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Thinking of switching to a Swift Sport

Hello all

I did post on here last year but I can't seem to find the post I put up.

Basically I had a Honda Integra DC5 which at the time had just had a replacement engine, I was therefore on the lookout for a Swift Sport, preferably a 2012 onwards model as I like the idea of 6 gears, Sat Nav and it's a prettier car. I contacted numerous garages at the time frantically seeing if anyone would take the Integra in against a Swift but sadly I had no luck, in the end I found a garage that was willing to take it in plus give me some cash against a very tidy low mileage Clio 182.

Now I've had the Clio since February and bar the horrible seating position and even more horrible standard steering wheel, it's actually a very nice car to drive and the little I've had it out on some decent roads, it's felt very good and the chassis is clearly excellent. It's not as quick as the DC5 in terms of outright pace but it's not far off either.

My dilemma is that I am still pining for a Swift Sport and I'm contemplating selling the Clio to get one. I do worry I will miss the power plus a part of me feels I've not given the Clio a chance yet, I really enjoy driving it but something is eating away at me about the Swift and I am desparate to try one. I know realistically it would be a MK2 Swift as the Clio is worth about 4-5k (They are increasing in value) so I probably wouldn't be able to get a 2012 model onwards at this time.

Is it worth keeping it for now or for a year and then go for a Swift, or should I get it sold now and swap?

Hi Marc.

I can't really comment about the Clio but I can certainly recommend the Swift Sport. And personally speaking I would sell the Clio and buy a Sport. Why, because In over 40 years of driving I just don't like French cars. But that's just me.

I bought my ZC32 about a year ago and I've had no problems whatsoever. The car has only covered 41k and all I've replaced Is the battery and the tyres. The car Is so reliable It's unbelievable. And like you said, having the sixth gear Is great, especially when motorway driving.

I could literally waffle on all day on how good the ZC32 Is, but at the end of the day It's your choice Marc on whether to keep the Clio or to sell It. But please let us know about what you decide on 👍

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Hi Marc

As Marc above has said the ZC32 is a brilliant car from my experience possibly best car I've owned in terms of reliability and handling. Three years and 36000 miles of trouble free motoring no complaints at all. It has a few rattles and creaks but the sheer joy of handling makes up for it. The Swift isn't the fastest but handling wise I ever had out the box.
Had a Clio Cup back in the day as courtesy liked it but wouldn't buy. Had a Megane MK1 Coupe at time and in under warranty , collected a Saturday after work and workshop foreman there working on his said was biggest mistake he'd made was the biggest POS ever in hos opinion. Never ever thought about a performance Clio since.
Suppose if your happy with the Clio what are you missing in it, consider cost to change etc. I know boring but have in past changed for changes sake and lived to regret it. BMW M1 is primne example of this.
Where are you and can you get local dealer with one to test drive? If so see how it stacks up against the Clio and then think about what you want/ need.
Ask away if you want hope can help answer anything.

I'm also a ZC32 owner so perhaps slightly biased, however like Marc R I've had a fair few fun driving cars over the last 30+ years!

The ZC32 is one of the most enjoyable I've had, and not just from a driving perspective. I really wanted something that was not only fun to drive, but also super reliable and cheap to run, as well as being a bit more unusual.I like to do most of my own work on cars and the ZC32 is very simple to work on. Any local garage should easily be able to look after it alternatively.

Over the years I've had Mk1 VW Golf GTi's, Mk2 GTi 16v, Mk1 and Mk2 Mazda MX-5's (hugely underrated and very tuneable), Pug 205's, Renault 5 turbo.

The ZC32 reminds me in many ways of some of the old school 16v engines (like the VW and Mazdas), which like (need!) to use the upper end of the rev range to really get the most out of them.

This is in contrast to many of the more recent performance small cars which have increasingly used force induction to give the performance and so have a very different power delivery curve with much more grunt available lower down.

In your situation I think I would hang onto the Clio for a year or so longer as long as you are fairly confident there are unlikely to be any wallet emptying issues on the horizon? Hard to be sure I know, but generally speaking if the Clio has been well looked after mechanically with regular engine and gearbox oil changes and has no rot I would have thought you should be OK.

I suspect unmolested Clio 182's are becoming harder to find, so as you say prices may well be on the rise. On the other hand although the ZC32s are great cars they are not likely to be rising in value anytime soon and are generally subject to the same depreciation laws as most other cars.

This could work in your favour as 2012+ cars should start coming into your price range in the next year or so I would have thought.

Be aware that the 3 door ZC32 will only carry 2 people in the back, and the rear bench seat does not have a split fold (you have to put the whole thing down). This may not be an issue for you, if this is not your only car, but it was enough to sway me towards the 5 door. 5 door has rear seat split and 3 proper belts in the back.

6 speed box I think is definitely worth having, especially if you plan to do any motorway miles in the car.

I suspect I will keep my SSS for at least a few years, by which time I quite like the look of the ZC33 with some mild tweaks from CTC. By that time I think the price of ZC33s will be pretty reasonable, and the CTC tweaks should make for a very entertaining drive!!

