I’VE had a ten-year love affair with a Japanese model.

Cute, good-looking in a compact sort of way, nimble, agile and ultra reliable, we have made many journeys together and remain partners to this day.

The model in question is the Suzuki Swift, of which I have owned three versions over the past decade and which is now seducing me yet again in its latest form.

New styling, a loss of weight, better visibility, new safety features and more space are included in this latest generation.

Yet it is the arrival of a new engine and platform that will be the deal-clincher.

The 1.0-litre Boosterjet, already introduced in the company’s Baleno and S Cross models, has a turbocharger to provide more low-down pulling power without turbo lag. It makes the Swift feel more swift more fun to drive, and will even take you to 70mph in third gear.

In fact it offers the same level of power and torque as a 1.8-litre normally aspirated engine.

It certainly feels faster than the stated 0 to 62mph sprint time of 10.6 seconds and it returns a fuel economy figure of more than 60mpg.

Look no further than this engine when considering your choice – although it is unavailable on entry-level versions.

That platform and highly rigid frame have led to lower fuel consumption and improvements in the the running, turning and braking.

Although it is 10mm shorter than the outgoing model, the wheelbase is 20mm longer, creating more interior room and 20 per cent more luggage capacity. It is also 15mm lower and 40mm wider, accentuating its low and wide stance and making it more Mini-like.

You still get strong shoulders and vertically arranged front and rear lamps but there’s now a wide and aggressive front grille and the LED daytime running lights have shifted from the base of the front-end into the headlamp unit.

The instrument cluster features either a colour or monochrome LCD in the centre, with a coolant temperature and fuel gauge incorporated within the two main gauges.

Other interior features include a centre console turned five degrees towards the driver, new D-shape steering wheel and an LED auto air conditioning panel on top trim models.

Standard equipment for all models is impressive. The SZ3 model with 1.2-litre Dualjet engine and manual transmission includes six airbags, air conditioning, leather steering wheel, privacy glass, DAB radio with Bluetooth and four speakers, LED daytime running lights, 15-inch wheels, body coloured door mirrors and front electric windows.

The SZ-T model available with the Boosterjet engine and manual transmission adds rear view camera, Smartphone link display audio, 16-inch alloy wheels and front fog lamps.

SZ5 is available in three variations which are 1.0-litre Boosterjet SHVS with manual transmission, 1.0-litre Boosterjet automatic and 1.2-litre Dualjet with SHVS mild hybrid system and Allgrip Auto. Specification for the SZ5 adds auto air conditioning, 16-inch polished alloy wheels, satellite navigation, advanced forward detection system, keyless entry and start, rear electric windows, LED headlamps, LED combination rear lamps, adaptive cruise control, high beam assist and six speakers.

The new Swift is available in one solid colour, six optional metallic colours and three dual-tone metallic colours whereby the roof colour is either black or metallic silver.

Suzuki has continually downsized the Swift’s engines through successive generations and now we have the best so far in the 1.0 Boosterjet. It’s the perfect match for this perky and very likeable car.

With the addition of new safety and comfort technologies and better use of space it is now more than ever before a credible alternative to more expensive brands.

My love affair with this endearing model just reached a new level.