Suzuki Swift: Hello little hatchback

  • We take delivery of a Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZ4
  • Top spec version means lots of equipment
  • Small engine and light weight makes it fun to drive

I’ll admit to being a little bit excited about the prospect of my new long term test car.

The latest addition to the Parkers fleet is the Suzuki Swift five-door. It replaces my Astra and is a totally different proposition for me; a much smaller car with a petrol engine and a list price £10,000 less than the Vauxhall.

The little 1.2-litre petrol engine produces 93bhp and 118Nm of pulling power. While this doesn’t sound like a huge amount, the way the car makes power means it’s a very entertaining package. Thanks to a kerb weight of just 1,000kg, some clever suspension and nice direct steering, the Swift is a lot of fun to drive. It’s through corners where the car really shines, but more on that later.

The sprint to 62mph takes 12.3 seconds, while the top speed is 103mph. Perhaps more impressive though is the fuel economy. It is capable of 56.5mpg on the combined cycle, if you believe the blurb from Suzuki, which means hopefully I’ll not be spending too much time at the petrol pumps.

Carbon Dioxide emissions are 116g/km, which slots the Swift into VED band C. That means nothing to pay in the first year and £30 per year thereafter. Company car drivers will pay Benefit-in-Kind tax at 10% this year and 15% next year when the bands shift upwards.

A low-cost car that’s packed with equipment, the Swift gets remote central locking, electric front windows, electric and heated door mirrors, an MP3-ready radio and CD player, steering wheel-mounted stereo controls, stability control, myriad airbags and ISOFIX.

The car I’ve got is in top spec SZ4 trim, which means that on top of all the regular kit you get automatic air-con, electric rear windows, cruise control, an adjustable steering wheel and an engine start button.

Although much smaller than any car I’ve ever run, the Swift is also one of the safest cars around. It benefits from a five-star NCAP safety rating and is crammed full of safety gizmos that I’m hoping I won’t have to use.

I do have a few concerns going into this period of ownership. The first is the boot, which is a rather tiny 211 litres. I’m concerned that the bag I use for motor racing won’t fit in there, meaning I’ll probably have to use the back seats. Good job it’s a five-door car. Also, until now I’ve been treated to easy-to-operate stereo systems with some punch, and I do like my music. I’m hoping the Swift’s system is up to the standards I’ve becoming accustomed to.

The price for this car is £12,985. Over the coming months I’ll be letting you know exactly what life is like with the Swift, and whether the smallest car I’ve ever had is suitable for my rather eclectic lifestyle.

Current mileage: 2,655

Average mpg: N/A