Many people will agree that when it comes to superminis one of the best on the market is probably the Ford Fiesta. A lot of people choose that because of its “fun” factor but the Fiesta is a good all-rounder. Other great cars in this segment include the Mazda2 and even the Skoda Fabia or the Hyundai i20. One car that seems to be overlooked in this department is the Suzuki Swift. The Swift won’t blow you away with its wonderful looks or its refined interior, but what it does give is an affordable car that drives surprisingly well and one that ticks the “fun” box nicely.
Things are kept incredibly simple when it comes to the engine line-up of the Suzuki Swift. Available is just one petrol and one diesel offering. The petrol engine is a four-cylinder 1.2 litre offering that offers just above 90 bhp. This model can be mated with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. According to Suzuki, this engine will bring you from 0-100km/h (manual transmission) in 12.3 seconds and has a maximum speed of 165 km/h. On the diesel end there is a 1.3 litre DDiS engine that gives very similar performance figures. Where the diesel differs from the petrol is that it’s reported by Suzuki to offer a combined fuel economy of 4.2 litres per 100km (petrol is said to be able to achieve 5.0 litres per 100km).
This is where the Suzuki Swift excels. This is a fun car and it deals well with twists and turns in any road. It being good on corners is helped by the nice grip that the Swift provides. It’s nippy in the city. It may take you a while to get to 120 km/h on the motorway but it will get you there. The only negative in terms of handling for this car is that the steering could do with be a small bit more responsive.
The Swift is like many superminis in the way that it is not overly refined. This is a small car and it’s not excellently padded. Outside noise gets in from the road and the wind. The engine can be audible too when you are trying to hastily get to motorway speeds and when you do get to 120 km/h the noise doesn’t really go away and it feels like the car could sometimes do with a sixth gear.
While the Suzuki Swift is not a bad looking car on the outside but the inside is full of cheap, hard to the touch, plastics. However, the infotainment system is very easy to use and the system is compatible with MP3 and has Bluetooth connectivity. The seats are comfortable enough but the steering wheel doesn’t offer a large choice of positions.
The Suzuki Swift scored a full five stars in the Euro NCAP. It scored a very-high 94% for adult occupancy and 82% for child occupancy. For Pedestrian safety it received 62%. Inside there are seven airbags.
The front is spacious and there are no major head or leg room issues. The rear is not as large as the likes of the Fiesta or the Fabia. The boot space isn’t as practical either and it offers just 211 litres. The back seats can be folded down and this increases the capacity to 528 litres.