Suzuki Swift: Figuring fuel economy

  • Topic of fuel price is always a big talking point
  • Swift's small petrol engine proves economical
  • Not far off the manufacturer's official fuel figure

Fuel economy is a major talking point in the current financial climate. Cries of ‘recession’ and ‘economic downturn’ have made people ultra-vigilant of the prices displayed at the pumps, and it’s the subject of more pub conversation than ever before.

It’s especially prevalent whenever another fuel duty hike is announced. The Daily Mail goes into overdrive, fuel tanker strikes are rumoured and the inevitable ‘panic buying’ ensues.

It’s for that reason I’m quietly a little bit smug about being lucky enough to get to drive my Swift. Its 1.2-litre petrol engine might not have the performance credentials enjoyed by the likes of Ferrari or Lamborghini, but what it lacks in up-front grunt it makes up for between trips to the petrol station.

Over the past few months I’ve seen an average fuel economy figure of more than 40mpg. This from a car that’s a lot of fun and extremely easy to drive. It doesn’t matter how much abuse I throw at it or how fast I go – the little Swift just shrugs it off and returns its impressive miles per gallon.

It’s always an interesting exercise comparing real-world fuel economy figures with those supplied by the manufacturer. Not least because the tests the car companies do to determine the ‘official’ stats are carried out under conditions nearly impossible to replicate on the open road.

To do so you’d have to drive disruptively slowly, and being the considerate road user I am I just won’t do that. I did however decide to take it upon myself to see how well the Suzuki would do if I employed a few of my ‘eco-driving’ techniques.

With carefully measured throttle inputs, a healthy disregard for use of the brake pedal and a lot of thinking ahead, I managed 48.9mpg over 130 miles of mixed-speed driving. The quoted claimed figure is 56.5mpg, so actually our figure wasn’t a million miles away from Suzuki’s own.

So with real-world fuel economy determined, the next question is one of range. Exactly how far can my little Suzuki go on one tank of fuel? The petrol tank is 42 litres, so using our 48.9mpg you could eke a whisker under 450 miles from a fill-up… if indeed you wanted to play ‘break-down roulette’ and risk running out of juice.

Current mileage: 5,901

Average mpg: 40.2