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New Suzuki Swift: NZ-Japan size difference a poser for used importers

on December 31 2016 | in Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

The new Suzuki Swift will be launched in New Zealand next May – but it won’t be the same as the Japanese domestic model unveiled on a global internet rollout.

“It’s not substantially different,” said Suzuki NZ manager director Tom Peck, “but the body is wider on the New Zealand model.”

That means future used imports of the 2017 Swift from Japan will be different to the 2017 Swift sold new in NZ. What’s it mean to Peck? An expanded stock of spare parts at Suzuki’s Whanganui headquarters to cater for both NZ-new and Japanese-used Swifts. No more one size fits all. “We won’t be able to exchange things like bumpers for Swift any more,” said Peck.

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A brochure (top) for the Japanese domestic Swift (pictured above) appeared online and listed new Swift at 3840mm long, or 10mm shorter than the current model. It is exactly the same height and width, but its wheelbase of 2450mm is 20mm longer. Cargo space is listed as 265 litres, up 55 litres on the current Swift.

Swift is Suzuki’s flagship car with more than 5.3 million units sold worldwide since its rebirth in 2004. This is the third-generation badge since then. But whereas previous models have been available in both three- and five-door forms, the 2017 Swift is a five-door only. Swift shares its platform with the Baleno.

The new Swift is based on a more rigid, lighter new platform and will be available in Japan with the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol ‘BoosterJet’ engine from the Baleno. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit appears to make 75kW at 5500rpm and 150Nm from just 1700rpm. These figures are down on the larger Baleno’s 82kW/160Nm outputs, but outpoint the current Swift’s 70kW/130Nm 1.4 non-turbo.

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Information released on the Japanese-spec car details a new Safety Package that includes features new to the brand. Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS) is an automatic braking system fed data by a camera and laser sensors, while a high beam assist function can switch the headlights between high and low beam according to the vehicle’s surroundings. Adaptive cruise control also appears along with lane-departure warning.

Other updates include a new six-speed automatic transmission option with paddles and LED headlights. Swift will get a full complement of airbags for the cabin and rear ISOFIX points. A five-star NCAP rating is obviously the goal.

Meantime, Suzuki NZ is about to launch the smaller Ignis (above) next month and the updated S-Cross soon after. “We are preparing for a big year in 2017,” said Peck. “Ignis should be a good seller and S-Cross now gets the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine from the Vitara.”

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