Swace age | 

Suzuki's three new models offer an impressive upgrade with lots to get excited about

Suzuki Swace

Suzuki S Cross

Suzuki Vitara

Daragh Keany

Suzuki has a lot to be proud of. They may only have 1 percent of the Irish car market wrapped up, but their models deserve so much more respect.

The Ignis, Grand Vitara and the Swift are all great cars that all won me over (I had to read back on all of the reviews) as the test weeks moved on. Its one of my favourite thigs about this job…finding a car that isn’t instantly exciting but the more you get to know it the more you get to love it.

Then last year they launch the new commercial Jimny, which is an absolute dinger of a car. If I had a small business I would buy one in a heartbeat. In fact, I’d buy as many as I could.

And now we move on to the next chapter of the Suzuki brand here in Ireland. No…not bikes. And even more surprisingly…no…not EVs. In fact, they reckon it will be another three years before the company releases an all-electric model.

So, for the time being they want to draw your attention to three other models that launched in Ireland this week and come directly from the recently-formed alliance with their Japanese cousins Toyota.

Suzuki Vitara

I say that because there is more than a hint of Corolla in their all-new Swace (Full Hybrid). And when you sit into the other two cars Vitara (Full Hybrid again) and the new model S-Cross 48V (mild hybrid) you get a sense of Toyota about the interior too.

Not that it’s a bad thing I might add. These are all great cars to look at and to sit in. And a few lucky journalists got to take them each for a spin this week around the backroads of Wicklow.

While they were only short test drives it was easy to make some quick conclusions. But you should know that Motormouths will get full week-long road tests in each model later in the year.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. The auto gear shift (AGS) transmission in the Vitara isn’t a happy little component at all. It struggled to change gears with any sort of pressure on the accelerator. And the shrieking sound of the engine under pressure doesn’t make for an enjoyable driving experience.

Which is a shame, because the little (rugged) tweaks to the exterior and interior are all really nice. So much so that you are egging the car on to change gear quicker and smoother. But it doesn’t happen unless you drive annoyingly slowly.

Okay so that’s big negative hot take from this week’s launch. Everything else is varying degrees of positive.

The biggest crowd pleaser will actually not be the Swace, but in fact the S Cross. It’s a big bulky competitor for the likes of the Sportage, Tucson and Qashqai and was a dream to drive, especially in manual, like my test car.

Space in the rear and in the boot is very good too and the finish inside is a very decent quality. The infotainment system has had an update too from the Vitara and other current models in the range.

It’s a mild hybrid and despite its size you can actually purchase one of these in manual and get change from €30k. Automatic transmission starts from €31,395.

I got out of the car and instantly begged the gathered Suzuki team to give it to me for a full week, so I will have a full review of it at the end of June.

The final test drive this week was in the highly-anticipated Swace. Completely different to anything Suzuki has done before, this estate will surely do well for the brand.

As mentioned earlier, there is more than a hint of Corolla about this so when you consider how well that sells here in Ireland this will surely bolster Suzuki’s improving sales numbers.

Suzuki S Cross

Crucially it is not trying to be something that it is not. There is not giant conspiracy theory about the new alliance between Suzuki and Toyota. In fact, it formed a large part of the presentation we got from the bosses.

There are fewer variants available when there is a Suzuki badge on the front, which I fully agree with. When a mid-level brand introduces a new model altogether there can be an eagerness to offer up too many options. Suzuki is keeping it simple with the Swace and Motormouths is a fan.

Like the S-Cross I leapt out of it wanting more so I will bring you the full review in July when I finally get it for a full week.

If they could sort out the AGS in the Vitara they would have a new triple threat to join my guilty pleasure cars (Ignis, Jimny and Swift) but two out of three isn’t bad and I fully expect that sales percentage to increase as they have very competitive price points and a half dozen exciting models to choose from.

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