Automotive

Published on September 17th, 2020 | by Joshua Chin

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New Suzuki Swace Is A Rebadged Toyota Corolla Estate

This will be the second Suzuki-badged Toyota model to be offered in Europe. 

For those who have not been keeping an eye out in the wider car world, Japanese auto giants Toyota and Suzuki have formed a strategic alliance in late 2019. The gist of this partnership was meant to boost Suzuki sales in Europe, and in return boost Toyota sales in Suzuki’s stronghold of India. 

Although the alliance is still in its formative days, this has not stopped Suzuki from expanding its European offerings though. As following in the footsteps of the Suzuki Across SUV, which is essentially a rebadge of the hugely popular Toyota RAV-4, both Japanese automakers are once again working together in Suzuki’s latest estate offering, the Suzuki Swace. 

For what is basically the current generation Toyota Corolla estate with the Toyota badges replaced with Suzuki emblems, the new Swace remains functionally identical to the Corolla on the exterior, save for the front grille which has been redesigned by Suzuki to be in-line with the company aesthetic. 

The same story continues on the inside of the Swace, with it being essentially a Toyota Corolla interior bar the steering wheel badge difference. An 8 inch infotainment display with integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to the Qi Wireless charging pad are among features found on the Swace that have been lifted directly from the Corolla. 

That said, cynicism about a blatant rebadge aside, the new Swace will probably be a strong seller in Europe where the wagon is still prevalent. More to the point, it will probably sell well mainly because it is a rebadged Toyota. 

For those who have been out of the loop, the current Toyota Corolla is a genuinely good car. Thus, by association the Swace will also be equally as competent as the car on which it is based. 

Under the hood of the Swace is tentatively only Toyota’s 1.8 litre hybrid four-cylinder powertrain that delivers a combined power output of 122 hp. Mated to a CVT transmission, the Swace will reach the century sprint in 11.1 seconds and max out at 111 mph (179 km/h). 

People buying this Suzuki wagon though will probably be more interested at the Swace’s dedicated EV mode that allows for emissions-free driving, along with the 99-105 g/km CO2 emissions figure. Both of which translates to cost savings at the pumps and the European road tax office respectively. 

A cavernous luggage space of 596 litres will also be more of a factor of consideration to prospective Swace buyers. On the subject of practicality, the Swace features class-leading rear passenger leg and headroom, as well as plenty of storage cubbies for knick-knacks. 

Safety features are also not lacking on the Swace, as it features the full Toyota active safety suite, albeit named differently. Radar cruise control, speed sign detection, blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assist are just some of the active safety kit that are included in the Swace. 

Built in the same Derbyshire factory as the Toyota Corolla in the UK, the Swace will likely cost nearly as much (or perhaps even a bit less) as the equivalent Corolla which starts at £27,000 (RM 145,000). 

The question is then what is the reason to get the Suzuki Swace over the car on which it is based? More succinctly perhaps is how much less would the Swace need to be to convince economically minded prospective buyers to jump from a Toyota into an identical Suzuki?

PRESS RELEASE: The Suzuki Swace is the second vehicle to be supplied to Suzuki by Toyota Motor Corporation under a collaborative business agreement between the two companies.

Dynamic and athletic exterior styling

Designed with a low centre of gravity, the Suzuki Swace stands out with its wide stance and powerful rearward-flowing body lines, matched to a sporty front face with sharp bi-beam LED headlamps and large honeycomb-patterned grille.

Versatile interior design

Crafted with comfort and practicality in mind, the interior offers a feeling of open and comfortable spaciousness, and generous luggage capacity to suit a variety of lifestyles and recreational needs.

Advanced hybrid performance

Delivering optimal power distribution between the engine and motor according to driving conditions, the sophisticated hybrid system provides exhilarating direct-response acceleration while maintaining low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Dynamic and athletic exterior design

The exterior design of the Suzuki Swace fuses stable and functional wagon styling with sporty aesthetics.

Its planted stance, condensed upper body proportions and flared bumpers convey on-road stability, while the dynamic rearward flowing lines in the windows and shoulders give an impression of athleticism.

The unique front-face design centres around its bi-beam LED headlamps and large honeycomb-patterned hexagonal grille. The headlamps and upper grille are placed in a single continuous curve for a sporty and wide appearance, while the bumper, lower grille and fog lamp bezel are positioned close to the ground, bringing further emphasis to the car’s planted posture.

Further exterior features include integrated roof rails for simple roof carrier mounting, a sculpted rear door that is constructed of lightweight resin to enhance fuel efficiency, and sporty and sophisticated 16-inch alloy wheels.

Versatile interior design

A ‘less-is-more’ approach has been taken inside the Suzuki Swace, with an elegant yet simple interior design that focuses on spaciousness, comfort and practicality.

Contributing to the sense of openness inside the cabin is a wide instrument panel designed with continuous lines that dynamically ow to the door trim. A combination of soft padding and chrome or silver accents throughout the cabin highlights the overall quality and elegance of the interior.

