The Swift Sport is a high-performance version of Suzuki’s compact city car that’s slightly cheaper than most other hot hatches, if not quite as fast
The Suzuki Swift Sport is a small sporty city car with a chunky bodykit, a nippy turbocharged petrol engine, and a reasonably roomy interior that help make it good to look at, fun to drive and easy to live with every day. But, is that enough to tempt you away from the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST?
Well, where the Fiesta ST looks pretty much identical to a cheaper (and slower) ST-Line model, the sportiest Swift comes with a huge gaping grille, some faux carbon fibre trims, 17-inch alloy wheels and two large exhausts that you don’t get on the standard model.
It’s a similar story inside – there are plenty of contrasting red trims on the dashboard and centre console and you get a flat-bottomed steering wheel, just like a race car. Unfortunately, while the Swift Sport might look cool inside, cheap-feeling scratchy plastics mean it feels a bit nasty.
Thankfully, you do get lots of equipment as standard, including a touchscreen infotainment system with built-in sat-nav and smartphone mirroring. It’s just as spacious inside as the standard Swift too, so there’s room for six-foot-tall adults in the front and enough room for three kids to side-by-side in the back.
The new Swift Sport feels much more grown-up than the old car. It’s more usable every day, more efficient and faster, but, unfortunately, it’s also quite a bit more expensive
Sadly, it loses some ground to other sporty small cars in terms of bootspace. There’s still space for a few suitcases and more than enough space for a weekly shop but the Fiesta ST is significantly roomier.
It isn’t quite as fast as the Fiesta ST either – it takes a modest 8.1 seconds to accelerate from 0-62mph – but the Swift Sport’s revvy 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine makes it feel faster than the numbers suggest.
The precise steering and strong brakes mean you can have a blast threading your way down tight country lanes without endangering your driving licence and its stable suspension helps maximise grip in tight corners without feeling too bouncy on rough roads.
The Swift Sport’s small size and relatively large window mean it’s a doddle to drive in town too, and its lightweight construction means it won’t cost the earth to run. Suzuki claims it’ll return 50.4mpg.
Sure, it might not be quite as exciting to drive as the Fiesta ST, but the more affordable Suzuki Swift is still an excellent compact hot hatch that’s easy to live with during the week and fantastic fun when the weekend arrives.