We’ve all had our 205 GTI moments. Yammering about the place in a feather-light, bone-simple, screaming, little hatchback. Not giving a stuff for build quality or fancy equipment (at least, not beyond a honkingly loud stereo). And determinedly squeezing to the back of our minds any thoughts of the moment when bravery meets inexperience and tin-box Eighties supermini meets lamp-post. But it’s 2012 now, and, my, how we’ve changed. Oooh, get us, we’re all grown-up, full of airs and graces and refusing to get out of bed without soft-feel dashboards and chromed climate switches and park sensors and low CO2 ratings.
But there’s still a nostalgia that gnaws away at us. A nostalgia fed and watered by the new Suzuki Swift Sport. The first couple of miles of pasting through the gears brings it all rushing back. Don’t come here in search of your ‘premium compact’ flummery and expensive refinements. It’s a simple, noisy, little box, determinedly fighting off the middle-age spread. It feels light, eager, keen to play. Its engine is a little terrier, taking a deep breath at 4,000 and panting its little heart out all the way to 7,000. The steering’s quick and natural, the handling sharp. The Swift wants to have a good time, and, even more than that, it strains its every sinew in pursuit of you having one, too.
Words: Paul Horrell
Photos: Lee Brimble
This feature first appeared in the February 2012 issue of Top Gear magazine