You may have noticed in the past that when I reviewed a Suzuki I usually sang its praises. Well, guess what? There’s no change today with the new Suzuki Swift. I’ve often made the point that when I review a car I feel it is important to take the price into account. I do not expect, by a long measure, that a car that costs £13,129 (including fitted options) like this one will, by some parameters, match up to a car that costs £10k more.
It can’t be done because you’re not comparing like for like. What I do expect however is that within the budget priced sector the basic boxes are ticked and the Swift duly complies.
Under The Bonnet
It’s the same 1.2L engine as previously, but to keep pace with the opposition it has been refined and is now described as ‘Dualjet’. This is the engine you want for this car. The new modifications mean that each of the four cylinders now has two fuel injectors, instead of the previous one. To improve fuel-burning efficiency these injectors are positioned closer to the combustion chamber. Essentially, what this has done is improve performance, which might seem surprising because power is actually slightly down on the previous engine’s 93bhp and is now 89bhp.
Where the new changes score however is with torque which rises by 2Nm. The result is improved fuel consumption, acceleration and pick-up. In short, it’s livelier and the better for it. Suzuki reckon the Swift Dualjet will do 65mpg. I didn’t see that but I did score consistently over 50mpg without even trying. CO² drops to a tax-busting (until the government moves the goalposts) 99g/km.
Inside The Box
Our test car was in high-level SZ4 five-door trim. The cost-savings are obvious because there’s a lot of hard, basic plastic around. For this money you don’t find the dash soft to the touch but it depends on your point of view. Like anyone else I like a luxurious car but we can’t all reach those dizzy heights can we? This is what I mean about making allowances, in that the interior is roomy and well laid out, the seats are reasonably supportive and comfortable and the fabric seems robust. Basically, that’s all you need. Having a dashboard lined with the soft underbelly skin of a Beluga whale might be nice, but it isn’t really necessary.
Many expensive cars, especially in these high-tech days, have bells and whistles that owners will probably make little use of. The Suzuki Swift, at this trim level, does have all the things I actually want in a car. Keyless entry and start, cruise, climate, electric windows all around, auto headlights with LED daylight running, DAB, Bluetooth with streaming and Sat-Nav. Certainly, the touchscreen is neither the largest nor the latest thing but it is easy to use and does the job perfectly adequately without the need for a degree in electronics.
On The Road
Swift by name, swift by nature. Clearly this car is not going to light up the tarmac with a 0-62mph time of around twelve seconds but it feels brisk. The manner in which their cars drive is a Suzuki strong point. All the motors from this brand that I have tested have been fun to pilot. The Swift is no exception with light and easy controls.
For me, the steering is too light and lacking in feel but the Swift makes up for that with handling prowess. Around town it will potter with the best of them and is easy to park. Get it on the twisty section of the DriveWrite test route however and the handling and grip are a delight with only a hint of understeer at the ragged edge. So nimble was it around the lanes that it kept up with the big dogs without problem. The new Dualjet technology means that it has enough puff to maintain motorway progress through the crisp five-speed manual gearbox too.
I like a Suzuki. The Swift comes in a variety of models and trim to suit your budget. You can get a 4×4 version and there’s the funky 1.6L Sport model which I can assure you is blast to drive. The SZ4 trim is itemised below. Overall then, I found the Suzuki Swift Dualjet to be spacious, comfy, well equipped (for the price) and is a pleasure to use. The latest refinements mean it retains its cheeky looks, it won’t break the bank and should prove reliable long-term. In a sea of small hatches, it makes for a good alternative choice.