Interior functionality

The Suzuki Swace is equipped with an 8-inch multimedia audio system with AM/FM/DAB radio, Bluetooth® function, and controls on the steering wheel for ease of use. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay for iPhone, as well as Android Auto™ and MirrorLink™ for compatible smartphones.

A Qi wireless charging pad is available in the front console to charge smartphones, along with two USB terminals and an AUX terminal within easy reach of the driver and front passenger.

Other key interior features include steering wheel and front seat heaters, an S-FLOW air conditioner system with occupant detection, and ambient lighting throughout the cabin.

Cabin comfort

The cabin offers versatility and comfort to support the active lifestyles of both its driver and passengers. With a generous tandem distance of 928 mm between the front and rear seats, the rear cabin comfort and legroom is one of the best in its class.

Convenient storage spaces can be found throughout the cabin, offering ample room for storing small items such as phones and drinks in both the first and second rows.

Luggage space

The large 596-litre luggage compartment provides ample room for a variety of luggage or recreational items. For added versatility, the rear carpeted floorboard can be placed in a lower position to store taller objects, and is also reversible with a resin backside that can be used for stowing wet or dirty items. The compartment can be easily expanded into a fully flat space by using the remote folding lever to fold down the second-row seats. Privacy needs are addressed with a detachable tonneau cover that can be retracted with a single touch, and the luggage compartment is equipped with auto-illuminating lights and a DC12V accessory socket for added convenience.

Hybrid performance

The Suzuki Swace’s hybrid system combines a powerful electric motor with a 1.8 litre petrol engine exclusively designed for hybrid system use, delivering a seamless driving feeling with powerful acceleration as well as excellent fuel economy and low emissions. The hybrid system optimally drives the Swace with the motor, engine or both depending on driving conditions.

EV drive mode

Leveraging its high output motor and large battery capacity, the Suzuki Swace is equipped with an EV drive mode function. In EV drive mode, the vehicle is driven solely by its motor with power supplied from the battery. This mode can be used for driving short distances without having to worry about noise or emissions, especially in residential areas early in the morning and late at night, or in garages and indoor parking lots.

Driving comfort

The Swace offers smooth driving comfort and stable, responsive handling with a low centre of gravity design and finely tuned suspension. The low hood and placement of the hybrid battery beneath the rear seats help give the car its low center of gravity, reducing body roll around corners, improving stability and contributing to a smooth and easy ride. The MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone rear suspension are designed for excellent handling stability and ride comfort. For further drivability, the drive mode select function allows the driver to choose from three driving modes according to their preference or driving needs.

Drive mode select

The drive mode select function allows the driver to adjust the vehicle’s performance to suit driving conditions. The Suzuki Swace is equipped with three modes – NORMAL, ECO or SPORT.

  • NORMAL mode: Provides an optimal balance between ride comfort, stability and fuel economy, and is suitable for normal driving.
  • ECO mode: Helps the driver accelerate in an eco-friendly manner and enhance fuel economy through more gradual throttle response and minimal air-conditioning use. This mode is useful during stop-and-go city driving.
  • SPORT mode: Controls the hybrid system to provide quick and powerful acceleration, making it suitable for when agile driving response is desired, such as on winding roads.

Advanced driving assist function

Fully equipped with advanced safety features, the Suzuki Swace offers confidence and peace of mind for both the driver and passengers on every journey.

Simple-Intelligent Parking Assist (S-IPA)

S-IPA assists the driver when reversing into a parking space, parallel parking, or departing from a parallel parking space, by providing audio and visual guidance while automatically operating the steering wheel. The system uses ultrasonic wave sensors for sensing and allows accurate parking even in narrow spaces.

Pre-Collision System (PCS)

PCS helps prevent collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists by monitoring the road ahead with a millimetre-wave radar and monocular camera and applying braking assist and automatic braking if needed.

Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)

When the LTA determines that an unintended lane departure is likely to occur on an expressway or marked public road, it assists steering operation to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane.

Road Sign Assist (RSA)

RSA monitors the road for traffic signs and displays them on the multi-information display when they are detected.

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)

DRCC automatically maintains ample distance with the vehicle ahead, including stopping the vehicle when the preceding vehicle comes to a halt and following it when it restarts.

Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)

BSM alerts the driver when a vehicle is approaching or detected in a rear blind spot.

Rear Crossing Traffic Alert (RCTA)

RCTA helps the driver avoid collisions when reversing out of parking spaces. When it detects a vehicle approaching in a rear blind spot, it warns the driver by sounding a buzzer and conveying the location of the approaching vehicle.

eCall

If the vehicle is involved in a traffic accident, the eCall system alerts emergency services with a phone message that includes the precise location of the vehicle.

Brake Hold

When the vehicle comes to a stop such as at a traffic light, the electric parking brake holds the vehicle by maintaining braking pressure to prevent the vehicle from rolling forward or backward until the driver presses the accelerator pedal.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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