4.1 out of 5 4.1
Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Fun-to-drive alternative to the mainstream offerings

Suzuki Swift Hatchback Review Video
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At a glance

New price £21,580 - £21,580
Lease from new From £245 p/m View lease deals
Used price £5,355 - £14,390
Used monthly cost £134 - £359
Fuel Economy 46.3 - 56.4 mpg
Road tax cost £140 - £150
Insurance group 22 - 35 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Engaging at all speeds
  • Sporty handling
  • Faster, lighter and more economical than predecessor
  • Low cash prices

CONS

  • Price gap to rivals has narrowed
  • Dealer network not as wide as rivals'
  • Nor is the engine choice
  • Interior feels cheaper than other superminis

Suzuki Swift Hatchback rivals

Written by James Dennison on

The Suzuki Swift is a popular supermini choice in the UK, seen as a back to basics small car rather than a bargain basement offering. The Swift, within motoring circles, is famous for its rock-solid reliability and for actually getting close to its official MPG rating. It even has a warm-hatch version to act as a halo too - called the Suzuki Swift Sport. 

There are plenty of other cars of this size you could spend your money on. One of them even comes from Suzuki, in the shape of the Ignis. Rivals from different showrooms include the Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia and Vauxhall Corsa.

Efficient, stylish, and fun to drive

Suzuki claims that it’s a sportier-driving option than the more mainstream supermini opposition. The omens are good even before you drive it: it’s shorter and lower, yet roomier inside, as well as being 120kg lighter than its predecessor, while its styling is more interesting, too, with more sculpted flanks, LED front and rear lights, and a more stylised front grille.

Previously, five different models filled the Swift's ranks. However, now it's been condensed to just three - SZ3, SZ-T, and Attitude. SZ3 is the cheapest and most basic, upgrading to SZ-T is recommended, as this brings with it an infotainment system that can be linked to your phone, while Attitude cars get the full works - including keyless entry and adaptive cruise control.

However, it should be noted, that for now at least, the Swift is unavailable with an automatic gearbox, and no longer available with all-wheel drive.

Another area where Suzuki has followed the prevailing winds in the supermini world is by dropping the three-door version of the Swift. In recent years that bodystyle has become less popular as buyers crave greater degrees of practicality. However, in order to preserve something of the implied sportiness of a three-door, the rear door handles are hidden high up in the upper frame to give the flanks a sleeker appearance. In line with other manufacturers, diesel versions are no longer offered either.

Simple engine line-up

Recently, Suzuki has had quite a big cull of its engines and trim levels, more of which can be read in the section below.

For now, there is just one engine to choose from in the standard Swift (there's more on the Sport model below). Normal cars get a 1.2-litre mild-hybrid engine, badged SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki). It has 90hp and a 0-62mph time of nearly 12-seconds. It ain't fast. But on the flipside, it's official MPG figure is more than 55mpg, and in our testing, we easily achieved north of 50mpg.

Previously there were five different engines on offer, which was remarkable for such a small range of cars. Both the 90hp 1.2-litre Dualjet and 111hp 1.0-litre Boosterjet were additionally available with mild-hybrid systems, badged SHVS, while the range was topped by a 140hp 1.4-litre Boosterjet, without a mild-hybrid system, and was only for the Sport version. 

In other words, if you're set on a new Swift your choice isn't as varied as it once was. If you have your heart set on Swift with a 1.0-litre engine, or four-wheel-drive, you'll have to go used for now.

Distinctive look for the Swift Sport

If you want the fastest and most well-equipped Swift out there, the top-of-the-range Sport model is the one for you. Its punchier 1.4-litre engine means it's good for a 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 130mph.

Cosmetic tweaks include lashings of carbonfibre-look bodywork addenda, 17-inch alloy wheels, remodelled bumpers, including a larger, more aggressive grille, plus a few other additions in the cabin, such as sports seats and steering wheel. Other improvements include bigger brakes, tweaked suspension and enhanced cooling for the more potent engine.

Previous incarnations of the Sport appealed because they offered credible hot hatch perkiness at a bargain price. But this latest one doesn't offer the same value-for-money as its forebears: for a similar outlay you can buy a Ford Fiesta ST - the hot hatch to have - with the performance advantage that 60hp more brings.

One reason for that price hike is the fact the Swift Sport is now only available as a hybrid. The reason? It forms part of Suzuki's larger goals of meeting emissions regulations - and this helps out by reducing the CO2 emissions by around 6% when compared with the old non-hybrid version. This 1.4-litre mild-hybrid engine will also be found in the Suzuki Vitara and S-Cross hybrids.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Suzuki Swift including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Suzuki Swift Hatchback rivals

Other Suzuki Swift models: