From £9,090
New engine and equipment improvements bolster appeal of likeable city car

Our Verdict

Suzuki Splash
The Suzuki Splash is virtually identical to the Vauxhall Agila

The Suzuki Splash is a city car which offers plenty of space and is fun to drive. Expensive though.

  • First Drive

    Suzuki Splash SZ3

    New engine and equipment improvements bolster appeal of likeable city car
  • First Drive

    Suzuki Splash 1.2 GLS+

    Well equipped, spacious and cheaper than its Vauxhall twin

What is it?

We’ve always had a soft spot for the Suzuki Splash. The cute five-door ‘mini MPV’ was a huge leap forward for the niche car specialist over the bland and boxy Wagon R when it was launched three-years ago, both dynamically and aesthetically.

And now Suzuki has made some improvements aimed at maintaining that appeal, chief among them is a new 1.2-litre petrol engine from the recently launched Swift. The 93bhp unit with Dual VVT boosts economy over the outgoing 1.2 engine from 51.4mpg to 55.4mpg, while CO2 emissions are also cut from 129g/km to a more tax-friendly 119g/km. Elsewhere they are new alloy wheel designs and seat trims, plus the addition of keyless start.

What's it like?

Get behind the wheel of the revised Splash and its appeal is undiminished. The interior design is simple and intuitive, the seats are comfortable and the driving position and all-round visibility are excellent for commanding a full view of the road. One small niggle is the lack of reach adjustment for the steering wheel, but you can still find a good driving position. The rear seats split 60/40 and fold for a maximum load capacity of 573 litres, impressive for a car that’s just 3715mm long.

The engine performance is pleasing, too. It needs some revving to ever be described as being brisk, but once you’re near peak power and torque the Splash can be driven comfortably at motorway speeds. It is noisy at high speeds however, and the five-speed manual gearbox isn’t as crisp as we’d like, especially in a class that means it’s compared to the excellent Hyundai i10.

Elsewhere, the Splash handles and steers well, but its low-speed ride is too harsh for a car that will spend most of its time in urban areas, although it is more compliant at higher speeds. There’s a fair amount of body roll through the twisties but this is to be expected of a tall monobox such as the Suzuki.

Should I buy one?

There’s much to admire about the Splash’s simple, fun motoring. So what holds it back from a full recommendation is its overly ambitious pricing. Although the Splash is more spacious than budget rivals, its price puts it far to close to the Fiesta/Polo class – too close for comfort for us.

Suzuki Splash SZ3

Price: £9995; 0-62mph: 12.0 seconds; Top speed: 109mph; Economy: 55.4mpg; CO2: 119g/km; Kerb weight: 1065kg; Engine type: 4 cyls, petrol, 1242cc; Power: 93bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 87lb ft at 4800rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
8

10 March 2011

Autocar: "There’s much to admire about the Splash’s simple, fun motoring. So what holds it back from a full recommendation is its overly ambitious pricing. Although the Splash is more spacious than budget rivals, its price puts it far to close to the Fiesta/Polo class – too close for comfort for us."

At £9995 list, that's still better than the equivalent and mechanically identical Vauxhall Agila which is £900 more.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

10 March 2011

Price looks good to me. True it's about the same level as the entry model Fiesta and Polo, but magazines rarely test these: I suspect they will have 60 horsepower or thereabouts engines, minimal performance and minimal equipment. It's a pity though this Suzuki isn't a bit lighter, otherwise I think it would make a pretty decent replacement for the departed 100hp Fiat Panda.

10 March 2011

I've seen quite a few of these about and I find it appeals due to its narrowness for country lanes.

17 March 2011

I've always liked this car - sweet driving little thing. The slightly rev hungry nature of the new 1.2 would concern me as an ownership proposition - just imagine if they could get their hands on VWs 1.2tsi?

17 March 2011

Like all small Suzuki's a great little car deserves to do well.

17 March 2011

I do really like Suzuki's small offerings of late. This is a really likable little car. & the Swift is awesome as well.

17 March 2011

[quote Autocar]

We’ve always had a soft spot for the Suzuki Splash. The cute five-door ‘mini MPV’ was a huge leap forward for the niche car specialist over the bland and boxy Wagon R when it was launched three-years ago, both dynamically and aesthetically.


[/quote] £10K, looks like good value to me.

17 March 2011

My wife's had a 1.2 auto for the past year, fantastic little car. In the past 9000 miles it's averaged 45.4 mpg which is great for a tall automatic car which doesn't do many long runs. The garage lent me a 1.0 manual recently when I took it in for its first service and I was very taken with it - reminded me of a 652cc Citroen Visa I once owned, in a pleasant kind of way; it just seemed charming and simple somehow...it's also refreshing in a modern car to open the bonnet and see space round the engine.

I'd unreservedly recommend the Splash to anyone.

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