Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Better Value Is Back in Fashion

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Better Value Is Back in Fashion

Article excerpt

Byline: By Steve Hughes

Yet another indication of how cars are becoming increasingly better value arrives this week courtesy of Suzuki.

This is the niche Japanese company whose dealers are said to be among the happiest in the UK, while coincidentally enjoying record sales in the process.

A survey of UK franchised dealers puts them at the top of the pile, alongside Audi, BMW and Lexus for general satisfaction and profitability.

Sales are at an all-time high, and so far this year they are up by a further 20%.

And the dealers will be even happier now that the company has decided to share its good fortune with its punters, by cramming its cars full of extra kit at no additional cost. Most of the models benefit, and all now come with a radio and CD player, twin air bags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic brake-force distribution.

The Liana model gets a major facelift, again at no extra charge, including a new exterior look and a completely revamped interior.

There are new seats, new instrumentation and centre console, and the addition of costly items such as steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and electrically-operated and heated door mirrors.

Prices still start at pounds 8,995 for either the saloon or hatchback models, which is pretty impressive for a 1.6-litre compact, especially as the cheapest 1.6-litre Ford Focus alternative is virtually pounds 13,000.

The 1.1-litre Suzuki Alto is even cheaper, at just pounds 5,500, and also gets the extra equipment, plus a new interior, again with no price rise. …

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