This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Suzuki Swift Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The Swift has a straightforward engine line-up with two petrols and one diesel. The entry-level engine is a 92bhp 1.3-litre that comes in base GL trim. With a 0-62mph time of 11 seconds it offers decent performance around town and is peppy enough, but on motorways and dual carriageways it has to be worked quite hard and gets noisy as a result. The other petrol is the excellent 1.5-litre VVT which delivers 101bhp.

It's smooth but enthusiastic and although not stunningly quick it's fun to use. It does have to be pushed hard at times, but it's free revving nature and a slick gear change make this a pleasure rather than a chore. Thanks to the clever VVT technology it's fairly economical too and can average 46mpg. The sole diesel is the 69bhp 1.3 DDiS - launched slightly later, in September 2005.

It's not especially quick but fine in town and has enough grunt for the motorway plus it will return 63mpg and is cheap to tax.

The Swift is in its element in the town or city, where its compact proportions make it a doddle to zip in-and-out of traffic, plus it's easy to park. Take it out on open roads and the Swift continues to impress - the short wheelbase aids agility, and while body control could be better, it’s still very impressive. Rough surfaces provide few problems for the well set-up suspension, and it’s comfortable even with four on board.

The precise steering is quite light, but nicely weighted and the Swift corners with real accuracy with a go-kart feel that makes it great fun.