Driving Experience – How good is the 6AT?
The burning question on everyone reading this review right now is: has Naza screwed up by offering the ZC33S Swift Sport only with a six-speed automatic?
Well, the answer isn’t so straightforward, let us explain a bit.
From the angle of a stick shift-driving enthusiast, the 6AT isn’t all that great. In slow-moving traffic, it can get a tad bit jerky and difficult to modulate. It’s nowhere as sharp or as fast as a slick Mazda 6AT found in recent models.
But stepping out of the stereotypical 'enthusiast' - who is unlikely to buy a new Swift Sport anyway, preferring used or recond examples - and stepping into the shoes of a casual driver looking for a fun car that's easy to live with, the 6AT is perfectly fine. Casual enthusiasts are less likely to notice the ZC33S’s quirky 6AT. And even if they do, they are more willing to overlook that, given that it is an automatic transmission and not a manual.
Sure, #SaveTheManuals is a thing, but where are the buyers? Used or recond car buyers don't count.
The ZC33S Swift Sport is also the first model in the lineage to drop the high-revving, naturally-aspirated engine in favour of forced-induction.
While the ZC33S Swift Sport lacks the highly-additive, high-revving engine note, it makes up for that by offering way more torque. 70 Nm more, to be precise, available from a low 2,500 rpm.
Effortless is the best way to describe the power delivery. Gently squeeze the throttle and you’re off; none of the drama like the predecessor models. Quicker, it certainly is, but the predecessor models definitely felt more engaging.
That said, the one aspect that Suzuki remains undisputed is the Swift Sport’s handling. With the ZC33S’s kerb weight barely touching the 1-tonne mark, it is remarkably nimble on its toes. Couple that with its quick steering rack, throwing the little Swift Sport into corners has never been more fun – which has been its hallmark since the very beginning.
If the ZC33S starts pushing wide in corners, all you need to do is ease off the throttle and the tyres will bite again – its that forgiving. None of that lift-off oversteer to deal with, as it’s a very predictable hatchback.
One small nit-pick with the ZC33S Swift Sport’s handling aspect are the seats. While they seem supportive from photos, the lack of proper shoulder support makes it a bit tiresome in corners, as you’ll need to keep yourself upright.
In terms of NVH, at 110 km/h, the ZC33S Swift Sport averaged 70 dB. That's on par with the Toyota Vios GR-Sport, though a tad bit worse than the newly-launched Proton Iriz, which managed 69 dB.