The Japanese supermini segment is dominated by two cars – the Jazz and the Swift. If the Honda is Namie Amuro, then the Suzuki is Ayumi Hamasaki. Every other car in the same category is a J-pop also-ran, so to speak.
But now the dynamic duo face serious foreign competition in the form of the Ford Fiesta. Stylish, refined and outstanding in ride and handling, Ford’s excellent new entry-level model threatens to rock the boat like never before.
It won’t be easy to topple the Jazz, though. Impossibly roomy and very well equipped, Honda’s signature hatchback continues to set the pace as the small car with surprisingly big talents. About its only weak point is pricing, which starts at a shocking $68,000 for the 1.3 auto. This significant premium offsets the undeniable strengths of the product.
The strongest and most sellable point of the Suzuki Swift is its value-packed price tag. The Swift clearly undercuts its two rivals – by a whopping $15,000 in the case of the pricey Jazz – and yet provides a pretty complete package with contemporary good looks to boot.
So the (small) stage is set for a three-way showdown. Which of the three superminis is the most super in terms of bang for the buck?