Used Suzuki Swift Hatchback 1992 - 2003 review

Category: Small car

Basic motoring, basic price: cheap and cheerful

Suzuki Swift Hatchback (92 - 03)
  • Suzuki Swift Hatchback (92 - 03)
  • Suzuki Swift Hatchback (92 - 03)
Used Suzuki Swift Hatchback 1992 - 2003 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Suzuki Swift hatchback like?

If you want to pay the bare minimum for your next car, and you're prepared to accept the bare minimum of car for your money, then this Suzuki Swift could fit the bill.

It's an exceedingly cheap runaround that won't cost much in petrol. However, that's about the extent of its appeal, as there's little much else in its favour.


Basic motoring, basic price: cheap and cheerful

  • It's very cheap
  • It's dull, dated and not very good to drive

It's not much fun to drive, because the front end doesn't give enough grip and although you can get decent performance from the engines, you'll have to work them hard to achieve it. It's not a great car to be a passenger in, either, because the ride is too stiff.

The cabin isn't all that spacious, and its drab design and unappealing materials give it a very low-rent feel. Worse still, the Swift isn't well equipped when compared with other cars of the same age, either. Safety equipment is particularly sparse, with airbags and anti-lock brakes not even offered as an option when the car was new.

Ownership cost

What used Suzuki Swift hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Suzuki Swift hatchback?

There's only one reason that you'd ever consider buying a Swift, and that's because it's cheap. It was one of the cheapest cars on the market when it was new, and thanks to unspectacular resale values, used examples cost next to nothing, especially the older ones.

Running costs are pretty good, too. The 1.0 will return a respectable average of 48.7mpg, while the 1.3 will manage 45.6mpg. The GTi, though, can only muster a comparatively weak 39.2mpg. Insurance costs aren't so impressive. Despite only having a 1.0-litre engine, the entry-level car sits in group 3 for insurance. The 1.3 commands a group 6 premium, while the GTi will cost you much more to cover, being in group 11.

Servicing costs will also hurt your wallet, because the Swift will need routine maintenance every 6000 miles.

Our recommendations

Which used Suzuki Swift hatchback should I buy?

There were three engines - a 56bhp 1.0-litre, a 67bhp 1.3, and a 100bhp version of the 1.3 reserved for the GTi. All engines are adequately punchy, but the 1.0 makes the best buy thanks to its lower running costs.

Initially, the Swift was available in three trim levels. The base GS model came with a split-folding rear seat and front foglights, while GLX models added central locking and steering wheel adjustment. The GTi version has various spoilers and electric windows.

In 1995, two more trim levels were introduced. The GC included a remote boot release, two-speed wipers and a rear wash-wiper, while the GLS had tinted glass and electric windows and mirrors.

The range was revised again in 1997. GC trim was renamed GL, and GLX trim gained power steering and electric windows. But, by the time production halted in 2003, only the 1.0 GL and 1.0 GLS remained.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Suzuki Swift hatchback?