Suzuki swift (2nd Gen), buying guide

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Hello and welcome to my buying guide for the suzuki swift, the old school shaped model from 1996 to 2003 (2nd Generation)

I will be the first to admit that this car is not exciting to look at, the 2nd generation of this particular model is a slight improvement on the first generation but with some mechanical improvements which make driving it more enjoyable.

This car for me represents something that the motoring industry is lacking lately, it is a good, basic car, most car makers these days are too busy trying to make their products feel 'upmarket', this was true of the early 2000's as well, Suzuki still has the balls to come out with basic cars that does not try to make a statement, if you want a good basic car that is not edgy or hipster, this car is for you. 

For people who want something cheap and functional, this ticks numerous boxes, the 1 litre 3 cylinder model will frequently get nearly 60mpg, road tax is not too expensive at just over £100 per year, the insurance premiums are low, space for 5 adult males with seats that are comfortable and supportive, replacement tyres are only £50 per pair, it has Japanese reliability, the ride is just right, the power steering is light, the braking is good because the car is light.

But! the paintwork is prone to fading, mine is red and has been T-cut at least three times since I have owned it, the balance between economy and performance certainly leans towards the former, this is no racer but does respectably well in the corners, this is because the car has independant suspension, a must of half decent handling in front wheel drive cars, there are no 3rd party parts available, expect for basic stuff like oil and air filters, but spare parts are not expensive so that is not really an issue. The interior build quality is average at best, heavy handedness can lead to breakages.

When buying look out for worn gearboxes and clutches, a common fault, the best way to check is to go through all the gears when test driving, a worn box has difficulty going down the range, if not at all, 5th to 4th selection difficulty being the first warning that not all is well.

An engine that overheats when doing 70mph on the motorway or any prolonged hill climbing periods is a sign that the radiator is on its way out, or that there is no actual coolant in the system.

Should you buy one of these cars, well that depends but if you are reading this guide, you have considered it, a good 1st car after your test or a cheap replacement to tide you over, most cars these days try either to appeal to women by being cutesy  or masculine by being loud and aggressive, this car is neutral in appeal, this is a car, nothing more, transport to work, a runaround, cheap and cheerful motoring for those of use who know what to look for in a car, forget the looks, go for the mechanics, an old school car which maybe a little boxy in looks but is spacious on the inside, easy to drive for long periods of time without getting exhausted, it will never be loved, but, it is not hated either, and that is why I like it. Recommended by someone who has just seen the car go past the 100000 mile mark and will keep the car until it is dead, I have no intention of selling it, it works well and does the job, exactly what you need, nothing more.
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