The Swift’s engine line-up consists of just two petrol engines, meaning potential customers have a fairly easy decision to make when it comes to which powerplant to plump for.
Those on a budget will find the base 1.2-litre Dualjet manual offers the best value. It’s fine for driving around the city, but makes hard work of motorway or A-road jaunts.
For those who rack up a lot of miles – or simply fancy a little more oomph - the 1.0-litre Boosterjet is the engine to go for. And, with the Swift Sport not due until 2018, it’s also the quickest motor in the line-up.
Suzuki Swift hatchback models we've tested
SZ5 1.2 Dualjet SVHS AllGrip
Tested: January-June 2018
The 2018 Swift is the fifth generation car and is available in three trim levels, SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5. To find out how it is to live with, Parkers ran a top trim-level 88hp SZ5 1.2 Dualjet SHVS 4x4 Hybrid derivative with AllGrip. With six months' driving under its belt, we learned a lot about this impressive supermini.
Suzuki Swift SZ5 1.0 Boosterjet
Tested: March 2017
'It’s a big step over its likeable predecessor, and heads somewhere near to the head of its class'
Build quality is typically Suzuki - good, but not quite the best in terms of material feel. It’s functional, too, if not quite as stylish as some rivals. It’s also tightly screwed together, and you know it’ll feel that way for years to come.
That said, the driving position is good, and control layout is simple and effective. The heating/ventilation system is operated by simple centrally mounted knobs, and all of the rest of the control set is utterly conventional in its positioning. The switchgear has a nice, chunky action, and feels well engineered.
Finally, a word about the infotainment system. Although it’s well-featured, the screen is small, the touchscreen a tad unresponsive, and clunky in its response. It feels a bit aftermarket – and compared with the slick systems offered by its rivals, it’s hard not to conclude it’s a disappointment.
What’s the manual Suzuki Swift like to drive?
Good. There are many improvements over the outgoing Swift, which means this one stacks up as a good driver’s car, although not quite the sporty little number its maker would like us to believe.
The 1.0-litre Boosterjet hybrid engine is a gem, though – refined at low revs, quiet when you rev it, and happy to be driven hard without any complaints. It’ll pull happily from walking speed up to the legal limit – just in third gear. So there’s no need to extend it beyond 4,000rpm, although it’s happy to be extended to the redline, if that’s your thing.
It cruises happily on the motorway, with a little wind noise to limit its refinement somewhat, and in town, the light, well-weighted controls, combined with good visibility, mean its pleasant to drive in town. We briefly tried the automatic version, too, which for town-dwellers should be your first choice, as it’s such a sweet and responsive setup.
In a nutshell, this is a fun car to drive, which is good value, and based on existing form, it should be reliable for years to come. It’s a big step over its likeable predecessor, and heads somewhere near to the head of its class. How near that is, we’ll find out when we drive one in the UK, but the signs are looking good.
Suzuki Swift Sport
Tested April 2018 by James Dennison
If you’re after the fastest, most generously equipped Suzuki Swift that money can buy, then the Swift Sport is the car for you. It’s powered by a 140hp 1.4-litre Boosterjet petrol engine and comes with more standard equipment than you’ll find on most medium-sized hatchbacks, let alone its traditional supermini rivals.
However, along with its brief as the ultimate Swift, it’s also – thanks to a price tag of £17,999 – a warm hatch that finds itself dangerously close to the only-slightly-more-expensive Peugeot 208 GTI, Vauxhall Corsa VXR and upcoming Ford Fiesta ST.
Suzuki is keen to point out the Sport’s performance addenda, such as the larger radiator, 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and all-round more aggressive styling. Finished in Champion Yellow paint (five other shades are available), the Swift Sport is anything but the subtle sporty supermini.
Capable chassis, but lacking focus
Suzuki has done an excellent job with the Swift Sport’s damping and chassis in general. Boasting tweaked suspension and larger, more capable brakes it’s an able companion for a jaunt down a twisty country road, soaking up the worst surface undulations and stopping keenly and quickly.
It’s chuckable enough that you can carry some serious speed into bends, allowing the car to pivot under braking, bounding away from corner exit without breaking step.
And yet, despite this, the Swift Sport falls short of providing the final level of engagement that makes small, sporty hatchbacks such good fun on the right road. Much of the problem can be put down to the elastic-feeling steering that lightens up just off-centre and fails to provide all that much in the way of feedback.
Sure, the outright grip is there, and you’ll struggle to induce understeer (where the front wheels push wide of their intended line), but the Swift Sport’s steering simply feels like a tool for swivelling the front wheels left and right, and doesn’t add anything to the driving experience.
