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XE costs £30,000 and has features such as four wheel drive, automatic transmission, cruise control, rear camera and touch-screen infotainment centre. The XE Premium Lineartronic which I recently tested


costs £32,500 and adds other features including sunroof, heated leather seats, sat-nav, powered tailgate, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assistance and pre- collision braking. It had a 2.0 litre 148 hp petrol engine which is quite refined and the power is delivered smoothly through the auto gearbox which also has paddle- shifters for those who wish to take manual control. Top speed is 120 mph, the 0-60 mph 11.8 seconds and emissions 168 g/km. Average fuel economy is 32.2 mpg. The latest Forester has had a design makeover which


adds extra visual cachet and a more upmarket look to the exterior, while the cabin has benefitted from an upgrade which has given it a more classy ambiance.


Seating is very comfortable and supportive and


there is plenty of adjustment of the steering wheel and the powered driver’s seat to get an ideal position. All- round visibility is very good, with the added advantage of a reversing camera. Out and about, the Forester is


IT IS EXTREMELY CAR-LIKE TO DRIVE AND HANDLE.


surprising light and easy to drive and it corners with reassuring composure. The ride quality is on the firm side but still comfortable and on smooth roads where it is likely to spend most of its time, it is extremely car-like to drive and handle. With good head and leg room, five adults can be easily accommodated, and


there is ample boot space at 505 litres The boot floor is flat to make loading easier and the rear seats fold to give van-like capacity for larger items. The Forester is not the cheapest family-size SUV in the class but it is one of the most versatile and few can match its off-road capability and its tough build quality - backed by a five-year warranty.


BLEND OF EVERYDAY PRACTICALITY WITH SPORTY PERFORMANCE AT A RELATIVELY AFFORDABLE PRICE. The new Suzuki Swift Sport ticks all those boxes and


SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT H


OT HATCHBACKS STILL HAVE A STRONG FOLLOWING AND FOR MANY ARE THE IDEAL


its revised and more potent styling is a real head-turn- er. There is just one model priced at £17,999, which is cheaper than most of its main rivals in the class. Powered by a free-revving 1.4 litre 138 hp turbo-pet-


rol engine, the Swift Sport has a very quick 0-60 mph time of 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph. Average fuel economy is 50.4 mpg and emissions are 125 g/km. The standard 6-speed manual gearbox is well- spaced and slick to operate and the suspension set-up is perfectly balanced for agile and assured cornering while delivering a more compliant ride quality than most hot hatches. Its overall driving dynamics are hard to fault and will delight drivers seeking a engaging and zestful response. This four-door model has a coupé look thanks to disguised rear door handles, and the cabin impresses with sculpted sports seats, contrasting red trim inserts and a well-designed instrument panel. With its higher roofline and wider body, the Swift


litres, expanding to 579 litres with rear seats folded. Based on the top-spec SZ5 trim, the Sport model has


THE SWIFT SPORT HAS A VERY QUICK


0-60 MPH TIME OF 8.1 SECONDS


plenty of standard kit including auto air-conditioning, adaptive cruise control, four powered windows, rear parking camera, digital radio, Bluetooth, smartphone mirroring, sat-nav, alloy wheels, twin exhausts and rear spoiler. Safety features include lane departure warning, tyre-pressure moni- toring and stability control. Overall, the Swift Sport comes over


Sports offers good space for four adults and the boot, though not largest in the sector, still provides a useful 265


as a very significant contender in class which includes the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST and Peugeot 208 GTI, both with higher price tags. With its sharper styling, responsive driving and value for money, the Swift Sport should


attract new buyers to the Suzuki brand. All quoted prices were correct at time of going to press


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