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Expert Review

Suzuki Swift Hatchback (2020 - ) review

In isolation the Swift Sport is a fun car with plenty to enjoy but it’s simply too expensive – and too slow – to compete with the true hot hatch heroes it’s now priced against

Auto Trader

Words by: Auto Trader

Dan Trent

Additional words by: Dan Trent

Last updated on 23 November 2020 | 0 min read

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


Available new from £17,199

Like the rest of the range the Swift Sport has been updated with ’mild hybrid’ technology to help with performance, fuel consumption and emissions and the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine makes it decisively faster than the regular version. It’s light, looks great and is fun to drive but, given it costs the same as the much faster and more capable Fiesta ST, the Swift Sport is simply too expensive for what it is. Click here for our Expert Review of the standard Suzuki Swift.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickLooks stylish and sporty
  • tickTorquey engine
  • tickLight

At a glance:

Running costs for a Suzuki Swift

Previous versions of the Suzuki Swift Sport massively over-delivered on the fun factor for the price, making them the hot hatch of choice for enthusiast drivers on a budget. This new generation of Swift Sport was introduced in 2018 with a new turbocharged 1.4-litre engine, the modest size and power output helpful for younger drivers when compared with other hot hatches. It’s since been updated with ’mild hybrid’ technology like the rest of the Swift range, losing a little power in the process but improving the CO2 and fuel consumption numbers to save you a little in daily running costs. The smaller engine and lower power output than other hot hatches may help on insurance for some drivers but the killer for the Swift Sport is its high purchase cost. The fact you could have a 200 horsepower Fiesta ST for the same money is a likely deal breaker for most, given the Ford is much faster, more capable and desirable.

Expert rating: 3/5

Reliability of a Suzuki Swift

As a brand, Suzuki sits very near the top of manufacturer rankings in respected reliability surveys. The three-year/60,000-mile warranty you get as standard is about par for the course, even if it’s nothing special.

Expert rating: 4/5

Safety for a Suzuki Swift

Suzuki positions the Sport as a standalone model but, like the regular Swift, has further improved the already impressive range of safety systems. Short version – the Sport has all the kit as standard, including bigger brakes, sports suspension, a camera/laser based forward detection system controlling the automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, high beam assistance and more. There’s also a blind spot monitor, traffic sign recognition, a ‘sway warning’ if it thinks you’re nodding off and sideways facing sensors to warn you if you’re backing out of a space into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

Expert rating: 4/5

How comfortable is the Suzuki Swift

Ride comfort is one area where the Swift Sport has really improved over its predecessor. Despite the big wheels and the firmer suspension settings it cruises comfortably and quietly, with wind noise around the mirrors being the only issue. Its stability on the motorway and generally grown-up nature are all the more impressive given how light the car is, a virtue that becomes evident when you start enjoying it on a twisty back road. However, the steering is lacking feel and the Sport has lost its ultimate dynamic sparkle in the name of a more mature vibe. The Sport’s cabin is enlivened with a few details to reinforce its performance message, including liberal use of red highlights – found on the door cards, passenger dashboard, centre tunnel, stitching for the seats and on the dials in the cluster. The Swift’s 4.2-inch colour display in said cluster gains a few extra screens, showing details like boost pressure and cornering G-forces, while there’s a flat-bottomed steering wheel and Sport-branded bucket seats as well.

Expert rating: 3/5

Features of the Suzuki Swift

Probably the Suzuki Swift Sport’s strongest suit. To justify the hefty price tag, Suzuki cites both the safety equipment already outlined and the fact there are absolutely no cost options on the Sport – even including metallic paint. On top of all the Sport-related items, buyers get keyless entry and go, a reversing camera, electric windows, electric and heated door mirrors, climate control, LED lights front and back, sat-nav, DAB, Bluetooth, USB, and aux-in connections and tinted glass. That means there’s no danger of the Suzuki getting any more expensive than it already is, which might soften the blow of its list price a tad.

Expert rating: 5/5

Power for a Suzuki Swift

The switch to a turbocharged engine was a big change in tempo for this latest generation of Swift Sport, Suzuki updating the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol unit with its ‘mild hybrid’ technology for improved response and efficiency. Short version is an electric motor increases the bandwidth of the start-stop system and can fill in before the turbo comes into play for smoother response. Unfortunately power has been reduced from 140 horsepower for the pre-facelift car to 129 horsepower, though the electric motor helps fill in and deliver a little more torque. There’s no escaping the impact on performance, though, and at 9.1 seconds the 2020 model year Swift Sport is a whole second slower 0-62mph than the non-hybrid version. Compare that with the 6.5 seconds it takes the Ford Fiesta ST you could buy for the same money to do the same and you get a sense of the Swift Sport’s biggest problem – for hot hatch buyers these figures really matter and cars like the Ford offer a different league of performance for the same money.

Expert rating: 3/5