The new Suzuki Swift Sport has come in for high praise recently, winning a number of prestigious motoring awards and pretty much universal acclaim. As a result, I had high expectations, and for the most it didn’t disappoint.
This ‘Sport’ version of the Swift is an altogether sleeker beast with a 1.6 petrol engine, 6-Speed gearbox, and a top speed of 121mph. While the regular 1.2 litre Swift can be picked up for just over £10,000, the Sport is (OTR) is £13,500 and definitely not a budget car in price or features.
Ok, let’s start with its looks. The Swift has a fairly short bonnet, but for a small ‘supermini’ car it also has a really high roof. This is great for drivers like me who are over 6ft, as there is tons of headroom, much more in fact than many mid-size cars.
The body is compact with twin front spotlights and wide honeycomb grille, there is a very slight rounded Audi A1 resemblance from the front, but the HID projector headlamps with (headlamp washers) reach further towards the wing mirrors than an Audi, and from the top of the wheel arch a single clean line travels the length of the car.
The roof shortens towards the back and the stubby, curvy rear-end compete with twin exhausts compliments the look nicely, making it familiar but different enough to be interesting and to stand out of the crowd, not any easy task by any means.
The dash is fairly minimal, but well designed. Some cars have three times as many buttons to do all the same things. There is a nice cruise control, which is easy to use with just a thumb from the steering wheel. Air-Con, Bluetooth, USB, are all included, while on the safety side there are side and front impact airbags and a high NCAP 5 Star crash rating. Another nice feature is the push-button on/off which is much easier than having to do all that tiresome key turning stuff.
The sport seats are comfy and in case you forget they also have the word ‘Sport’ written on them. The overall trim level is a teeny bit plasticky, but looks smart and feels hard-wearing.
So far, so good.
Obviously the real judge of a car is how it performs on the road, and I was really surprised and pleased with the steering and handling of the Suzuki Swift Sport. The 6-speed gearbox is excellent and it holds the road wonderfully. Everything has been tuned to work within the boundaries of speed limits, not when you hit 80mph.
It didn’t quite have the oomph of power or change of speed I was hoping for when I put my foot down, instead everything happens fairly steadily until you hit the higher revs. This may dampen the ‘real’ driving experience for some, personally it didn’t impact on my overall enjoyment of driving the Sport. The sense of speed is there, and at 70mph it feels faster than driving an Audi A1 at 90mph.
Depending on your viewpoint this may be good or bad (for me it was good).
I was trying hard to look for things I didn’t like with the car, but I’m looking at it now and still thinking. Emissions are reasonable(ish), so is the MPG, I suppose 3 doors can be a hassle if you’ve got kids, and the boot isn’t huge. Oh, and when you turn the stereo up loud the rear view mirror starts to vibrate making the view behind momentarily fuzzy. It’s not a big thing I know, and some manufacturers would call that a feature.
Overall, although it’s not quite as fast as you might think, the Swift Sport is still nippy enough, and great to drive. It is also one you could easily get attached to. At £13,499 it’s competitively priced and definitely worth test driving before you buy another ‘Supermini’.
Max. outputPS (kW) / rpm 136 (100) / 6,900
Max. torque Nm (lb.ft) / rpm 160 (118) / 4,400
Front wheel drive
Maximum speed – 121 mph
0-62mph – 8.7 secs
147 CO₂ emissions, combined g/km
Urban fuel consumption 33.6mpg (L/100km)
Extra urban fuel consumption 54.3mpg (L/100km)
Combined fuel consumption 44.1mpg (L/100km)
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