The Suzuki Swift is once again the number one private car choice for New Zealanders in the market for a new model.
Sales of the Swift hatchback in 2018 roared ahead by 25.5 per cent over 2017 to make the Suzuki an easy winner in the light car class as well as being the top selling private passenger car for the year. At the same time, total new passenger car demand was down 10.6 per cent according to Motor Industry Association figures.
Demand for all new Suzuki passenger cars also kicked the overall market trend, increasing by 10.4 per cent compared to the previous year. Suzuki took 8.7 per cent of the new passenger car market, up from 7.0 per cent in 2017.
“Swift’s sales performance in the light car segment last year is once again outstanding, having topped the category 13 out of the last 14 years,” said Simon Terry, National Sales Manager for Suzuki New Zealand.
DriveLife, a New Zealand auto community website, has awarded the Swift Sport the 2018 DriveLife Best Value Car the Year award. The website said it simply could not believe the Swift Sport manual cost so little. “It’s not only great value, it’s a joy to drive as well,” said the website. “That BoosterJet motor with a 6-speed manual for $28,500? Can’t go wrong.”
Automobile Association members and “Driven” newspaper readers judged the Swift the inaugural winner of the People’s Choice award in the 2018 New Zealand Car of the Year contest announced last month. Acclaimed as a balance of fun and practicality, the Swift was chosen from ten finalists in the overall Car of the Year award, with judges saying Suzuki raised the bar again with the model.
The on-going success of the Swift in the local market comes in the wake of the model being named Indian Car of the Year for 2019. This is the most prestigious automotive award in India and the Swift is the only car ever to take out the accolade in each model generation.
Introduced in India in 2005 the Swift won the Indian award in 2006 and in 2012. The third generation Swift arrived in India in June last year as a premium hatchback favoured for its appearance, driving performance and good user friendliness.
Sales in India reached 100,000 in just 145 days - a record achievement for any new cars sold in that market.
The “Auto Express” carbuyer website in Britain found the Swift the best supermini in 2018 after surveying thousands of car owners and asking them what they thought of their cars.
The car was highly rated for its “fun handling and class-leading reliability" with owners of three to six years old Swifts reporting just 7 per cent of faults. “Swift shows you can have fun and be sensible at the same time,” said Auto Express.
A range of Swifts available in New Zealand starts with the GL manual that has a recommended retail price of $19,990 plus on road costs.