SOMETIMES you don’t need to be ‘big’ to enjoy the benefits of four-wheel-drive and in this respect, Suzuki is the stand out manufacturer.

Its wee Jimny is a great favourite and the latest version of that caused a media storm, but from its supermini range, there’s a little unsung hero in the shape of the Swift SZ5 Allgrip.

This is bit of a wee star in using all of its paltry 1.2-litre’s 89bhp to sure-footed good effect. On country roads, you don’t need sheer power, sometimes all-wheel grip is much more important and that was the case with this Swift.

It also sits a little higher than the rest of the range and should handle farm tracks and muddy fields with some ease – which in fact, it did. While it won’t break any speed records, that assured nimbleness makes up for that on rural roads.

Plus, it won’t actually bust your wallet either in running costs as it can come close to 50mpg on normal running – and that’s despite powering all four wheels at all times.

And, Suzuki has taken all the hassle out of choosing an engine. The fact is, you don’t have to choose – that 1.2 petrol is the only one available to this model!

From a looks point of view, I actually preferred the previous Swift’s sharper lines, but the new, sixth gen’s rounder curves will find favour with many.

The interior is an improvement on previous generations. There’s a touchscreen that’s shared through most of Suzuki’s range – but for me, it was a bit too fiddly and the small icons caused issues when on the go. Even when standing still, you have to peer at the screen and those with big fingers ... watch out!

The 4 x 4 version costs £17,484 – £1000 more than a similar spec’ed machine without it. Metallic and dual-tone paint added another £485 to the test car.