What is it?
Suzuki describes the new Splash as a ‘worldwide mini-wagon’; doesn’t sound that enticing does it? But we reckon a cute, contemporary five-door city car is a much better description. Think of it as a direct rival to the Fiat Panda and you’ll get the idea.
In effect the Splash replaces the Wagon-R. But that eminated from the company’s bad old days of unappealing styling and lacklustre dynamics. Now that the company’s got Europe fully in its crosshairs things are a lot more convincing. We’ve been raving about the Swift supermini for the past eighteen months, so the Splash’s job is to spice things up further down the food chain.
Like the Wagon-R, the Splash is made in the company’s Hungarian factory and, like its forebear, it is also seeing service as a Vauxhall Agila. The technology, though, is all Suzuki’s. Both of them are built on a chopped down Swift platform and use Japanese engines, which in the UK amounts to a choice between an 86bhp 1.2 or a 75bhp 1.3-litre turbodiesel.
What’s it like?
For a start, it’s a smart, well-proportioned car, with plenty of cheekiness about it but nothing overtly wacky or weird like some other Japanese runabouts we could mention.
The good looks carry on in the cabin, too. There’s one or two areas of nasty looking plastic, but the whole effect is good and it looks classier than its £7500 starting price would lead you to believe.