About three years ago I moved onto my green P's, and with that I wanted to buy a new car. At the time I was driving a 1994 Ford laser GL with 300,000km on it. While still living at home and working full time I decided that it was time. After searching classified ads around the clock I had narrowed it down to a few cars - Suzuki Swift Sport, Ford Fiesta XR4 or a Mitsubishi Ralliart Colt (if I could find a 2010 model, as they were only approved for that year). I went with the Swift Sport.
From the moment I set my eyes on it, I loved it. The cheeky but aggressive front end, the blacked-out A-pillars to give the roof a floating effect, and the dual-exit exhaust. Within 30 minutes I put down my deposit, and after a week of sleepless nights I picked up my Swift Sport for $9,000.
In the last few years this little car has been a gem. I have travelled over 30000km, which includes a trip to Sydney, a few dirt roads (blast you dad for moving to the bush) with a few track days mixed in. Not once has it missed a beat. From a reliability point of view, I could not fault it.
From a build/fit and finish point there is a few issues. My car, before I had it, had been parked outside in Echuca, and the dash over the years had warped. Now the bottom half rattles against the top half. Along with that the black vinyl A-pillars have also faded. Although from new this was a cheap car and you can't expect it not to have a few build/fit problems after 12 years.
To today's standards the technology of the car is outdated; there are no modern safety features, although for 2007 though it was pretty good - 6 airbags, ESP and ABS was a good amount for this size of car.
Onto handling and performance, I think for the most part this car was a surprise to many. The stiff suspension with a wheel at each corner and a light body gives this car a go-kart like feeling. Admittedly it could do with more power, but the 1.6-litre high-revving naturally aspirated engine is a joy and brings a smile to my face every time.
One reason I chose this car was because of the huge modification scene behind it. Companies like GReddy/Trust, HKS, Monster Sport and many more all make aero, engine and handling mods, making it easy to transform my Swift Sport into what I wanted it to be.
The only real negative to this car is the stigma around Swifts. Most people relate them to young girls that honk you 0.1 second after the light goes green, or grandmas that will hit every single parking bollard they can. This means that people are quick to laugh or question the choice of my Swift Sport (mainly because they might think it's a standard Swift), even more so at track days or at car shows.
All and all, I think Swift Sports are great cars. They are true to who they are, offer a lot of fun for little cost and have a huge following around the globe, even if a bit underrated in Australia.
Please note: The photo is of my car and has a few body modifications including: front lip, front grilles, after-market wheels and mudflaps and the Japanese-delivered headlights.