Suzuki PH takes the all-new Swift on a trip down memory lane at Las Casas in Bataan

April 6, 2019

Since its launch almost a year ago, the all-new Swift has become one of the most talked-about models in Suzuki Philippines, Inc.’s (SPH) line up. This is not surprising as the small hatchback has undergone a well-deserved retouch, which resulted to its overall improved design, dynamic, and practicality.

Of course, most car buyers would think that the Swift is perfect for city driving, which is true. After all, it is a subcompact hatchback that’s aimed at small families, young drivers, and those who are on the lookout for a second car in the garage. But SPH is on a mission to expand the Swift’s horizon, thus its creation of a recent test drive that involved a number of the country’s esteemed local motoring media.

SPH took the pundits on a scenic trip 180 km northwest of Metro Manila at the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a Filipino-Spanish themed hotel beach resort in Bagac, Bataan. The reason for the adventure was to showcase the all-new Swift’s improved driving dynamics and practicality that goes beyond city driving.

The journey began early morning at the Suzuki Auto Caloocan showroom. There, the media people were greeted by a squad of more than 15 Swifts, all dressed in what SPH refers to as the “Special Edition” trim. In brief, the Suzuki Swift Special Edition is a trim SPH specifically created just for the media test drive event. It’s based on the Swift GL CVT/GLX CVT, and comes in sparkling White Pearl paintwork with black and red stripes that run from the hood, all the way to the rear hatch. It also has sporty touches such as the Special Edition grille and front chin spoiler, rear spoiler, and carbon fiber side skirt decals.

After a short program and quick breakfast, off the team went to Tasas by Mundang, a seafood restaurant in Bacolor, Pampanga. This author was fortunate to be assigned as one of the occupants of car #14. With me were Randy Peregrino of Business Mirror and Raymond Tribdino of Malaya Business Insight.

Peregrino was our driver on the way to the first stop. To sum it up, he noticed the sharpness of the Swift’s steering, as well as the improved acceleration and braking. Although he felt a slight sponginess when stepping on the brake pedal, he understood that the car was so new with just over 90 km on the odometer, a typical distance accumulated by testing brand new cars straight out of the assembly lines to the showrooms. The brake feel improved eventually.

Tribdino and I, on the other hand, felt the Swift’s improved cabin space. I especially noticed the roominess at the back, given that my frame (of note) is on the plus side. Seated behind Peregrino, I could event stretch my legs a little bit every now and then to alleviate tension, a move which I usually find hard to do in most small cars’ back seats. As simple as it is for the modern age, the Swift’s infotainment system was also a big help on our long journey. We were able to hook up our phones and listen to some throwback music.

After some much-needed lunch break at Tasas, we resumed our journey to Las Casas. At the time, Tribdino was the one driving. Along the way, the Swift convoy tackled mountain passes before reaching the destination. We were all pleased as the car effortlessly tackled uphill and downhill zigzag roads. Its small 1.2L mill did the job well, churning out all 82 of its horses with a pulling power of 113 Nm (+1 for the rather satisfying acceleration feel on uphill roads).

One thing I noticed was the evident droning sound that was filling the cabin. Tribdino and Peregrino, being the ones with more technical knowledge about cars, explained that the sound was just normal for a CVT-spec’d car like that. And given that the Swift has small frame, it is to be expected.

But yeah, Suzuki did improve the Swift’s NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) by tweaking the chassis a bit and upping the quality of the cabin’s sound deadening. It employed what’s called the HEARTECT. In simple terms, the HEARTECT is Suzuki’s new generation platform. It is characterized by a continuous underbody frame, a product of an extensive engineering feat that aims to overhaul the entire underbody structure and its related components.

Upon reaching the destination, we were treated to a few hours of photographing the cars for our respective publications, and a beach time to cap the night away. The next day, off we went back to Manila, experiencing the all-new Suzuki Swift again.

We thank all the folks behind Suzuki Philippines, Inc. for a time well spent. The car isn’t perfect, but compared to its predecessor, the all-new 2019 Suzuki Swift is way ahead of it in terms of style, driving dynamics, and practicality (we managed to maximize its 54L cargo capacity with our luggage and munchies).

Photo: Paolo Lesaca

About the Author

Randolph de Leon
Randy is a person with disability (PWD), a partially-blinded person with only his left eye functioning. Since childhood, the automobile has always been his passion, and is able to express it through photography and most recently, through writing as well. Outside the motoring beat, Randy spends time manning the media aspect of his business which he co-founded with his sister/college classmate. It's called Dragonlight Wellness and Solutions, a multi-business venture centering on improving peoples' lives through earning.