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2013 Suzuki Swift Sport 5dr review

  • New five-door Suzuki Swift Sport driven
  • 134bhp; 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds
  • On sale now, costs 500 more than three-door
Words ByEd Callow

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The Suzuki Swift Sport is one of the cheapest and best hot hatches on sale. In fact, it won the sub-15,000 category in the What Car? 2013 Hot Hatch of the Year Awards.

Until now it's been available only as a three-door, but for an extra 500 there's now a five-door version.

Rather than encourage existing owners into a more practical model, the new five-door Swift Sport aims to steal customers from brands that already offer rear doors on their hot hatch models.

The Swift Sport is mechanically unchanged from its three-door sibling, which means you get the same rev-happy 1.6-litre petrol engine and snappy six-speed manual gearbox.

What's the 2013 Suzuki Swift Sport 5dr like to drive?
The Swift Sport has never been a blisteringly fast hot hatch 134bhp and 118lb ft of torque means a 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds and a top speed of 121mph. It's by no means slow, but by hot hatch standards, certainly not rapid either.

That said, it's a surprisingly rewarding car to drive right to its limits. The engine revs smoothly beyond 4000rpm, which gets you to the Sport's sweet spot, with a pleasing engine note providing a decent soundtrack.

The body control and grip on offer outshine some more expensive rivals, and give you plenty of confidence to wring out the engine through a series of bends.

Uprated suspension over the standard car means the Swift Sport has the firmest ride in the range, but it's still remarkably comfortable by hot hatch standards.

The steering is responsive and light around town and weights up reassuringly through corners, even if there isn't a huge amount of feel.

What's the 2013 Suzuki Swift Sport 5dr like inside?
The Swift's cabin looks smart and the dashboard is free of clutter with intuitively placed switchgear. The plastics are solid, but hardly luxurious if you're expecting lashings of bespoke, racy trim you'll be disappointed.

Apart from some red stitching around the steering wheel, gearknob and comfortable sport seats, there really isn't much to set this version apart from less powerful Swifts.

The standard equipment list is impressive, though the Sport's trim is almost identical to SZ4 spec on other models. You get seven airbags, electric windows, climate control, keyless entry and start, cruise control, xenon headlights, and a four-speaker stereo with Bluetooth and a USB input.

The Swift Sport has great all-round visibility, and it's easy to get comfortable thanks to the height-adjustable driver's seat as well as reach and rake adjustment for the steering wheel.

Access to the rear seats is, unsurprisingly, much better than it is in the three-door car, which is good news for passengers, but it also makes fitting a child seat easier.

The five-door Swift is the same size as the three-door, so there's no added legroom, although you do get an extra rear seat, taking total capacity up to five.

Its biggest practicality shortfall is boot space 211 litres is far less room than you get in most modern superminis.

Should I buy one?
The Renaultsport Twingo is the Swift Sport's only similarly priced rival, but the Suzuki is simply more fun more of the time. It's also better equipped and cheaper to insure, and with the addition of this five-door model, a good deal more practical, too.

The Swift Sport is proof that you don't need a lot of money to have an awful lot of fun it's still the best affordable hot hatch you can buy.

What Car? says...

Rivals:
Mini Cooper
Renault Twingo Renaultsport 133

Read the full Suzuki Swift review >>

Read the Suzuki Swift review for parents at Mumsnet Cars >>

Specification
Engine size 1.6-litre petrol
Price from 14,249
Power 134bhp
Torque 118lb ft
0-62mph 8.7 seconds
Top speed 121mph
Fuel economy 44.1mpg
CO2 147g/km

By Ed Callow

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The Suzuki Swift has tidy handling and a strong turbo engine, but its ride and interior quality are a little disappointing.