Suzuki Swift Review & Prices
The Suzuki Swift is a small hatchback with some economical engines and a surprisingly roomy interior but alternatives are more comfortable to drive and come with more equipment
Find out more about the Suzuki Swift
The Suzuki Swift isn’t just impressively roomy for a small car, it’s also a bit of a looker. Its cool contrasting door pillars make the roof look like it’s hovering above the rest of the car and – if you squint just a bit – there’s something about the Suzuki Swift’s sporty nose that’s reminiscent of the Jaguar F-Type.
Things aren’t quite as exciting when you climb inside, but at least the Suzuki Swift’s interior is intuitively laid out, so you’ll have no trouble figuring out what every dial and knob does. It’s a shame you can’t say the same for the 7.0-inch touchscreen that comes as standard on all but entry-level models. Sure, it gets smartphone mirroring as standard but it’s nowhere near as visually engaging or easy to use as the systems you get in (the admittedly pricier) Skoda Fabia or VW Polo.
The solid, scratchy plastics dotted about the Suzuki Swift’s cabin also feel a fair bit cheaper than those in most alternatives, but at least they’re hard-wearing and should stand up to many years of abuse.
The Swift’s fabric seats aren’t particularly posh either, but at least they’re nice and supportive and there’s plenty of space for you to stretch out if you’re very tall. There’s even enough space to carry three adults in the back, too – for fairly short journeys, at least. You can’t say the same about the Suzuki Swift’s rather small boot, however, but there’s just enough space for a couple of small suitcases and some extra soft bags.
The Suzuki Swift’s party piece is just how much fun it is to drive. If that’s an important consideration for you, then the Swift’s a cheap hatchback that’s well worth considering
The Suzuki Swift isn’t exactly the sort of car you’ll be taking on long weekend road trips, anyway. More likely, you’ll be popping to the shops or cruising around town on your way to work. In these areas, it performs very well. The large windows and relatively upright seats give you a very good view out and the Swift’s dinky dimensions and light steering help make it a doddle to park.
Its slightly firm suspension doesn’t do a particularly good job of ironing out bumps around town, but it’s one of the main reasons why the Suzuki Swift is such good fun to drive on twisty country backroads. Unlike many softly-sprung hatchbacks, you can fling the Swift from one corner to another without worrying about its tyres losing grip or its body rolling excessively.
The engine range has been narrowed down to a solitary 1.2-litre mild-hybrid option. It’s not all that quick, but delivers decent fuel economy and keeps running costs low. If you’re after a bit more pep, then take a look at our Suzuki Swift Sport review, as that car comes with a more powerful turbocharged engine.
It’s a shame that some other features that’d help make inner-city driving a little easier only comes as standard on top-spec cars, but you shouldn’t let that put you off. The Suzuki Swift is still a very good compact hatchback that’s cheap to buy, economical to run and still good fun to drive.
The Suzuki Swift has a RRP range of £17,199 to £21,199. However, with carwow you can save on average £1,350. Prices start at £15,849 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £187. The price of a used Suzuki Swift on carwow starts at £8,515.
Our most popular versions of the Suzuki Swift are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.2 Dualjet 83 12V Hybrid SZ-L 5dr||£15,849||Compare offers|
The Suzuki Swift is priced similarly to the Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Up, yet is closer in interior space to the pricier Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo. It’s pretty basic and unadventurous inside though, but it still makes for a great buy if you pick the right trim.
In this case, that would be the mid-spec SZ-T, it offers a useful amount of extra kit over the base model while still retaining its value proposition.
The Suzuki Swift is nippy in town and around a country road, but there are more powerful alternatives out there – including Suzuki’s own Swift Sport
The Swift is almost perfect for city driving. It has a tight turning circle, great visibility and light controls. The ‘almost’ bit refers to the firm suspension. It bucks and bounces over rougher roads, where alternatives like the Skoda Fabia and even the small Hyundai i10 cope better with bumps and potholes.
It does offer some useful city driving aids including lane departure warning, rear parking sensors and weaving alert, although these are only standard on the mid and top trim levels. The base SZ-L does come with radar brake support (a collision-mitigation system) and hill hold control, though.
On the motorway
The motorway is not the Swift’s natural hunting ground, its 82hp 1.2-litre engine needs to be worked hard if you are travelling with a full complement of passengers. Overall refinement lags a bit behind the Skoda Fabia, but alternatives like the Kia Picanto and Hyundai i10 are similarly out of their depth on long motorway drives.
The Swift’s spacious interior and good visibility won’t have your passengers complaining, though, and that firm ride is far less noticeable at speed. All models also come standard with adaptive cruise control – not a common standard feature in this class.
On a twisty road
The Swift is one of the most fun cars to drive down a winding country road. It’s really light and that sporty suspension setup pays dividends in the corners, the Swift exhibits hardly any body lean, and it grips the road well.
The modest power output stops it short of being a true hot hatch, but it gives the Ford Fiesta a good run for its money when it comes to driving pleasure. For a meaningful boost in performance, the Suzuki Swift Sport is a great option as it comes equipped with a 129hp 1.4-litre turbocharged engine.
