Suzuki Swift: Multimedia musings

  • I mull over my Suzuki's multimedia systems
  • Stereo is simple but very intuitive and effective
  • Bluetooth a challenge to set up, easy to use

Since I’m a bit of a music fanatic, a decent stereo means rather a lot to me.  In my last two long-term test cars, the Vauxhall Astra and the Mazda3, I’ve been spoilt with extremely capable systems which were as loud and they were simple-to-use.

As I down-sized to the Swift I was slightly concerned that the standard stereo would not be up to the task of blasting out my dubious choice of aural stimulation. After all, this car is significantly cheaper than the other two so there was no reason to suspect a musical miracle.

On first inspection the signs were, remarkably, good. I immediately noticed that there was a USB jack ripe for plugging in my iPod - other MP3 players are available - and there was also a 12-volt socket next to it for charging a mobile phone or music player.

The first thing I try to do whenever I get into a new car is to connect my mobile phone via Bluetooth handsfree. I usually find this a fairly simple process but in the Swift’s case I had to get the manual out since there wasn’t an obvious way to do it.

It turns out that in order to pair your phone you have to follow a nine-step process comprising inputs on the stereo head unit, the steering wheel-mounted buttons and your phone. There’s absolutely no way I’d have guessed how to do it. Good job the handbook was in the glovebox!

Once paired, the phone is fairly simple to operate. One nice feature is the ability to stream music through Bluetooth straight from your phone to the stereo. This does away with the need for a separate MP3 player.

Although the stereo head unit itself doesn’t look the most modern of units, primarily thanks to its mono-colour display, it is very simple to operate and does everything you’d expect.

Of special note is the compatibility with iPod menus and operation, which on many systems is reticent at best yet on the Swift is full and uncompromising. It’s refreshing to find a setup which works so well.

Finally, there’s no issue with the actual sound the stereo produces either. The speakers are more than up to handling my music at high volume and there are no rattles developing, even after countless hours of heavy use.

Current mileage: 6,769

Average mpg: 37.9