THE little Suzuki Splash is a chic city car that’s bigger than most with five doors and smooth engines.
It should also be very cheap to run, thanks to cheap insurance and excellent economy.
All have well weighted power steering and willing performance at lower speeds, making them ideal urban cars.
But they are also competent out on the open road and can keep up with speeds on the motorway.
There are just two engines – an 85bhp petrol 1.2 and a 74bhp 1.3-litre diesel. The petrol would seem to be the performance winner, but the diesel’s higher low speed pulling power make it just about the winner on the road.
The ride is rather firm which can spoil comfort levels over rougher roads but parking and low-speed manoeuvres are very easy thanks to the short length and tight turning circle.
Standard gearbox is a slick five speeder, but the petrol is available with a four speed automatic, although it is more thirsty.
The Splash was designed and is built alongside the Vauxhall Agila but it comes better equipped, with air-conditioning, split-folding rear seats, an MP3-compatible stereo and a leather-covered steering wheel.
The tall roof means there is room for two adults and three children, and the boot is plenty big enough for a week’s shopping.
Suzuki Splash 1.2 GLS
Price: Pay about £4,100 for an ’08 08-reg GLS, or £6,500 for a ’10 10-reg GLS+ automatic
Mechanical: 83bhp, 1,242cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 109mph
0-62mph: 11.9 seconds
Combined mpg: 51
Insurance group: 11
CO2 emissions: 139g/km
Main rival: Ford Ka