New Suzuki Swift Hatchback

From £10,999

Gearbox

Automatic or Manual

Seats

5

Doors

5

Boot size

265 litres

The Auto Trader verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
3.7
The Suzuki Swift is a stylish supermini that’s great fun to drive and comes with loads of equipment. What’s more, we expect it to be very affordable to buy, more so than many of its supermini rivals. Granted, the iffy interior quality means it’s not perfect, but if you can look past that, it’ll be very appealing indeed.

Pros

  • Good fun to drive
  • Cracking turbocharged engine
  • Should be affordable to buy and run

Cons

  • Interior feels a little low-rent
  • Only range-topping version has clever safety kit
  • Boot could be bigger

Full review

By Ivan Aistrop   Wednesday 31 May 2017
2017 Suzuki Swift

Exterior
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

This is one of the areas in which previous Swifts really made their name, because buyers loved their simple-yet-elegant styling. There’s plenty to link the latest Swift to those cars, too, like the high shoulder line, tapering window line and upright lamp units. Some might say the simplicity of the design has gone, and some of the details are a little fussy and unnecessary, but the Swift is still a handsome little car nonetheless. Entry-level SZ3 cars have LED daytime running lights and rear privacy glass, but bear in mind they don’t have alloy wheels. SZ-T does, and adds front foglamps as well, while SZ5 cars are marked out by full LED lighting front and rear.

2017 Suzuki Swift

Interior
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

You probably won’t be expecting the Swift’s cabin to be the poshest in the supermini class, but even so, the interior quality is pretty underwhelming. There’s not a single soft-touch panel to be found anywhere, and all the surfaces on display have a rather rough, cheap-feeling finish. The assembly feels very solid, and the switches and dials work with a precise action, but you certainly won’t be feeling as pampered as you would in many other superminis. The dashboard layout is simple – if a little uninspiring – so everything is easy to find and use. The touch-screen infotainment system that is standard on the top two trims is reasonably easy to get to grips with, too. All-round visibility isn’t bad either, but it’s a little disappointing that only Swifts in the top SZ5 trim have a steering wheel that adjusts for reach as well as height, meaning some drivers might struggle to get comfy in more basic cars.

2017 Suzuki Swift

Practicality
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

There are more practical cars in the supermini class, but the Swift does a decent job nonetheless. The rear seats have enough head- and knee-room for a pair of six-foot-plus passengers to sit comfortably for long periods of time, and a wide middle seat and low, flat transmission tunnel mean carrying a third in the back for short hops isn’t out of the question, either. The 265-litre boot is considerably bigger than in the old Swift, but in truth, it’s still a little small by class standards. There’s a hefty lip to muscle heavy items over, too, and when you drop the rear seats, they don’t sit flat and a big step is left in the load floor.

2017 Suzuki Swift

Ride and handling
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The Swift has always delivered its own unique brand of fun, and that’s certainly not been lost with the latest version. It’s terrific fun to throw around in a set of bends due to its tight body control, stable feel and steering that’s nicely weighted and delivers plenty of feedback. It’s not the grippiest car of its type – in fast corners, you feel like the car’s skipping over the surface in a controlled manner rather than biting into it ferociously – but it doesn’t detract from the fun. In Swifts of old, this fun came at the expense of comfort, with the hard suspension giving you a rather bumpy ride. The latest car, however, seems to have improved things on that score. We’ve only driven the car on the super-smooth roads of southern France, so we can’t be sure how it’ll deal with the UK’s battered road network, but it felt a good bit smoother than Swift buyers will be used to. Refinement has improved, too, with better suppression of wind- and road-noise.

2017 Suzuki Swift

Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Two petrol engines are available in the Swift, a 1.2-litre four-cylinder with 89bhp, and a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder with 109bhp. Both can be had with or without Suzuki’s SHVS mild hybrid system (a clever starter motor and generator unit, powered by a compact, high-capacity battery, which can assist the engine when the car is moving off and accelerating), while the 1.2 can be specified with four-wheel drive, and the 1.0-litre with a six-speed automatic gearbox to replace the five-speed manual standard ‘box. So far, we’ve only had the chance to drive one version, the 1.0-litre with the mild hybrid system and a manual gearbox. It’s an absolutely stonking combination, too. The engine is flexible and eager from low down in the rev range, giving the car a really fizzy, lively feel. It’s not ultimately all that fast, but with a car like the Swift, you’d take perkiness over pace any day. The engine is pretty smooth and quiet, although the three-cylinder engine in some rival superminis do better on that score. The gearshift could also be a little smoother and snappier.

Running costs
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Our drive of the Swift took place so far in advance of the car’s launch that Suzuki hasn’t yet revealed how much it’ll cost. However, when you look at the price of Suzuki’s other models – and bear in mind the firm is aiming to be 10% cheaper than the immediate opposition – we think prices will be very tempting indeed. Running costs certainly will be. Only one version of the car fails to beat the 60mpg mark, according to official figures, and the cleanest ones achieve upwards of 65mpg. CO2 emissions duck as low as 97g/km, which will prove very interesting for company car drivers, and only the dirtiest fails to beat 105g/km. The Swift’s resale values – traditionally at least – haven’t been as strong as those of rivals, but if Suzuki can get the price low enough to start with, that hopefully shouldn’t matter as much.

2017 Suzuki Swift

Reliability
★★★★★
★★★★★
5/5

One look at the Warranty Direct Reliability Index should give you plenty of confidence over how dependable the Swift will be. As a brand, Suzuki sits very near the top of the manufacturer rankings, and although the Swift is by no means the firm’s best-performing car in the study, it still achieves a pretty impressive score. The three-year/60,000-mile warranty you get as standard is about par for the course, even if it’s nothing special.

Safety
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

All versions come with the basics, including six airbags, Isofix child seat mounting points, and tyre pressure monitoring. It should be noted, however, only the top-spec SZ5 car comes with the properly clever safety stuff: things like autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and automatic high-beam assist. It's this lack of standard equipment that meant the Swift scored only three stars out of five in crash tests by safety organisation EuroNCAP in 2017. The standard of occupant and pedestrian protection was judged to be excellent, but the lack of active systems as standard meant it lost marks overall. Higher-spec models, with autonomous emergency braking, scored a higher mark of four stars.

2017 Suzuki Swift

Equipment
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Even the entry-level SZ3 Swift comes with generous luxury equipment, including air-conditioning, electric front windows, a Bluetooth phone connection, a four-speaker stereo, and a leather steering wheel. SZ-T trim is well worth the step up, though, because it brings the touch-screen infotainment system and a rear-view camera, along with the aesthetic upgrades we mentioned earlier. SZ5 trim comes with even more tempting equipment, including climate control, sat-nav, two extra speakers, adaptive cruise control, keyless go, and powered rear windows.

Why buy?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Because you want a car that’s fun to drive and funky to look at, and you also want it to be packed with equipment for an affordable price. On all these counts, the Swift fits the bill, and it also does a decent enough job on practicality and running costs. Highly recommended.

2017 Suzuki Swift

Our recommendations

From the range of the new Suzuki Swift, these are the ones we suggest you look at

Pick of the range
1.0 Boosterjet SHVS SZ5
Fabulous engine, with lots of luxuries and safety kit.
Most economical
1.0 Boosterjet SHVS
Mild hybrid system combines perky performance with impressive efficiency.
Best avoided
1.0 Boosterjet SZ5 Automatic
Self-shifting gearbox ruins the Swift’s otherwise impressive economy.
Choose your Suzuki Swift

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