Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
As is the case with the Toyota Corolla, by far the most compelling reason to choose a Swace is if you’re planning your next company car. Thanks to its hybrid technology, low CO2 emissions is a key Swace virtue; the 1.8-litre engine emits as little as 99g/km, putting it in one of the lowest benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax bands in this class.
Private buyers, too, will appreciate that it should be among the cheapest estate cars to fuel. We’ve yet to test the Swace, but the Corolla (powered by the same 1.8-litre hybrid engine) managed more than 60mpg in real-world driving conditions. However, remember that hybrids tend to be at their most economical in town – if you’re a high-mileage driver that spends a lot of time on the motorway, a diesel model might prove more cost-effective for you.
As a private buy, the Swace is more expensive than an equivalent Corolla Touring Sports, and both are more expensive than like-for-like versions of the Skoda Octavia Estate. Like the Corolla, though, the Swace is predicted to have much better resale values than most of its rivals.
Entry-level SZ-T models get dual-zone air conditioning, an 8.0in touchscreen, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel – we’d stick with this entry-level trim to help keep the price down. Jump up to range-topping SZ5 and you add front and rear parking sensors, and wireless phone charging.
While Suzuki finished mid-table in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, in which 31 manufacturers were scrutinized, Toyota was third best overall, and that’s encouraging news when it comes to the Swace (which is built on the same line at Toyota’s plant in Derbyshire). The Swace comes with a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty, which is actually less than the five-year or 100,000-mile warranty the Corolla Touring Sports gets.
As for its safety, the Swace won’t be tested individually but you can use the Corolla Touring Sports record as a guide. And it’s a good one – Euro NCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating was handed to that car, and it was found to be better at protecting adult occupants than the Ford Focus in the event of a crash. True, the Skoda Octavia performed a little better at protecting younger occupants in a frontal impact, but the Corolla scored better marks for side impact protection. In short the Swace will prove to be a very safe vehicle. Go for range-topping SZ5 and you get blind spot monitoring as well as rear cross traffic alert.
There are also plenty of active safety aids on hand to help you avoid a collision in the first place, including automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition and automatic high beam assistance.
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