This £1,795 Swift Sport has been hanging around PH Classifieds for a while now and Shed isn’t sure why. What do you think?
The ad thumbnail tells us that it has passed through eight owners. Judging by the staining on the front seats it looks like quite a bit has also passed through some of those owners and their mates. The general mess might just be the aftermath of a thousand MaccyD drive-thru spillages. Short of carrying out a full forensic examination we’ll never know. Shed is fully aware that seat covers are about as ‘on point’ as flared trousers nowadays, but for him and many others who might be frequenting certain woodland areas behind certain lay-bys of an evening, washable seat covers still do a useful job, and they are still available if you can find the right darknet website. That’s all this car needs.
Or seems to need, anyway. Swift Sports are tough little fellas, built to take the sort of hammering traditionally dished out by younger drivers. This September ’07 example has done 124,000 miles, which represents an annual average of under 8,000. The advisories on the MOT history refer only to consumables like suspension and tyres. The last test in October was passed with no advisories.
Leaving aside some of the more florid language in the ad, we are told that there is service history, but not how much, and that it has been recently serviced, but not how recently. The concept of ‘recent’ means different things to different people. In Shed’s mind, he recently made love to Mrs Shed, whereas in her mind – and indeed her diary – it was actually just over twelve years ago.
Assuming it’s up to snuff you’ll be getting 123hp and 109lb ft from the high-compression, high-lift cam M16A 1.6 engine, enough despite the lack of torque to take this 1,060kg ball of fun through the 0-60mph run in the mid-eight second range, going on from there to 124mph. The power wasn’t enough to make the front end rowdy but it was enough to deliver loads of fun. The official fuel consumption of the Mk1 Sport was near as makes no difference to 40mpg.
It’s a robust motor – the pistons are forged and the valve springs beefy – but it could leak a little oil from the VVT gasket and solenoid or from the oil filter. The cooling system needs a good check over for leaks, and as with any car like this, you’ll also want to feel for graunchy gearchanges caused by worn synchros. Sloppy changes aren’t so problematic as the linkages are replaceable. Juddery clutches, particularly when cold, are quite common. Again, replacement will be the answer.
2012-on Mk2 Sports had a six- rather than a five-speed box. This took a good bit of strain out of motorway cruising, dropping the 70mph top gear engine speed from 4,000rpm to 3,000rpm. Really early Mk1s did have some transmission issues but our 2007 shed is deep enough into the 2005-on production run to escape those. Both Mk 1 and Mk 2 Sport engines were timed by chain rather than belt. Overall, Shed has no major concerns about the mechanical integrity of anything with a Suzuki badge on it, having owned several quick motorcycles bearing that name in his time.
Swifts were pretty well-proofed against rust too, and not just by Japanese standards either. There’s no evidence of it on the MOT history of this car. You’d normally be able to see it straightaway in the normal areas – wheelarches, doors, underneath – but you should always dig into the boot as well as that can get waterlogged. The back seats fold down to give you good cargo space.
Seat bolsters routinely wore away but these ones look pretty good underneath all the ming. The bodyshells were strong enough to do a very good job of disguising minor shunts so don’t just rely on a stand-up lookover. Always remember the words of the postmistress and have a good poke around underneath. Air con and traction control were standard equipment, as were scratchy interior plastics, but the good thing about that kind of plastic is that it lasts a long time, just like Mrs Shed’s memory.
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