SUZUKI GOES HUNTING PANDASSmall, on-road 4x4s have been somewhat rare, meaning that Fiat has had that market to itself with the launch of the excellent new Panda. Now the Italian buzz-box has competition.

After success selling in Germany and Switzerland, Suzuki is introducing the 4×4 version of the Swift to the UK. This five-door model has the 1.2-litre petrol engine, and manual gearbox. The body ride height has been raised 25mm, and has been fitted with front and rear skid plates. The model gets 4×4 badging, together with black wheel arch extensions and side skirts. The new model is only 65kg heavier than its 2WD equivalent and emissions are only 10g/km higher at 126g/km. The new model is also part of a Suzuki promotion, which offers ‘VAT-free’ purchases for a limited period. This means the new 4×4 Swift is something of a bargain small SUV at £11,516 for the SZ3 and £13,116 for the higher spec SZ4. We are fans of the Fiat Panda; it will be interesting to see how this new competitor stacks up.

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