That high seating position makes for easy entry and exit, while folding down the 60:40 split rear seat opens up 573 litres of luggage space (VDA), including a handy waterproof compartment beneath the boot floor. Naturally there are lots of cubbies and places to stash possessions dotted about the cabin.
Two engines are offered: Suzuki's 86 PS 1.2-litre petrol engine and a punchy 75 PS 1.3-litre turbo diesel built in Suzuki's new engine plant in India under licence from Fiat, mated to a quick-shifting 5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed automatic is also available for the petrol model. Both engines are tuned and engineered with an emphasis on everyday driveability and both offer cost-effective motoring, with combined fuel consumptions of 51.4 (automatic 47.9) and 62.8 mpg respectively. The diesel also emits just 120 g/km of CO2 which means it qualifies for £35 annual road tax, while a diesel particulate filter virtually eliminates any unburnt particles.
Four models make up the new Splash range. The 1.2 model comes in either GLS or GLS+ grades; an automatic transmission is available on the GLS+ model and the fourth model is the 1.3 DDiS whose specification is identical to GLS+ grade.
Step up from GLS to either GLS+ or DDiS and you get 15 inch alloys, front foglamps and privacy glass on the rear side windows and tailgate. That's on top of an equipment list that includes a CD tuner with MP3 player and steering wheel-mounted audio controls; leather-trimmed steering wheel; remote central locking; front electric windows with driver's auto-down; manual air conditioning; electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors; height-adjustable front seats; tilt adjustable steering wheel; and an information display.
The Splash and the Vauxhall/Opel Agila were engineered in Japan with initial styling work, extensive chassis development and driving evaluations carried out in Europe by Suzuki. Styling of those elements unique to each model – headlamps, grille, bonnet, front wings, tailgate, taillights and rear bumper – was carried out by the two respective parties.
Both models are built by Magyar Suzuki Corporation in Esztergom, Hungary, alongside the Suzuki Swift, SX4 and Ignis. Suzuki is targeting annual sales of approximately 60,000 units throughout Europe.