Suzuki Swift Origins
It certainly isn’t unusual to learn that an automotive company started out manufacturing something other than vehicles. There are many companies that did just that, including Suzuki, which made spinning looms. At one point, in Japan, Suzuki was among the largest and most successful companies that produced spinning looms for the textile industry. With the rise of interest in motorized vehicles, the leaders at Suzuki decided to branch out to a different manufacturing operation and began to make motorcycles. Motorcycles fit Japanese drivers’ lifestyles and budgets better than cars.
After winning several awards, car races, and acclaim for its motorcycle designs, Suzuki chose to do business in the U.S. Late in 1962, Suzuki opened its U.S. Suzuki Motors division. Originally, the company sold motor-cross style bikes and other motorcycles to American consumers. It wasn’t long before the motorcycle maker decided to use its expertise to create cars and other vehicles as well.
Today, Suzuki is one of the four leading Japanese auto companies, listed with notable automotive giants Nissan, Toyota, and Honda. Among its many lines of vehicles offered in the U.S., the Swift line remains a popular option.About the Suzuki Swift
Suzuki has a long history of making vehicles designed for city driving. After all, that need was the catalyst that started the motorcycle building part of the company’s history. The Suzuki Swift, during its production years, offered a great choice for the car buyer on a budget and who didn’t need a lot of interior room. The Suzuki Swift suits buyers looking for basic transportation.
While the car fares well enough in everyday driving, some aspects of the car didn't appeal to American drivers. On the highway, the Swift was nothing short of noisy. For a consumer used to quiet, powerful engines, this trait marks a decided drawback. The Swift also lacks features. This car did not even offer power steering as an option. Weighing in at under a ton, the Swift experienced some difficulties in safety ratings as well. Industry experts felt it is simply too small to fare well in any type of collision.Suzuki Swift Features
The 2001 model year marks the final appearance of the Suzuki Swift. As noted, this model offered few standard features or options, and the final edition reflected this trend. The Swift came in its hatchback body style only and sold in one base trim level. It was purely an economy car with good fuel economy and basic equipment.
Suzuki equiped the Swift with a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine capable of 70 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. This engine was paired with a standard five-speed manual transmission. In one of the few factory options, the Swift could be equipped with a three-speed automatic transmission system. As it turned out, the three-speed transmission choice reduces the car’s fuel economy and adversely affected the Swift’s staying power and stamina on the road.
In the 2001 model year, the Swift came in one basic trim level. Car buyers interested in the Swift quickly discover that the car features daytime running lights, cloth upholstery, and three-point seatbelts. This particular model also included dual front airbags. Thirteen-inch wheels supported the small body.Suzuki Swift Evolution
The first generation of the Suzuki Swift was available from the 1989 to the 1994 model years. Oddly enough, this generation of Swift offered more factory options and body style choices than the second. Buyers of this generation found the Swift available in its traditional hatchback style, as well as the sedan and even a junior econosport option (available only in the 1989 model year). During this time, the Swift also offered a few different trim levels.
The base model of the first generation Swift didn’t have much to write home about in regards to its powertrain. These cars came equipped with a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that did little more than move the car from point A to point B. In the GT trim level, things became slightly more exciting. The GT trim level featured a twincam version of the four-cylinder, offering about 100 hp.
Suzuki produced the second generation of the Suzuki Swift from 1995 to 2001. During that time, the Swift saw very few changes to its design and engineering. If a car of this generation can be found used, pricing is usually more than affordable. Most industry experts recommend considering a larger sedan or hatchback for safety and reliability reasons.