Suzuki has ushered in the new year by adding a combined sat-nav and DAB radio infotainment unit to the standard kit of the Suzuki Swift Sport. However, the price of the five-door model tested here has crept up by £250, too.
• Full Suzuki Swift Sport review
The Swift Sport remains one of the best-handling superminis you can buy, and is a real pleasure to drive, whether it’s just to pop to the shops or to take on a twisty B-road. Its naturally aspirated engine is only a modest performer when you compare it to the 182bhp turbocharged Ford Fiesta ST.
That adds to the fun, though, as you have to pick your lines through bends with care, so you maximise momentum, and work the slick six-speed gearbox to keep the engine spinning above 4,000rpm. All the while you’re enjoying the nicely weighted steering and strong brakes, too.
It’s a great little hatchback when you’re not pushing hard, too. The dampers are provided by specialists Monroe and strike a great compromise between getting the best out of the chassis when you’re going for it, and giving a surprisingly supple ride when you’re just cruising around town.
The sports seats offer lots of support, too, once you get them in the right position. It’s not quite as sharp to drive, nor as quick, but the Swift feels more comfortable than the hot Fiesta, while the five-door option means that it’s more practical despite being smaller.
The Swift’s radio/CD player did feature a display akin to an early-90s Casio watch. Now it’s been replaced by a similar unit to that fitted to higher-spec Suzuki SX4 S-Cross models. It’s not a bespoke system, but in a cheaper car like the Swift it fits just fine. It’s easy to use, too, so pairing your smartphone with the Bluetooth is simple, the sat-nav screen is easy to use and follow, and DAB radio reception is strong. The steering wheel has volume and phone controls, too, which help to make the infotainment system feel well integrated into the car.
The styling might be a tad derivative – there’s more than a hint of MINI in the way it looks – but the Swift Sport is still a handsome enough supermini. It’s a bit bland on the inside, too, but the cabin is spacious and there’s loads of equipment thrown in. Add in the excellent chassis, and the Swift Sport remains the best ‘warm’ hatchback on sale.