Two petrol engines are offered alongside a pair of mild hybrid models. Most will return more than 61mpg.
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.
The Suzuki Swift's light weight and agile handling make it feel like a go-kart in corners
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.