Suzuki

 An all-new Suzuki Super Carry compact bakkie is set to make its world début this month – and South Africa is the first market worldwide outside of India to introduce the newcomer. The new-generation Super Carry also becomes the first LCV to be introduced by Suzuki Auto SA.

With strong brand loyalty being enjoyed by mainstream manufacturers, newcomers often find it difficult to capture a significant slice of the small hatchback pie, with the majority of the spoils going to Volkswagen, Toyota and Ford. Against this formidable competition and increasingly appealing Korean offerings, the Suzuki Swift 1.4 has always faced an uphill battle.

Out with the ageing Alto and in with the brand-new Celerio. Suzuki's small-car offensive continues unabated with the launch of their latest city slicker, bringing striking styling and decent safety kit to the bottom end of the new car market. Suzuki calls the latest addition to their range an “extra large small car”, but this doesn't mean that it casts a large shadow.

It’s raining Suzukis. Just this year Suzuki Auto South Africa launched three new models: the SX4 small SUV, the Ertiga 7-seater and this week the cute and affordable Suzuki Splash hatchback.

Suzuki SA says the newcomer is aimed at a wide range of buyers —  from singles and young families to empty nesters. It adds that a compact footprint, tall roofline, comparatively long wheelbase and short overhangs create a surprisingly spacious and practical interior. We’ll test drive it to see if it lives up to it.

Take a compact, lightweight car and shoe-horn the most powerful engine possible under the bonnet. This was the template set by the Golf GTi, the original hot hatchback, back in 1976. But as the years went by, this recipe started to fall by the wayside as buyer preferences changed in favour of space and luxury, thereby forcing the hot hatch to grow up.