Suzuki Swift Review

The Suzuki Swift is a surprisingly roomy rival to the likes of the Skoda Fabia, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai i20 that’s both fun to drive and competitively priced.

6/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Roomy interior
  • Brilliant handling
  • Cheap to run

What's not so good

  • Small boot
  • Bumpy ride
  • Basic entry-level models

What do you want to read about Suzuki Swift?

Overall verdict

The Suzuki Swift is a surprisingly roomy rival to the likes of the Skoda Fabia, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai i20 that’s both fun to drive and competitively priced.

The new Suzuki Swift’s slick styling – there’s certainly a hint of Jaguar F-Type about its nose – is mirrored inside. It not only looks more modern than the old car but it comes with more kit, a bigger 265-litre boot and a far more spacious cabin, too.

There are a few scratchy plastics on the dashboard and doors but it feels airy and, in top-spec SZ5 trim, comes with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink connectivity as standard.

Don’t think this cheap and cheerful supermini is dull to drive, however – the Swift’s handling is right up there with the class leaders. Its lightweight chassis helps it carve through tight corners with ease while its pair of perky 1.0-litre and 1.2-litre engines will help you make the most of an abandoned B road.

Settle into a motorway cruise and you’ll find both units are frugal and fairly refined – both the 1.2-litre Dualjet and 1.0-litre Boosterjet mild hybrid can return a wallet-friendly 65.7mpg.

The Swift is a genuinely capable little car

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Unfortunately, the Swift doesn’t ride quite as well as some rivals – hit a speed bump a little too fast or fail to spot that monster pothole until too late and you’ll feel a jarring thud through the cabin. Thankfully, wind noise is kept to a minimum and tyre roar only really makes an appearance when you’re travelling at motorway speeds.

Suzuki offers top-spec 1.2-litre mild hybrid models with a grippy all-wheel-drive system, too – perfect if you’re looking for a sure-footed supermini that won’t be flummoxed by an icy driveway in winter. Unfortunately, it can’t quite match its two-wheel-drive sibling’s fuel economy or outright performance.

Far from being a jack-of-all-trades, the Swift is a genuinely capable little car. Not only does it cover all the important cheap car bases – it’s efficient, comfortable, good looking and well equipped – but it’s just as fun to drive as the class-leading Ford Fiesta.

What's it like inside?

Overall, the dashboard has a fairly minimalist look

The new infotainment system and more modern design has improved the interior tremendously.

There's a quality feel to the new Swift's interior that was missing in the old model

Mat Watson
carwow expert

How practical is it?

There's more than enough room for three kids - or two adults - in the back

The Suzuki Swift has lots of room for passengers inside, both in the front and rear, but to do that, it sacrifices cabin storage and boot space

Suzuki engineers must travel light, because when they developed the new Swift, they seem to have forgotten to include anywhere to put the stuff that people carry with them

Mat Watson
carwow expert
Boot (seats up)
265 litres
Boot (seats down)
579 litres

Passenger headroom and shoulder room have been significantly improved over the old car while the Swift’s newly lengthened wheelbase means legroom receives a healthy boost, too. As a result, there’s more than enough room in the back for three kids and two tall adults should be comfortable over short journeys.

The front and rear doors open nearly perpendicular to the body making it as easy as possible to jump in the back or attach a child seat. Two sets of Isofix points are also fitted as standard that, thankfully, come without the easy-to-lose covers and clips favoured by some rivals.

The Swift loses ground to the competition in terms of interior storage space. Both the front and rear doors boast dedicated bottle holders but only the fronts feature a practical pocket, too. The glovebox is quite small and, besides a pair of cupholders in the centre console, the only easy-to-reach cubby is a small tray behind the handbrake.

Suzuki has sacrificed boot space in an attempt to make the Swift’s cabin feel as spacious as possible. Sure, this new model’s load bay is 54 litres larger than the old car’s but, at 265 litres with the rear seats in place, it still lags noticeably behind the 330-litre Skoda Fabia and 326-litre Hyundai i20.

