Suzuki say recent road tests show they are offering the most comprehensive range of small, fuel-efficient, low emission, petrol-powered cars on the New Zealand market.
Not only that, in "real world" driving over local roads, Suzuki models can be even more
economical than the factory-claimed tests.
Independent motoring journalist Donn Anderson and his son Jamie Anderson, both of whom have longstanding successes in economy driving, recently completed challenging drives over soaking wet North Island roads in the five-door Swift, Celerio and Baleno hatchbacks. All three bettered the official combined cycle fuel tests.
Completed with two occupants and luggage and no special preparation, both drivers said the electronic read-out of fuel usage and instant fuel consumption monitors (standard on all Suzuki cars tested) proved invaluable in seeking the most economical motoring. They felt their results are within reach of all motorists, given that extra level of restraint and anticipation when driving on urban and open roads.
In the recent independent test, the Baleno RS averaged a thrifty 4.5 litres/100 km (62.8 miles per gallon) over a testing journey between Whanganui and Auckland. This was a solid 15.6 per cent better than the factory combined cycle of 5.2 litres/100 km (54.32 miles per gallon).
The advanced three-cylinder BoosterJet direct injection, turbocharged engine gives the roomy Baleno RS lively performance with a displacement of only 988 cm3 yet has an output of 82 kW and develops 160 Nm of torque between a low 1500 rpm and 4000 rpm.
In an assessment of 139 popular car models last year by the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland the Baleno was rated second lowest cost car to run, beaten only by the Swift.
This same turbo-charged engine is also found in the popular Suzuki Swift RS, each with standard 6-speed automatic transmission for ease of operation in urban and city driving.
The BoosterJet Swift RS has been given high praise by the Honest John website in Britain. Dan Powell, motoring editor, said: "There aren't many new cars on sale more
economical than their official fuel economy figures suggest – but the Swift BoosterJet is one of them.
"It has outstanding real MPG ratings with readers reporting around 67 miles per gallon (4.2 litres/100km) on average - that's 103 per cent of its official figure," he said.
At the recent Honest John awards for 2019 the Swift BoosterJet won the title of Real MPG Car of the Year. This accolade goes to the car that gets as close to its official fuel economy figures in real world driving, according to data from the Honest John database.
Meanwhile, back on local roads came further testing. On a 636km drive between central
Auckland and Lower Hutt, an entry level GL version of the popular Swift averaged 4.5 litres/100 km (62.8 mpg) which was a 7 per cent improvement on the factory combined cycle of 4.8 litres/100 km (58.85 mpg). The Swift GL has a four-cylinder, 1242 cm3 engine with variable valve technology and produces 66 kW of power.
An auto version of the Celerio, the smallest and least expensive Suzuki available in New Zealand, was included in the local testing and, despite the vehicle being buffeted by strong winds and heavy rain, managed an average of 4.46 litres/100 km (65.06 miles per gallon).
That was a 9.2 per cent improvement on the factory cycle of 4.8 litres/100 km (58.85 mpg) for the modestly powered 50 kW Celerio which benefits from being only 3.6m long and having a low curb weight of just 860 kg.
Recently named the Best City car in its class by a jury panel in the British What Car? magazine, editor Mark Pearson said: "We've always loved the Celerio for its cheeky nature and practical interior but when you add in its excellent reliability and extraordinary value it offers at this age and price point, no other rival can come close.
"It can handle motorways with aplomb and inside there's space for four and a great view out, thanks to its tall windows," said Pearson. The car was also rated to have good appeal on the used car market.
Suzuki attributes the results of the "real world" tests to advanced engine technologies, including smaller capacity turbocharged engines and low body weight. Gary Collins, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand, said there was growing interest in hybrid and electric models.
"However, the latest generation petrol models provide excellent fuel efficiency and considerably lower purchase prices and overall cost of ownership."
For more information: SUZUKI NEW ZEALAND LIMITED Private Bag 3008, Wanganui 4540 | P +64-6-349-1222 | E firstname.lastname@example.org