Suzuki Swift Sport vs Renault Clio Gordini
Which top-value hot hatch serves up more fun per pound? We pit the new Swift Sport against the Clio Gordini to find out
Fun and value are top of the agenda here and these two cars provide both – but they do so in quite different ways. Memories of the Suzuki will invariably be dominated by its engine, which fizzes with energy and is full of character. It makes the Swift Sport more engaging than the Clio for more of the time, and lays the foundations for victory.
Car group tests
- Nissan Micra N-Sport vs SEAT Ibiza FR Sport vs Suzuki Swift Sport
- Suzuki Swift Sport vs Volkswagen up! GTI vs Ford Fiesta
- Suzuki Swift vs Toyota Yaris vs Skoda Fabia
We think the Clio has a more engaging chassis, but its subtle appeal is undone by its relative lack of pace and those in-your-face styling additions, which give the Gordini a brazen boy-racer appearance.
The Swift also makes sense in other ways. Its competitive price, superior fuel economy and high-quality cabin all impressed our testers. Plus, it comes with stability control as standard. The Clio doesn’t – which we think is unforgivable on a car that’s so clearly aimed at younger motorists. Worse still, fitting it as an option to the Renault only increases the price gap between the two cars.
It’s not all bad news for the Gordini, because all Renaults now come with the company’s new aftersales package, which includes a four-year/ 100,000-mile warranty, plus four years’ free roadside assistance and servicing. But that’s not enough to take the win here.
WinnerSuzuki Swift Sport ★★★★ Another classy effort from Suzuki. The Swift excels as a cut-price hot hatch that’s fun to drive and sensible to own. If you can live with its small boot and cramped rear seats, it’s a fine choice. We only wish it had more of its predecessor’s dynamic appeal. It’s a more grown-up car than before, but not quite as entertaining as it used to be.
2ndRenault Clio Gordini ★★★★ We're not sure about all the styling additions and the Clio is neither as fast nor as classy as the Swift. But if you could get the Gordini chassis under the Swift Sport, you’d have a five-star hot hatch on your hands. The more engaging set-up is one of the few areas where the Renault trumps the Suzuki. The other is space – it’s much bigger inside and out.
In this review
- 1Introduction - currently readingWhich top-value hot hatch serves up more fun per pound? We pit the new Swift Sport against the Clio Gordini to find out
- 21st Suzuki Swift SportIt’s more grown-up, but does new hatch deliver the same driving thrills as before?
- 32nd Renault Clio GordiniGordini model promises thrills of flagship Clios for lower price. We see if it delivers
- 4Facts and figures