The Suzuki Swift is one of the most popular vehicle for the Japanese automaker. The first generation model was born in 2000, badged as Ignis outside of Japan. The second generation Swift was launched in 2004 and came to India in 2005. It has dominated the premium hatchback segment ever since, selling more than double than that of its nearest competitor. When Maruti Suzuki launched the diesel Swift, waiting period for cars immediately came back into fashion. The third generation Swift was launched in 2011 and the fourth generation model is due in 2016.
The third generation Swift was more of an evolution over its predecessor but the next generation Swift is expected to be a revolution. Suzuki has a lot on its hands and has accepted it can’t sell big cars. The Kizashi has been a global failure, prompting Suzuki to exit the lucrative US market. Now Suzuki will turn its complete attention on developing compact cars and crossovers, which it is confident of selling in large numbers. India is a crucial market for Suzuki and Maruti accounts for majority of the company’s sales.
The fourth generation Swift is expected to be unveiled at an autoshow in late 2015. It will go on sale in showrooms across the world in 2016. Details about changes in the new Swift are still sketchy but we expect Suzuki to take the game forward. With Volkswagen all set to bring out the next gen Polo in the next couple of years and Hyundai expected to get the next generation i20 in 2015, the launch of the next generation Swift in 2016 is bang on target. Hybrid and electric powertrains are likely to grace the all new Swift.
So how can Suzuki better its best selling model? While the Swift might be a leader in its segment, it does have a few shortcomings, which the company should address. The rear seat legroom is still nothing to talk about, while the small rear windows make passengers claustrophobic on long drives. The boot space is really small and the steering is not as crisp as one would expect from a sports hatchback. Improved brakes and increase in features (Bluetooth connectivity, TCS, ESP, etc) on Indian variants can be expected too.