Get behind the wheel of the revised Splash and its appeal is undiminished
Low-speed ride is too harsh for a car that will spend most of its time in urban areas
There’s a fair amount of body roll through the twisties
The 93bhp unit with Dual VVT boosts economy over the outgoing 1.2 engine
The interior design is simple and intuitive and the seats are comfortable
The driving position and all-round visibility are excellent for commanding a full view of the road
Boot capacity rises to 573 litres with the rear seats folded flat
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