For reasons that I won’t go into, because they’re rather uninteresting, I have a hire car at the moment.
It’s a Suzuki Switft, which I’ve named Taylor of course, and I think that it’s the most intentionally awful car I’ve ever sat in.
The entire car, from its engine right through to the door locks, which appear to have been borrowed from the 80s, scream ‘why did you buy the base model?’.
The gear shift is effective but so clunky it can’t not be intentional and the indicator stalk is clearly not switching any actual switch, yet still has the feel of being borrowed from a 1989 Vauxhall Vectra.
The doors make an empty sound when they’re opened and closed and the radio’s dot-matrix screen is covered with a glossy piece of glass so that, when it’s switched off, passengers might be tricked into thinking you had something more expensive.
In fact, the only ‘feature’ I’ve spotted is the USB port which – despite being nowhere near the radio – will play music from my phone but also inexplicably seems to drain the phone’s battery despite claiming to be charging it.
And it’s not as if the problems have been limited to the interior as the designers focused their budget on giving you a good ride. No, instead the headlights are so ineffective that the road ahead regularly disappears completely as the superior Xenons on the BMW coming the other way win the battle and the car transforms from transport into a ‘do a day as a blind person’ experience.
The steering, similarly, was the runt of the litter. Taking a moderate corner which many a car would scoff at risks a close encounter with a hedge as understeer transforms into oversteer and the ineffective brakes get a frantic stabbing.
The windscreen wipers might have an adjustable delay when on intermittent, but they too had no expense spent during the design phase further muddying the view of death ahead.
The car is genuinely so awful that it cannot be an accident. Suzuki almost certainly built the Swift base model purely to help their showrooms upset to the next model.
No car I have ever driven (and I’ve driven some shit buckets) has managed to be quite this terrible.
I’ve driven through treacherous ice, rain, wind and flood water in a Fiat Punto on its last legs and battled Christmas-day Snow Storms in a Ford Focus which didn’t like the cold and never had a second thought about my safety but driving through a country lane in the drizzle the other night in my Swift I had to pull over for a little cry.
This car has taught me what people mean when they say “it gets you from A to B, doesn’t it?”. Those people who from these terrible experiences don’t like to drive at night and think their local B road is a ‘bit choppy’.
Driving is about getting places, sure, but it’s also about enjoying yourself on the way. I can’t understand why, given a 10 minute test drive, anyone would buy such a terrible car.
It was good on fuel, I suppose.