Suzuki’s always had it a little tough in our market with a lack of options that could put up a fight here. It’s been five years since the marque’s had official representation locally and that long wait is finally over as a new custodian takes over the brand in the form of Naza Eastern Motors.
Marking Naza’s return to mainstream automotive offerings will be the beloved Swift Sport hot hatch and the plucky Jimny off-roader. While the duo can be found here under the guise of grey imports, it remains to be seen if Naza can strategically price the two vehicles competitively with the inclusion of warranties and official aftersales support to attract buyers over.
Unsurprisingly, the first showroom will be located within the Naza Automall PJ. Over 3,000sq-ft has been repurposed to showcase the brand and its two models for now.
However, owners of older Suzuki models that were purchased from the previous franchise holder will be disappointed to learn that maintenance and servicing of their vehicles will continue under the umbrella of Proton dealers as per the exit agreement.
Naza Eastern Motors will only be authorised to service and carry out warranty works on the new generation of Suzuki models.
While both models will likely be CBU offerings until perhaps the introduction of the garden variety Swift, the first to hit the floor will be the sporty Swift Sport. A Naza Eastern Motors sales advisor mentioned on Facebook that orders are open with a sweat-inducing estimated price of RM145,000.
Powering the light hatch will be the K14C 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine with 138hp and 230Nm of torque. The smaller turbocharged mill makes a ton more torque over the previous naturally aspirated engine. That’s good for a 8.0-second flat century sprint and top speed of 205kph.
Response to the Swift Sport’s steep asking price will likely depend solely on the availability of the six-speed manual on our shores. In Japan, there’s the manual as well as a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Demand will surely take a hit if Naza only brings in the slushbox here.
As it sits, the Swift Sport will have the honour of reigniting the defunct B-segment hot hatch group seeing that Peugeot is in limbo here so there’s no 208 GTi and Ford having discontinued the Fiesta ST.