You know the old conundrum, "Fast car slow or slow car fast?" If you've never heard it before, it's a bit of automotive philosophy that asks on a given road, would you rather drive a Lamborghini Murcielago at five-tenths, or a 1982 Honda Prelude until the wheel-bearings shatter? And really, like the sound of one hand clapping, there is no answer. That said, the new 2011 Suzuki Swift is one slow car all of us would love to drive fast.
Check the stats: The wheelbase is nearly two-inches longer while the length has grown by almost 4 inches. The front and rear tracks are wider by a smidge -- seriously, a smidge -- 10mm front, 5mm rear. A 1.2-liter gas engine replaces the 1.3-liter from the previous Swift, but the new mill includes variable-valve technology, so while displacement is down, power is up -- 92 horsepower and 87 pound-feet of torque. True, that's barely enough oomph to get make it up the AMG staircase, but consider the Swift weighs half as much as most cars (the current car is just under one ton) and comes standard with a manual (automatic's an option). Sounds better now, no?
While the exterior hasn't changed much, the Swift's suit appears a bit more tailored. The big news is the interior which has borrowed some dressy, ritzed-up cues from its big brother Kizashi. Will the Swift come to our big-car loving shores? The answer is probably not, even though the Swift should get about 45 mpg and sticker under $10,000. However, Suzuki does need products, and there will be a 1.6-liter Swift Sport coming soon, so who knows?