When I arrived home from work in a bright yellow car, Isabelle greeted me with the words ‘funny car daddy’.
At not quite two-years-old I will excuse her for judging a car by its colour but, had she known better, what she would have said was ‘fun car’.
The 140bhp Suzuki Swift Sport is lively, entertaining and great value for money. It might not be the most practical car for a young family, but that didn’t stop Belle and I having an incredible ‘daddy-daughter’ day at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
And it wasn’t just the canal boats that excited Belle as she too enjoyed the twisty backroads through Shropshire and into North Wales as we attempted to find the perfect backdrop for a photograph of the Swift.
Suzuki’s 1.4 Boosterjet engine has received wide acclaim since it was introduced a few years ago, and in the Swift Sport it has been paired with a short-shift, slick, six-speed, manual gearbox. When I put it through its paces – making the customary racing noises that Belle finds hilarious – it was easy to see why the unit has won so many plaudits.
Suzuki has produced a little pocket rocket. I have always been a fan of the Swift but the Sport has taken my love for it up a level. Put your foot down and it goes from 0-60pm in 8.1 seconds, and coupled with stiffened suspension, tightened steering and excellent brakes it really was a joy to drive.
When we finally found the perfect place to take a photograph it also became apparent what a good looking car the Suzuki Swift Sport is. With 17-inch polished alloys, side under spoilers, a rear upper spoiler and dual exhaust pipes it has everything I want from a hot hatch without the price tag you’d normally expect (£17,999).
Inside, the car doesn’t disappoint either. There are body-hugging sports seats with a snazzy red and black cloth finish, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel with a gloss black insert and aluminium pedals. The infotainment system is user-friendly and includes a really good satellite navigation system.
And while the Swift Sport, with its small boot, may not be the perfect car for a young family, parents will be pleased with the amount of safety kit on board, including an anti-collision braking system, lane departure warning/prevention and a weaving alert function. It also averages more than 50 miles to the gallon and comes with a three years/60,000 miles warranty, so it won’t break the bank.
As for our day out, I would recommend it almost as much as I would the car. Belle and I didn’t cross the aqueduct but she was old enough to appreciate its beauty. She was most at home at the Wharf and next time we visit we might swap the 140 horses beneath the bonnet of the Swift Sport for a horse drawn-boat trip along the canal.
When the lovely Ade came to take the car back to Suzuki HQ I was disappointed to return the keys. I wanted to wrap it up in my garage for 15 years and give to Isabelle on her 17th birthday and see what she says about it in 2034, by which point I will certainly be judging her if she has nothing more to say than ‘it’s yellow’!