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Suzuki Swift review

Suzuki Swift review

We take our first drive in the all-new 2024 Suzuki Swift small hatchback…

The Suzuki Swift is one of the world’s great automotive survivors. More than nine million have been sold in 40 years and the popular supermini is now into its fourth generation.

Even though SUVs of all sizes are dominating vehicle sales, Suzuki still thinks there’s a place for the five-door Swift.

In fact, as stalwarts such as the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Micra and Kia Rio disappear from the sector, there may even be an opportunity. After all, what are long-time Fiesta owners going to buy next time round – especially if they aren’t ready to go electric?

Suzuki Swift review

As ever, Suzuki’s answer is to offer a reasonably-priced, practical car that drives well and does what it says on the tin.

Starting at £18,699, the next-gen Swift doesn’t look unlike its predecessor at first sight.

Get a little closer and you’ll see that it’s bolder with a swathe of subtle design tweaks. It’s also fractionally longer and higher.

Evolutionary styling highlights include a sharp shoulder line that runs along the side of the car, L-shaped signature LED headlights, a piano black grille and sporty rear roof spoiler.

Suzuki Swift review

The back door handles are now conventionally mounted, instead of on the C-pillar, while the distinctive clamshell bonnet is shallower than before.

The new look works well and gives the Swift a more muscular stance. What’s more, it’s available in eight paint colours and four dual-tone colours, which utilises the car’s “floating roof”.

Inside, the cabin represents a big step-up for the Swift in terms of design and technology – two areas where the outgoing car was starting to show its age.

The centrepiece is the 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen display with shortcuts below and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, complemented by a redesigned dashboard. It’s not cutting edge, but miles better than before.

Suzuki Swift review

Thankfully, Suzuki has also stuck with physical switches and buttons for the climate control and other necessities such as heated seats.

Sadly, one feature remains, and that’s the mass of scratchy black surfaces in the cabin.

There are just two trim levels – Motion and Ultra – and the impressive standard equipment list includes adaptive cruise control, sat nav, keyless entry and start, rear parking sensors, a rear camera, lane departure warning, rear-cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring.

For launch, there is just one petrol engine available – a three-cylinder 1.2-litre mild hybrid (12V) producing 81bhp.

Suzuki Swift review

It’s about as powerful as the unit in the old car, but it’s now 8% more fuel efficient and produces less CO2 (as low as 99g/km).

On the road, it’s clear that the latest Swift is all about economy. It feels less peppy (0-62mph in 12.5 seconds) than the previous generation 1.0-litre petrol turbo and the manual gearbox has to be worked fairly hard to extract any meaningful performance.

That said, even though it only a five-speed, you don’t find yourself reaching for sixth because the ratios are well judged.

For the record, an automatic transmission will also be offered, along with a 4×4 option.

Suzuki Swift review

The new Swift rides well. It’s not the most sophisticated system out there, but does the job, while body lean is nicely controlled. There’s even some fun to be had.

And because it’s such a lightweight car, it feels nimble and responsive.

Overall, the cabin is more refined than its predecessor and the engine only makes itself known under heavy acceleration.

Economy of around 50mpg is easily achievable in mixed driving, so the claimed 64.2mpg could well be a possibility on a long run.

Suzuki Swift review

Inside, there’s just enough room for adults front and rear, while the boot is a respectable 265 litres (589 litres with the backs seats flat) and there are plenty of small storage spaces dotted around the cabin.

My only slight gripe is that the driving position is on the high side for my liking, but you do soon get used to it.

So, the all-new Suzuki Swift is better than ever, which is just as well because its rivals in the small hatchback sector include the big-selling Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Polo, Dacia Sandero and Skoda Fabia.

And if all that isn’t enough, there’s now another good reason to choose a Swift.

Suzuki Swift review

Customer service has always been a Suzuki strength. Now there’s extra peace of mind too, courtesy of the new extended warranty plan.

On top of the basic three-year/60,000 miles warranty, this is now extended to seven years/100,000 miles (whichever comes first), as long as scheduled services are booked within the Suzuki dealer network.

Verdict: The all-new Suzuki Swift is a real step-up from its predecessor and well worth a test drive. Honest, competitively priced, stylish, comfortable, easy to drive and economical, it now also offers more peace of mind.

Suzuki Cars UK

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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