Be aware that Suzuki often seem to understate the power and performance specs for the factory standard SSS's. Have read several reviews of the ZC33 that have had the power measured in stock form and the cars usually have up to 10BHP more than the official figures suggest!

I think to a certain degree this applies to the ZC32 as well, as the car seems nippier than the on paper figures suggest.

Of course buying any second hand car is a risk. At least with the Clio you have had it long enough to know what the issues are. Generally though if you check over a ZC32 carefully when buying and it looks and drives well you should be fine.

Feel free to ask if you have any queries - everyone on here and the facebook group are super friendly and helpful.

Hello guys,

Firstly apologies for the late reply, I've not had much of a chance to get on here for a few days so thank you all for your responses.

I've had a bit of interest in the Clio although it's not officially for sale as such but it's had 6 owners which is putting some people off. I personally don't think 6 owners is a lot for a car of its age (2006). It is extremley clean and in really good condition and drives good too, plus it's ample power for me.

I think I will keep hold of it for now and see what happens in the future as I think it will start making some money over the next year, if someone does offer me good money for it then I will be tempted to sell and if I do, then I will definetely be on to a SSS as my next car fingers crossed. I did test drive an 08 plate one but it didn't give me a good feel for the car as I wasn't able to open it up properly, but I'm pretty confident in what you all say and the reviews so far in that they are a brilliant handling little thing. I also like high reving cars having come from a Type R and although the Clio goes well, it's a long stroke engine so doesn't rev as high so I do miss that element. I could do with getting out on a better road to get a proper feel for the car I think.

Anyway I will see how things go, I may well be back here in the future but for now I'll keep hold of the Clio for a little while longer as it's a nice little car for me and I'm not expecting any issue as the engines seem to be quite robust, it's just other things that tend to wrong on them lol!

Many thanks again

Marc

Hi Marc.

Looking forward to hearing from you sometime In the near future when you buy your Swift Sport. And don't forget the pictures when the time comes 👍

Cheers Marc!

I never tried the Clio, but I can comment on the ZC32s handling... Mine is completely stock btw.

Way too much understeer on the limit. I actually can't provoke the rear to slide, even when trail braking or mid-corner lift.

At 9/10 it's a brilliant little car, drives well, goes ok, you can feel the low weight. But on a track, it's not fun because of the understeer. Also, it really needs a LSD, as the inner wheel keeps spinning in tight turns, way more than my previous cars.

On the upside, i love this thing for my daily commute, I also have a 2020 Ford Focus ST and I actually prefer the Swift to go to/from work.
I can use all of it's power and it's just fun. Focus on the other hand is much more serious and I can't put my foot down anywhere, it's just too fast for normal roads.

I'd keep the clio if I were you...

Quote from Igor Voćanec on August 26, 2020, 8:03 am

I never tried the Clio, but I can comment on the ZC32s handling... Mine is completely stock btw.

Way too much understeer on the limit. I actually can't provoke the rear to slide, even when trail braking or mid-corner lift.

At 9/10 it's a brilliant little car, drives well, goes ok, you can feel the low weight. But on a track, it's not fun because of the understeer. Also, it really needs a LSD, as the inner wheel keeps spinning in tight turns, way more than my previous cars.

On the upside, i love this thing for my daily commute, I also have a 2020 Ford Focus ST and I actually prefer the Swift to go to/from work.
I can use all of it's power and it's just fun. Focus on the other hand is much more serious and I can't put my foot down anywhere, it's just too fast for normal roads.

I'd keep the clio if I were you...

Hi Igor,
Your experience is at odds to my own. I owned a 2016 ZC32S from new, and now currently own a 2018 ZC33S from new. I've found the rear end of both cars to be extremely mobile. Both cars exhibit little understeer - unless under power of course. The ZC33S's extra torque will pull the nose wide under power, but lift off or modulate the throttle and it tucks the nose in nicely - sometimes transitioning to oversteer. Practically every time I get out in it for a hoon, I manage to get it sliding across both axles. The car is very neutral on the limit - which is great. But prodding the throttle, lifting or jabbing the brakes get's the Swift Sport dancing like the best of them. On some of my more exuberant drives I've actually got massive oversteer from the rear end sliding and have ended up practically facing the roundabout - LOL. In both cars I have managed this.

But yes, agreed. An LSD would pull the nose in tight to the corner under power. Wider tyres might afford more grip as well. I guess if you're looking for fast track times - those would be beneficial. For me, part of the fun of the car is being able to get it moving around at manageable speeds. You can get into the chassis handling dynamic at a speed that is not utterly crazy. If my car had an LSD and grippier tyres, I'd actually find it to be less fun I think. Simply because the handling dynamic would be moved to speeds that are too high to use on the public road safely.

So I guess it depends on what someone wants out of a car. If want to compete on track - then do all of those things to get the fastest lap time. If you want to simply have fun - leave it stock.

That's my thinking anyway!