30 December 2016 by Keith Adams, Editor

  • 2017 Suzuki Swift
  • 2017 Suzuki Swift
  • 2017 Suzuki Swift
  • 2017 Suzuki Swift
  • 2017 Suzuki Swift
  • Suzuki shows the fourth-generation Swift in Japan
  • It's planned for launch in Europe in spring 2017
  • Hybrid RS version joins the range

The covers have come off the fourth-generation Suzuki Swift in Japan. The evolutionary styling hides some significant changes, although it won't be seen in Europe until in makes its Geneva motor show debut in March 2017.

As before, the Japanese market version will make it to Europe with comparatively few changes, most of which concern suspension tuning and trim variations. This, therefore, is pretty much the car you will see in March 2017.

The new Swift is at the smaller end of the city car market, measuring 3840mm in length. That makes the five-door only hatchback slightly shorter than the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa - and 50mm shorter than the current model.

Bigger inside, smaller on the outside

The car's underpinnings come from Suzuki's Heartect platform, which boasts a 20mm longer wheelbase for more interior room. It will be sold with the 1.0- and 1.2-litre Dualjet turbo engines, a six-speed automatic transmission and the company's Smart Hybrid Vehicle system to keep consumption and emissions down.

There's no word as to whether the unappealing diesel version will be replaced in the European market. 

It will come with cameras and laser sensors to predict a collision, braking accordingly, making this one of the more safety conscious choices in the city car sector. These systems will also control the active headlamps and cruise control - a real novelty in this sector.

Replacing the Swift is a big deal for Suzuki - it's by far the company's biggest seller in the UK, with a total of 5.3m units sold worldwide since the launch of the second-generation car in 2004.

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