Suzuki Splash 1.3 DDiS

13 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Suzuki Splash 1.3 DDiS

Suzuki Splash

1.3 DDiS

Suzuki Splash 1.3 DDiS

Price: #xAF;#xBF;#xBD;10,499

0-60mph: 13.9 seconds; top speed 103mph

Average fuel: 62.8mpg

Standard equipment: remote locking, power steering, ABS, air-conditioning, front and side curtain airbags, electric front windows, steering-mounted audio controls, height-adjustable steering, height-adjustable driving seats, alloys, CD player with MP3 format.

Tiscali verdict: 8/10

How dreadfully appropriate: an obstinate front of low pressure squats down over the UK map to mark the official start of summer just as a Splash washes up on my test pad. This is no ordinary standard test though. I’ve got the Splash for an epic six months, essentially to give it a right good workout – proof of Suzuki’s unshakeable faith in its newcomer.

All I hope for at this stage is that the Splash won’t have the same supernatural effect we attributed to Rihanna’s chart-topper Umbrella during the floody hell of 2007.

Talk about odd names though. I fail to believe that someone, somewhere amid Suzuki’s marketing echelons didn’t sit down and quietly blubber when they were told that this would be the final lettering on the rump of their new baby MPV. There is, however, a process in linguistics known as semantic bleaching, whereby words lose their impact over a period of time. The same applies in car nomenclature: I mean, who laughs about the VW Sharan now?

So within ten days of driving about in this model, people have either stopped sniggering or I’ve stopped noticing.

My model arrived in Lagoon turquoise with matching seat trim inserts. It’s a bit early to get too involved with the taste issues at this stage, though I will vouch that the two-tone upholstery options available on this, the top spec level, will be passed over by any male drivers. And male drivers, if the pressure of soaring motoring costs and green worries continue apace, are going to be sitting here just as much as their partners.

In its make-up, the Splash is a global-village car: it’s funded by Japanese Yen, powered by an India-built 1.3 diesel engine (made by Italy’s Fiat), bolted together by the honest toil of a Hungarian workforce (alongside sister-car, the new Vauxhall Agila) and directed at us European drivers.

Initial thoughts? It might have been squeezed from the same design womb as the Vauxhall Agila, but it hogs more of the looks – bigger, cuter lights, less blingy chrome and cleaner front lines. And both cars are a giant leap forward in aesthetics when you measure them against the previous Suzuki Ignis-Vauxhall Agila combo project – the high-roofed creation that bore either badge was like something form the island of Doctor Moreau and found appeal only among those who were looking for something that would see them out.

Despite having a normal, lower roofline this time, Tardisian practicality inside bodes well. There’s provision for three passengers in the back – adults will find it a little narrow if they are three abreast, but legroom is fabulous and two lanky teenagers will find the sprawling potential, if my nephews are anything to go by, quite satisfactory.

If you’re driving, you’ll probably anticipate more excitement at a weekend watching socks in a tumble drier. How wrong: although it has a glacial 0-60 time on paper, in the town, the Splash’s diesel engine is perky and never caught off guard. And on the motorway? Surprisingly good: quiet, smooth and unstrained.

The downsides demand a little hunting: the ride is a touch hard at times, though that’s infinitely better than a wallowmobile, some of the touchable plastic surfaces in the cabin are a touch too hard and – most minor of niggles – the indicator tone is incredibly reminiscent of the hook from that 1981 hit by kitsch German band Trio – Da Da Da. Listen to the song and drive the Splash. the Performing Rights Association certainly ought to.

Music aside (and the stereo CD player’s pretty good) the Splash is, so far, fairly much in tune. It engenders optimisim (thanks to a nice, elevated driving position) from behind the wheel, it performs convincingly on all manner of roads and – after 300 miles of driving – it returns more than 50mpg, even when pressed.

So a Splash hit for Suzuki? So far, the forecast is good

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