It’s quite heavy, which is normally a good thing, but in this instance you get the impression it’s been artificially weighted-up to cover for the shortfalls.
Pulling power aplenty from the 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine
The first thing that strikes you about the Swift Sport’s engine is the amount of pulling power that’s available. Get on the power from 2,500rpm and there’s a strong surge forward as 230Nm of torque punts the 975kg Swift Sport up to speed.
In fact, most corners can easily be done in third gear and seldom require a downshift from the easy-to-use but slightly rubbery-feeling six-speed manual gearbox. Such flexibility is great for everyday driving, but does leave you yearning for a little more character from the engine.
Throttle response is good, yet the four-cylinder engine runs of puff abruptly as you hit the 6,000rpm red line. The trick sports exhaust system, meanwhile, does little to spice things up.
Fuel economy is a claimed 50.4mpg, which – on paper, at least – sounds impressive for a performance hatchback. However, with a fuel tank capacity of just 37 litres, and the engine returning noticeably less than its claimed mpg on our test drives, outright range is restrictive.
Excellent standard equipment list
Further enhancing the Swift Sport’s everyday usability credentials is the extensive standard equipment list. Highlights include:
- An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Bluetooth phone connectivity, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and keyless ignition, front and rear electric windows, LED headlights and climate control
- Advanced forward detection system (including autonomous emergency braking), lane-departure warning and high-beam assist
The Parkers Verdict
The Suzuki Swift Sport is an enjoyable, usable supermini packed with a strong selection of standard equipment. It’s significantly more grown up than the old car, and for many customers (especially looking for the top-of-the-range Swift), this will be a selling point. However, for those looking for a razor-sharp and involving cut-price warm hatch, the 2018 Swift Sport might feel a little underwhelming.
- June 2017 – Fifth-generation Swift available in showrooms. This time around the hatchback bodywork is only available in five-door form, although the rear handles are disguised to make it look like a sportier three-door. SZ3, SZ-T and SZ-5 trim levels are available, with petrol engines in 1.2-litre Dualjet and turbocharged 1.0-litre Boosterjet forms, the latter optionally fitted with a mild hybrid system to improve efficiency.
- September 2017 – Suzuki Swift Sport with 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show, with British deliveries expected early 2018.
- June 2018 - Swift Sport deliveries begin as Suzuki launches with a £1,500 discount from the list price to give it some headroom below the Ford Fiesta ST, which also launched around the same time.
Buying a new Suzuki Swift Hatchback
- Shouldn’t be a shortage of cars available
- Discounts may be possible, especially from brokers
- Car finance calculator: work out how much you can borrow?
There’s no escaping that with generous equipment levels, fine build quality and sensible pricing, the Suzuki Swift it a satisfyingly good small hatchback to buy.
Of the three trim levels available, it’s the mid-range SZ-T versions of the Swift that make the most sense, deliberately designed to feature the kit most buyers seek out as extra-cost options in rival hatchbacks.
Suzuki doesn’t offer diesel-engined Swifts as most tend to be employed for the kind of driving where it wouldn’t prove efficient, but of the petrol motors we’d pick the 1.0-litre Boosterjet – it’s a great all-rounder thanks to its great fuel economy and peppy performance.
PCP finance explained
Buying a used Suzuki Swift Hatchback
- Good supply of used examples expected to find their way onto the market
- Be particularly vigilant of badly treated cars
- No equipment options to choose from
As a used buy the Swift will prove to be reasonable, teaming strong reliability with plenty of kit and frugal engines.
When you find one you like the look of, ensure all of the equipment works as it should and that all of the paperwork tallies with the condition and mileage of the car in question. Allay your fears further with a Parkers Car History Check to ensure your Swift doesn’t have a hidden past.
Selling your Suzuki Swift Hatchback
- Expect the Swift to have no shortage of potential used buyers
- Take plenty of well-lit, informative photos
- Provide evidence of service history and press home brand’s reliable reputation
Savvy buyers will know what a Swift is and will snap your hand off at the wrist for the keys of a sensibly priced example in great condition. The problem is the hoard of small car buyers who will overlook the Suzuki in their clamber to get a Fiesta or Corsa.
This means you need to do all you can to attract would-be customers in the first place, so write a compelling advert and accompany it with a set of attractive photographs – seek assistance if this isn’t your forte.
Also ensure that any remedial work required to paintwork or scuffed alloy wheels is undertaken to a high standard, that the interior has been thoroughly valeted and that all of the paperwork relating to its service history and maintenance schedule is available for inspection.
Finally, price your car attractively using the Parkers valuation tool.