The Swift is spacious inside for such a small car. It can take up to five adults, but you’ll need to leave most of their personal effects and luggage behind – the boot and storage space is rather limited
It looks (and is) small from the outside, yet the Swift manages to offer impressive levels of interior space. Head and leg room are more than adequate, even for long-limbed drivers. The upright driving position aids visibility, and the raised roof line won’t have you bumping your head as you get in and out.
The steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach but can be moved up and down, so finding a comfortable driving position shouldn’t be a problem. Storage space is less of a strong point. The driver and front passenger get two door bins which will take smaller bottles and handbags, there’s a storage space ahead of the gear lever and a smallish glovebox for items you’d prefer to keep hidden from view. Two small cupholders are provided, but that’s about it.
Space in the back seats
Back seat space is generous and taller adults will have no problem getting comfy in the outer two seats, while the raised and narrower centre seat will accommodate another passenger for short distances. It’s way more spacious than a Hyundai i10 and matches up well to larger cars like the Skoda Fabia.
There are two small door bins and a small storage bin between the front seats which can take a set of keys or a mobile phone. The rear doors open wide, and that high roofline also helps when fitting a baby seat into one of the two outer ISOFIX mountings.
All that interior space had to come from somewhere, and once you open the rear hatch you realise that it is the boot that has paid the price. With 265 litres on offer, the Swift offers just five litres more than the tiny Suzuki Ignis and is hardly more spacious than the VW Up, which has 251 litres.
The Skoda Fabia offers a comparatively huge 380 litres, and even the Ford Fiesta has 311 litres. The Swift’s narrow boot opening and pronounced load lip don’t help matters, and while the rear seats do fold, they create a substantial step in the boot floor.
The interior is pretty basic compared to most alternatives, but the layout is user-friendly and a big step up from the old model
There aren’t a lot of soft plastics or upmarket materials to be found in the Swift, but everything feels reassuringly solid to the touch. The steering wheel is covered in leather, and the seats have a durable cloth covering.
The driver dials are analogue units, with a small digital display placed between them, a colour 4.5-inch digital display and 7.0-inch touchscreen are only standard on the upper two trims. The overall feel is one of pleasing simplicity, rather than a price-cutting exercise.
The entry-level SZ-L gets a basic radio with Bluetooth connectivity, DAB digital radio and a CD player. There are steering-wheel mounted audio controls, and you get a USB plug and 12-volt socket ahead of the gear lever.
SZ-T trims get a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system which responds quickly to inputs, however the lack of physical buttons can make it tricky to quickly access features on the move. It’s intuitive enough to use, made even easier by the integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The range-topping SZ5 adds sat nav, although you’ll be better off sticking to your own navigation app as it can feel a bit clumsy to use. A four-speaker stereo is standard, with the SZ5 getting an extra pair of tweeters and the sound quality is just fine for this class of vehicle.
The Suzuki Swift is now offered with just one engine option, an 82hp 1.2-litre petrol mild-hybrid. It has a very small capacity battery that is charged when the car brakes and while it doesn’t allow all-electric driving, it helps improve fuel economy in regular driving.
The little hatchback feels nippy around town and delivers up to 59.2mpg and 106 g/km of CO2 in mixed driving. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, while the upper two trims (SZ-T and SZ5) can be had with a continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission.
The auto ‘box can make life easier in traffic, but the official fuel economy drops to 55.3mpg, although acceleration from 0-62mph actually improves from 13.1 seconds to 12.2. Neither time is particularly quick, but you’ll still be faster away from the lights than entry-level alternatives like the Hyundai i10 and Skoda Fabia. The Ford Fiesta is the sprinter in this class, it will do the benchmark 0-62mph run in 10.8 seconds, but its 51mpg figure trails the Swift.
The top-spec SZ5 trim offers something no other small hatchback does, the option of all-wheel-drive. It can only be paired with the manual transmission, and dents both fuel economy (52.3mpg and 121 g/km of CO2) and performance (0-62mph in 13.8 seconds), so it’s only worth it if you are going to use the added traction it offers on a regular basis.
The Suzuki Swift was tested by Euro NCAP in two different specification levels. In standard trim it achieved a three-star rating, scoring 83% for adult occupant safety and 75% for child occupants. With the addition of the safety pack, it gained an extra star, and the adult occupant rating went up to 88%. The biggest change was in the safety assist rating which went from 25% to 44%.
The higher SZ-T trim gets a more advanced form of autonomous braking called Dual Sensor Brake Support. It also comes with rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition. Keyless entry and a rear parking camera are reserved for the SZ5 trim only.
The Swift gets an industry standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, this can be extended at an additional cost, but some manufacturers offer up to five or even seven years of warranty as standard. In terms of servicing, Suzuki’s Service Payment Plans allows you to spread your servicing costs over a longer period, which helps manage running costs.
There have been three recalls so far for the current generation Swift, they were for potential issues affecting the battery, side airbags and integrated starter generator belt. The last recall was in 2019, which would suggest that most niggling issues seem to have been sorted out on the newer models.
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