Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Solidly made, but some materials feel a bit cheap
  • Good driving position and visibility
  • Old-school infotainment system is the biggest let down

Build quality is typically Suzuki – good, but not the best in terms of material feel; if you're a fan of squidgy, soft-touch plastics, you're better served elsewhere. It’s functional, if not quite as stylish as some rivals. It’s also tightly screwed together, and you know it’ll feel that way for years to come.

That said, the driving position is good, and control layout is simple and effective. The heating and ventilation system is operated by simple centrally mounted knobs, and all of the rest of the controls are utterly conventional in their positioning. The switchgear has a reassuring, chunky action, and feels well-engineered.

Although the infotainment system is well-featured, the screen is small and a tad unresponsive, even clunky in its response. It feels a bit aftermarket – and compared with the slick systems offered by its rivals, it’s hard not to conclude it’s disappointing. Truth be told, the graphics on it look like they're lifted straight from an Eighties games console.

There is a saving grace to this system though – and that's the use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is standard on SZ-T spec. With these, you plug your phone in, and the car's infotainment screen looks much like your phone. This makes it so much better to use. Plug it in, put on your podcast, use Waze to get where you're going, and job's a good'un. Stereo quality isn't great, but not bad for a car of this price.

Swift Sport's cabin credentials

Opt for the Swift Sport and the cabin differs slightly from the standard car. Additional features include a sports steering wheel with a perforated grip, different gearlever and pedals, red dials and trim, plus supportive bucket seats. 

Nevertheless, the rest of the interior feels substantially the same, so no extra dials or more upmarket materials.

Can it be sporty and comfy?

  • Seats are supportive and have a good range of adjustment
  • Although it’s sporty in the bends, ride quality is acceptable
  • Swift Sport model has admirably comfy ride

Ride quality is above average in the small car class. Potholes and road ruts do upset the car’s overall demeanour on rough roads – but it’s better than the Vauxhall Corsa and SEAT Ibiza in this respect, with only the super-comfortable Citroen C3 showing the Swift a clean pair of heels.

The suspension feels in tune with the entire car, meaning larger bumps are dealt with reasonably well even if a noticeable thud is transmitted through to the cabin. The overall effect is a stable, tied-down feel which manages to balance comfort and handling with aplomb.

Road and wind noise is certainly apparent at speed, and does mean the Swift is overshadowed by many of its more refined rivals in this respect.