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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 (17 on) - rated 4.1 out of 5
Enlarge 37 photos

At a glance

New price £12,869 - £18,954
Lease from new From £158 per month
Used price £5,485 - £13,830
Used monthly cost £137 - £345
Fuel Economy 46.3 - 55.4 mpg
Road tax cost £135 - £145
Insurance group 22 - 35 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Perky performance in Boosterjet form
  • Engaging at all speeds, with sporty handling
  • Faster, lighter and more economical than predecessor
  • Packed to the rafters with standard equipment

CONS

  • Price gap to rivals has narrowed
  • Sport not the bargain it once was
  • Dealer network not as wide as rivals'
  • Interior feels cheaper than other superminis

Suzuki Swift Hatchback rivals

Written by Keith WR Jones on

Since its 2005 reboot, the Suzuki Swift has been a popular supermini choice in the UK, seen as a desirable small car rather than a bargain basement offering. Moreso the Suzuki Swift Sport, which had consistently been a front-running hot hatch since the moment it appeared.

Suzuki now has three cars in the smallest car sectors, with the Celerio and Ignis sharing showroom space with the Swift, and it hopes this is more than enough choice to see off rivals, such as the Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia and Vauxhall Corsa.

2019 Suzuki Swift Sport dashboard

With its cheeky styling, a sporty driving experience and keen prices, the Swift picked up a strong following that continued with the 2011 car – and, which Suzuki hopes continues with this iteration. It's also a unique offering in this sector with the option of the AllGrip 4x4 system. There’s a lot riding on the fifth-generation Swift as it promises to combine the charm of the original with a dash of sophisticated styling and technology.

Greater efficiency, more style

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.

There are five different engines on offer, rermarkable for such a small range of cars. Both the 90hp 1.2-litre, four-cylinder Dualjet and 111hp 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Boosterjet are additionally availabe with mild-hybrid systems, badged SHVS, while the range is topped by a 140hp 1.4-litre Boosterjet motor only for the Sport. version. In line with other manufacturers, diesel versions are no longer offered.

'You don't have to buy the most powerful Swift to enjoy its delightful handling - the 1.0-litre Boosterjet with mild-hybrid system is a sensible-yet-fun choice'

Keith WR Jones, Deputy Editor

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.

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 where the one for you. Its punchier engine means it's good for a 0-62mph time of 8.1 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.

Red 2018 Suzuki Swift Sport front three-quarter

Previous incarnations of the Sport appealed because they offered a creditable 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.

Simple range structure

Despite the apparent complexity of a quintet of engine choices, the Swift line-up is easy to get your head around as some of the powerplants are only available with one trim level.

That entry-level 1.2 Dualjet only comes in SZ3 and Attitude trims, the latter being a Sport lookalike without the associated performance and running costs. Mid-range SZ-T is available with just the 1.0 Boosterjet, while the plusher SZ5 can be had that motor, as well as the SVHS mild-hybrid version.

Additionally, the SZ5 is also available with a mild-hybrid version of the Dualjet with standard AllGrip four-wheel drive, while the flagship Sport is the sole model to feature the 1.4 Boosterjet.

Read on for the full Suzuki Swift Hatchback review and find out if this supermini is the small car you need.

Suzuki Swift Hatchback rivals

Other Suzuki Swift models: