrive compared to the Wigo or even the Mirage

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  30. vios parin ako dinrive ko yung swift ng mama ko ok naman yung power ang ayaw ko lng is masikip tlga yung sa passenger seat tapos kada lubak ramdam mo tlga alam mo yun parang ouch

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  31. Sir Ulysses , can you please do a review for the Dzire? in the spirit of equality since they are like brothers. thanks

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  32. Hi Sir, pwede po makahingi ng advice. planning to buy car, pinagpipilian ko po ung Honda Brio Amaze 1.3E MT or Swift 1.2 MT? please advise po.. thanks

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    Replies
    1. yeah pls anu po ba sa dalawa maganda bilin?

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  33. mirage or swift please help!!!

    mirage gls mt 623,000
    swift mt 628,000


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  34. I got my swift mt from caloocan, that afternoon nag gas up ako ng P1000 tapos diretso sa bataan mt.samat tapos balik ng bulacan. nakatakbo ako ng 370km may 1/4 pa na gas. running at 80-100kph breakin period :)

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  35. Hi mha sirz i just read the topic and ask ko lang im planning to buy a 2nd hand swift dating from 2010 onwards.. ask ko lng if is it worth it to get a 2nd of it..(medyo d kya ng budget at takot magkautang ๐Ÿ˜Š)ask ko lng if its still manageable s maintenance and repairs... many thanks

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  36. Hi mha sirz i just read the topic and ask ko lang im planning to buy a 2nd hand swift dating from 2010 onwards.. ask ko lng if is it worth it to get a 2nd of it..(medyo d kya ng budget at takot magkautang ๐Ÿ˜Š)ask ko lng if its still manageable s maintenance and repairs... many thanks

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    Replies
    1. sa tingin ko mas ok kung brand new swift n kesa s 2nd hand tapos old model pa..haha.

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  37. very tough ang suzuki like alto we bring it to baguio with 6 passager and it climbed with no hassle.:)

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  38. Hi i'm torn between suzuki swift sport (1.2 AT) and yaris (1.3E) for my first car. Will be using this weekdays Boni-Makati. Then weekends to Pampangda + occasional trips here and there. Any advice? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. hi! these are my 2 choices too but I end up buying the swift :). Particular kasi ako sa interior and I find swift's interior more upscale than the yaris kasi same lang din ng sa vios. Yaris is just a hatchback vios, my friend owns one 1.3E a/t. Pag mixed driving it averages from 8 to 10km/l lang sya while yun swift ko ang average is 13.2-14km/l. Di naman nagkakalayo yun performance pero better handling yun swift. Sa space lamang yun yaris :)

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    2. base power to weigth ratio, swift 1.2 is better than yaris 1.3.

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  39. Hi guys need your advice, Im planning to buy Suzuki Celerio pro pngpipilian ko dn ung mirage any advice which is better? performance/Specs wise and value for money. Never mind the looks ms mganda tlga ung Mirage.

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  40. sirs any comment on swift vs yaris?these are also my 2 choice..

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    Replies
    1. SWIFT is cheaper and more fuel efficient. YARIS is for everything else.

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  41. Ang mirage g4..nagkamali kami ng bili ang nipis ng kaha nya..sumandal ka lang o kaya punasan mo bumabaon pindutin mo lang baon xa..

    d katulad sa swift makapal..

    magpapalit nga ako ng car naun.

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  42. Good day, my wife and i are planning to have our first car, and we are choosing between SWIFT and Accent 1.4, any suggestion. thanks.

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  43. Im torn too! Between Mirage G4 and Hatchback. But after reading this I am starting to like Swift. Anyway, how is your fuel consumption with Mirage? City driving?

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  44. Hi guys
    Im planning to buy hatchback
    Between mirage swift wigo picanto i10 brio
    Which one would uou recomend
    Thank you

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    Replies
    1. swift!

      mirage as they say is underpowered

      wigo, maingay makina

      picano, maganda sana pero pricey at maliit spcae compared to swift

      i10, pwede pwede na but swift has better appearance and bigger space

      brio, good resell value but smaller that swift

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  45. Hi mga tol, I'm down to choosing between the Mirage GLS and Swift. Both designs are really good. Pero I've been hearing bad things about Suzuki's after sales support and cost of parts/services. Any feedback sa mga Suzuki owners?

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  47. Hi mga Sirs , tanung Lang po ako regarding maintenance and spare parts, mura ba yung Suzuki swift? Meron bang na bibili sa labas like Banawe? Thanks in advance sa feedback nyo.

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  48. hi mga sir/mam, tanong ko lang kung mayron ba kayong alalam na lalabas na bagong suzuki swift this year or next year..?

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  49. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences. I am now very much convinced that the swift 1.2 a/t is my next car. Im looking at the sport inspired version.thanks

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  50. Good day mga ka swift... Saan ba nkakabili ng armrest console? At mga magkano nmn? Tia

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  52. Replies
    1. What kind of question is this? Of course you could drive a relatively new vehicle in those far particular places if you know how to drive a car by yourself.

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