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2004-2008 Suzuki Swift Pre-owned

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Justin Pritchard
Last-generation Swift appeals almost solely on price
Looking for a used economical little car? There are many to choose from-- though choices become limited for folks after a ride that’s not likely to be seen at every traffic light. Though the market offers plenty of selection in the small car scene, the majority of models on the road today wear a Honda or Toyota badge.

Swift + isn’t an expensive car in the used market, but a few checks could save you money.

There’s the Suzuki Swift +, of course. Though it might be from a little-known Japanese brand, it’s a more common car than you might think. In fact, the last-generation Swift was also rebadged and sold to us Canadians as the Pontiac Wave and Chevrolet Aveo.

Though sold under Japanese and American brand names, the underlying platform for all 3 vehicles was from a Korean-made Daweoo car called the Kalos.

Some will remember Daewoo’s failed attempt to sell vehicles in Canada about a decade ago before packing it in due to poor sales and financial failure. Regardless, the Swift, Aveo, Kalos and Wave represent one of the biggest small-car badge-engineering jobs on the road today.

A redesign has been applied to the Swift from the 2009 model year onwards, and the previous 2004 to 2008 generation will be the focus of today’s story. Suzuki offered the Swift to us Canadians as what intended to be a flexible, low-cost five-door with decent fuel economy.

Basic models were named the Swift +, though a more heavily equipped variant called the Swift + S was available. Look for body-coloured accents, fog lamps, heated mirrors, air conditioning, a 6-speaker stereo and remote entry as available or standard-- depending on the model.

All Swift+ models got a 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine with 103 or 105 horsepower, depending on the year. No surprises in the transmission department-- as choices were a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.

If you’re looking to shift the gears yourself, be sure to inspect the condition of your used Swift + candidate’s clutch. Remember that a clutch can last the life of a vehicle, though a bad driver can burn one out in a matter of months. If you’re familiar with manual transmissions, note any slippage and be sure the clutch ‘bites’ nicely when released.

Test-drivers are also advised to inspect the interior for signs of wear or damage.
Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert