What's the used Suzuki Swift hatchback like?
Like that friend who’s lost some weight recently and will not shut up about how much easier everyday tasks are, the Suzuki Swift has been on a diet. This generation of the Swift is up to 120kg lighter than its previous incarnation, bringing benefits to performance, fuel economy and handling – all of which compare well with lardier rivals. There’s even an intelligent mild-hybrid system on some models, keeping the car up to date with the electrification trend.
Being a small car means it’s up against some stiff, established competition such as the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Fabia, but it also competes with the likes of the Toyota Yaris, which also has hybrid technology.
You can have a 1.2-litre petrol with 89bhp or a 109bhp, turbocharged, three-cylinder 1.0-litre – with or without hybrid assistance. The 1.2 is fine for town use and it’s the only engine that can be paired with the Allgrip four-wheel drive system. This might be useful if you live in a rural location that suffers from heavy snow. If you need something with a bit more power, the 1.0 is a good engine to go for, particularly one with SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) because it stores energy generated during deceleration to help boost the engine’s performance for short periods of time. It even helps out at higher speeds because it means you don’t have to change down a gear as often on the motorway, making the Swift quite relaxing to drive.
Behind the wheel, you’ll instantly notice that the Swift feels light on its feet. The steering is accurate and you can point the nose of the car in to corners with confidence. Body roll is kept in check, although it does come at the expense of ride quality, which can’t match the likes of the Fiesta or Seat Ibiza. Road and wind noise are also an issue, particularly at motorway speeds.
Sitting inside the Swift reveals where some of the cost savings have come from because there are plenty of hard, shiny plastics over the dash. It’s all well screwed together, even if it isn’t as classy to look at or to touch as its main rivals. Space is plentiful, though, and the front seats are quite comfortable, despite not having lumbar support. There’s lots of head room for all passengers and decent leg room for rear occupants. The boot isn’t the biggest around and it doesn’t have a variable-height floor to help with the sizeable lip, so lifting out heavy shopping for those with a bad back could be a problem.
The car is well equipped, with all models coming with air-con, a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Mid-range SZ-T versions have a 7.0in infotainment system with a reversing camera, along with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink smartphone mirroring. Top-spec SZ5 cars get hybrid technology, climate control, sat-nav and reach adjustment for the steering wheel instead of just height.