Suzuki Swift Hatchback full 9 point review
The 93bhp 1.2-litre petrol unit feels a bit sluggish unless you give it plenty of revs, and even when you do, it doesn’t feel much quicker. The range-topping Sport model has a 134bhp 1.6, which makes the car quick enough to outpace any similarly priced hot hatch.
Ride & Handling
The Swift is a fun little car to drive, especially the Sport version. Grip is good and body control is great, which makes the Suzuki feel really stable in bends. The steering, on the other hand, could do with a bit more feedback. The ride has a firm edge, too, which might put some buyers off, but it’s easier to put up with in the Sport, due to its racy character.
Road and wind noise are obvious in every model. On top of that, the 1.2-litre petrol engine always needs to be worked hard, which makes life noisy; the engine also drones noisily at 70mph. The hot hatch Sport model comes with a six-speed manual gearbox (rather than the five-speeders in other models), so it's more relaxed on the motorway because its engine isn't revving as highly.
Buying & Owning
Affordability is one of the little Suzuki’s big selling points, and the pricing reflects that - it undercuts most rivals by a fair wedge. You'll also get a pretty good discount and resale values are decent. The engines have been optimised for efficiency, so the Swift is pretty close to the class leaders in terms of fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Quality & Reliability
The materials inside the Swift’s cabin look and feel substantial enough, and there’s a solid feel to the assembly. However, most surfaces are hard and scratchy to the touch, so the Swift is nowhere near the class leaders for wow-factor. Suzuki’s reliability record is no better than so-so, either, and the Swift's reliability was rated as only average in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey.
Safety & Security
All Swifts come with an impressive collection of standard safety kit, including stability control and seven airbags (one of which protects the driver’s knees in a smash). That all contributed to the Swift achieving the maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests. An engine immobiliser, deadlocks and a visible vehicle identification number help fend off thieves.
Behind The Wheel
The deep windows and skinny pillars mean you get a great view of the road, and getting comfortable is pretty easy because there’s seat-height adjustment, but it's a shame that cheaper versions don't get a steering wheel that adjusts in and out (it simply moves up and down). The dashboard is pretty simple, so finding most functions is a doddle.
Space & Practicality
The Swift’s high roofline means you’ll have bags of headroom whichever seat you wind up in, but rear legroom isn't great compared with that in the roomiest rivals. Plenty of other superminis have bigger boots, too, and folding the rear seats down leaves a big step in the boot floor.
Entry-level SZ2 cars have powered front windows, electric door mirrors, a CD player, USB connection and steering wheel-mounted controls. We'd go for SZ3, though, which adds air-con, alloy wheels and Bluetooth. SZ4 models come with sat-nav, climate control, a DAB radio, keyless entry and cruise control, but they cost a lot more than SZ3 versions. Sport cars get a host of sporty upgrades inside and out, plus xenon headlights and electrically folding door mirrors.