What's the used Suzuki Swift Sport hatchback like?
If we utilise that long-standing automotive cliché of comparing the character of a dog to that of a car, then the Suzuki Swift Sport is a little terrier. Before you groan, consider the fact that both are small, light and generally quite fearless in the face of bigger and more powerful competition. So, though it's a terrible trope to use, it perfectly describes the energetic Swift Sport.
To keep things simple, there’s only one engine offered in the Sport and you can only have a six-speed manual rather than some fancy (and weighty) dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The turbocharged 138bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine is taken from the larger Vitara and easily has enough power to haul this 975kg Suzuki from 0-60mph is a very swift 7.6 seconds, according to our figures.
Being turbocharged, it isn’t quite the high-revving free spirit that the old Suzuki Swift Sport was, but many will appreciate the extra low-down grunt it does have, especially when flowing down a country road; it’ll still pull you out of a corner without you needing to drop a gear or two.
Also, because it is light, you can chuck it into a bend and carry a decent amount of speed. The steering is a touch heavier than you’ll find in a regular Swift, but that suits the sportier nature of this mini hot-hatch and it feels consistent as it weights up when you wind on extra lock through particularly tight corners. Ride quality is surprisingly good for something with such a short wheelbase, and it’s only the really rotten bits of road surface that give you any cause for discomfort.
Inside the Swift Sport you’re greeted with lots of hard plastic surfaces, but there are plenty of sporty touches such as the flashes of red trim, perforated leather on the steering wheel, chunky sports seats and the all-important aluminium pedals to lift the overall look. You even get some gimmicky tech in the driver information display such as a g-force meter and turbo boost gauge to keep you in mind of its performance intent.
As with the regular Suzuki Swift, the Sport isn’t the most practical small car. True, it is far better at accommodating passengers than its predecessor was, but against the Ford Fiesta ST, it could do with having a bit more rear leg room and a bigger boot. There’s also a noticeable lip to lift items over, where most rivals offer an adjustable-height boot floor to mitigate this. However, that would have added additional weight to the car that the engineers no doubt have been trying to keep to a minimum.
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