For most people like myself, a car is to be used for going from point A to point B.
And while luxury might not be the first thing people (and I mean those without deep pockets) look for when in the market for a new car – fuel consumption, style and relative comfort are high up there.
And the Suzuki DZire 1.2 GA ticks all these boxes.
Another plus is its R161,900 retail price.
But of all that it offers, its fuel efficiency is its best aspect.
Suzuki advertises that the car’s full tank will last you 755km at an average of 4.9 litres of petrol consumed per 100km.
And during the time I had the car, I put this to the test and it passed with flying colours.
When I got the car, the fuel was just below a quarter tank. The tank capacity is 37 litres.
And for seven days, I drove between Mdantsane and Beacon Bay in East London – that is a distance of about 420km – mostly doing 100km/h and 120km/h – without putting petrol in.
And in these tough economic times of a stagnant economy and ever increasing fuel prices – this is just what the doctor ordered.
I would have pushed the car further to ascertain how far its reserve tank would last, but my beautiful wife would not have any of that as she feared the embarrassment of being stuck on the side of the road. Women, right?
The DZire’s boot space, which Suzuki says can take 378 litres, also took me by surprise.
This means the car can work well as a family car and would fit all the necessities needed for family trips.
And for any family-orientated person, safety is of utmost importance, which means the steering-mounted controls are a nice touch as it keeps up with the ever-changing technology and ensures driver safety.
To protect the driver and the front-seat passenger, both seats come standard with airbags as well as ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and there is ISOFIX seat anchors and immobiliser and alarm.
For me, how the car handles the curves says a lot about it.
I found the DZire to have a tight enough grip on the tar, making it safe to use on the treacherous and dangerous Eastern Cape roads.
For example driving down the N2 just past Hemingways Mall towards Beacon Bay was a walk in the park and I did not have to reduce the speed nor keep on unnecessarily hitting the breaks.
At 120km/h, the car did not give me any problems as it was firmly rooted on the tar and made its way through the curves with ease.
And with the Eastern Cape being predominantly a rural province, while roads in urban areas are also riddled with potholes, ground clearance of a car is as important, if not more important than fuel consumption, style and comfort, for some.
And with Suzuki saying the ground clearance of the DZire is145mm, it should be safe to drive on gravel roads as well.
No rain fell during my week of testing so I could not judge how the car performs in muddy and slippery conditions.
But while the car has a bold front exterior design, its interior is too simple for my liking. A little more sophistication in the interior would have been a nice touch and would earn the car more admirers.
Other than that, it gets the thumbs up from me. I might not give it an A+ but I still give it a pass mark and would recommend that people in the market for a new car, seriously consider the DZire.