There are plenty of things to talk about regarding our Suzuki Swift Sport. How it drives, how it rides, what the engine’s like – that sort of thing. You know, the stuff that actually matters when considering the experience of driving one of the new kids on the hot hatch block.
And yet all pretty much everyone who has seen our Swift Sport wants to talk to me about is something that is entirely superficial: the colour.
Now, a car’s paint job shouldn’t really matter, yet it is what everyone asks about. So, by popular demand, let’s start there. In the brochure, it’s described as Champion Yellow. In the real world, it has been variously described to me as ‘bright’, ‘vivid’, ‘distinctive’, ‘lurid’ and, erm, ‘wow’.
Someone who works elsewhere in the media empire that publishes Autocar and who followed me into our ultra-glamorous multistorey car park the other day said she was relieved to find out I hadn’t paid out my own cash for it, because she would have worried for anyone who had chosen that shade of yellow.
Before I collected our Swift Sport, Champion Yellow wouldn’t have been my choice, were I buying one. I’m not a showy or flashy person by nature and I’d probably have plumped for one of the five other somewhat less ‘vibrant’ options. But the thing is… the yellow has grown on me. Quite a lot.
For a start, I’m spending a lot less time wandering around car parks trying to find it. This was illustrated recently when, after a flight delay, I trudged into one of Heathrow’s big parking lots at just gone midnight, tiredness causing me to forget exactly where I’d parked. I soon found it.
It’s also harder for drivers of cars that cut me up at junctions to do that ‘oh, sorry, didn’t see you’ wave as they sweep across my brow. Yes, you saw me. I know you did.
But, mostly, the Champion Yellow paint job has grown on me because it’s well suited to the Swift Sport’s character: bright, breezy, fun and not too serious. The bright hue shows up the Sport’s bodywork tweaks over the regular Swift, and because this colour isn’t an option on the standard car, it means there’s little doubt I’m driving a hot hatch, not a city runabout.
In my short time with the Swift Sport so far, I’ve revelled in its relative simplicity. Many modern hot hatches can be rewarding and engaging to drive but, as with some modern smartphones and the like, they can be quite tedious to set up. Having to wade through various drive mode options and fiddle with settings before you can really enjoy driving a hot hatch can detract from the experience.