The Wheel Deal

Fixing you up with life in the fast lane.
Posted: December 27th, 2012 | By Thomas Falkiner

Happy belated Christmas. I hope you had a good one. I know I certainly did. In fact I’ve hardly left the house over the last three days. This means that the poor little Suzuki Swift Sport has been languishing down in my garage all restless and lonely. Fortunately it did see some action yesterday afternoon when I wandered around the Western Suburbs looking for various festive provisions.

And during the hour-long treasure hunt I couldn’t help but marvel (again) at how good this car’s driving position is. I mean let’s not forget that the Sport is based upon a small, entry-level hatchback designed for nothing more than tackling the rigors of the daily commute. On paper this means that, when compared to more purpose built performance cars, this range-topping Swift should feel like something of an imposter, a hot-hatch wannabe. But strangely enough it doesn’t.

And the reason for this, as I have already alluded, comes down to the way the Suzuki engineers have gone about fettling the Sport’s driving position. Firstly, you can set the chair nice and low. Some taller drivers out there might hanker after a little more vertical drop but on the whole it is easy to position your buttocks satisfyingly close to the tarmac.

Secondly, you will notice that the steering column offers up an impressive amount of both rake and reach adjustment. In fact considerably more than you’ll find inside some dearer, premium segment machinery. And this is great news for people who, like yours truly here, enjoy having their steering wheels positioned high up and as close to their bodies as possible.

The final ingredient in this simple but very effective recipe lies in the design of the seats themselves. Look, they’re not the fancy Recaro-sourced jobs that you’ll find inside something like a Clio RS but they do come close. Endowed with generous amounts of thigh and shoulder bolstering, they provide more than enough support when making the most of the Sport’s pukka handling characteristics. Most of all they make you feel like you are driving something cut with some proper enthusiast DNA.

At the end of the day this clever packaging comes down to simple ergonomics. You know, that dark physical science that determines the relationship between man and machine. Now you would be surprised how often manufacturers tend to overlook this concept. But here, with the Sport, Suzuki has got it more or less waxed.

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