Fold the rear seats down and you’ll be able to squeeze in a reasonable 579 litres of luggage. Unfortunately, there’s both a significant load lip and a large step in the rear seats that makes sliding in bulky items a real pain. The rather narrow boot opening is another fly in the Swift’s fairly insect-heavy ointment but it’s not all bad news – a handy curry hook comes fitted as standard.

Read full interior review

What's it like to drive?

The Suzuki Swift is great fun to drive

The Swift has shunned a comfy ride in favour willing handling

Two petrol engines are offered alongside a pair of mild hybrid models. Most will return more than 61mpg.

The Suzuki Swift's light weight and agile handling make it feel like a go-kart in corners

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The Swift is offered with two petrol engines – an 89hp 1.2-litre four-cylinder unit carried over from the old model and a new 109hp 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder. Both are available with an SHVS mild hybrid system that aims to boost performance and fuel economy.

The standard 1.2-litre Dualjet can return an impressive 65.7mpg and boasts enough torque to pull away at low revs without requiring any last-minute gear changes – perfect for scooting through heavy traffic.

It’s not the most potent engine out there – accelerating from 0-62mph takes a leisurely 11.9 seconds – but it’ll happily cruise along at motorway speeds without feeling too overworked.

Top-spec 1.2-litre SZ5 versions also come with the option of an SHVS mild-hybrid system and all-wheel drive. Unfortunately, this model’s greater weight means it only manages 62.8mpg and accelerates from 0-62mph in an even more sluggish 12.6 seconds.

Suzuki’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder Boosterjet engine makes the Swift feel far more lively. Not only does it produce a more tempting 109hp but, thanks to some clever turbo technology, it’ll return a fair 61.4mpg, too. Accelerate hard and it feels slightly less refined than the 1.2-litre unit but its cheeky exhaust note and rev-happy nature make it feel significantly more sporty.

If you’re after an automatic, this 1.0-litre unit is the engine to go for. The optional six-speed auto helps the Swift reach 62mph from rest 0.6 seconds faster than the manual model but does blunt its fuel economy somewhat – you’ll have to make do with ‘just’ 56.5mpg.

The best all-rounder in the Swift range is the 1.0-litre SHVS mild hybrid model. It matches the 1.2-litre’s 65.7mpg fuel economy figure but can accelerate from 0-62mph 1.3 seconds faster. It’s no sportscar, but 10.3 seconds is far from sluggish in the supermini world.

The Swift is, in short, one of the most competent superminis you can buy. It’s not only fantastic fun to drive, but it’s much quieter on the move than the old model.

It makes an excellent city car, too – its light steering, tight turning circle and excellent visibility making it a breeze to weave through traffic and slide into tight parking spaces.

Unfortunately, there’s only so much the Swift’s rather firm suspension can soak up – even at fairly slow speeds it’ll bounce and buck over large potholes and speed bumps. The new model does, however, manage to limit wind noise far better than the old car. Even at motorway speeds there’s barely a whistle from the door mirrors and tyre roar is mostly muted, too.

The new Swift’s trump card is its fantastic handling. It’s as much as 120kg lighter than the old model and is even more entertaining to drive as a result. Its steering is sharp and direct while its almost complete lack of body roll and impressive grip make it a real hoot to throw through a series of tight twisting corners.

Ignore the large windows, roomy cabin and upright seating position and it feels more like an old-school hot hatch than a practical modern supermini. It’s certainly more than a match for most rivals and puts up a convincing challenge to the likes of the class-leading Ford Fiesta.

For cruising around town, the 1.2-litre Dualjet’s smooth and progressive power delivery makes the most sense but, if your commute takes in a twisty backroad, the boisterous 1.0-litre Boosterjet will put a much bigger smile on your face.

Read about prices & specifications
RRP £12,500 Find new, used & lease car deals