Suzuki Swift 2005 review

If you want a fun and funky new supermini, then it might be time to nip out for a Swift one!

The new Swift has wide appeal. Buyers in this class will be attracted to the car's easy-to-drive characteristics, roomy accommodation for four and excellent value for money. High spec levels and decent build are strong points, too. The Swift also has the looks and driver engagement - particularly in three-door 1.5-litre form - to win over younger, more image-conscious customers to the Suzuki brand.

Suzuki's latest offering is a far cry from the lacklustre car it replaces, and the company claims the urban runabout will be as good to drive as it is to look at.

When the newcomer goes on sale next month, buyers will have a choice of two petrol engines: a 90bhp 1.3-litre and a 100bhp 1.5-litre with variable valve timing. Diesel powerplants will join the line-up later this year, while all models come in three and five-door bodystyles.

Although the larger petrol engine's output hardly qualifies the Swift for hot hatch status, its punchy, willing performance combines with the slick-shifting five-speed manual gearbox to make the new model both engaging and enthusiastic.

The steering deserves particular praise. It's direct and offers a decent amount of feel, allowing the Suzuki to be placed accurately in corners - ideal for both city and country roads. At urban speeds, the Swift's ride is quiet and easy-going.

Inside, the cabin is attractive and well built, and the high roof means there's plenty of headroom. Although the front seats are supportive and generously padded, drivers are forced to adopt an overly upright stance - blame the lack of reach adjustment on the steering wheel for that. Nor will rear passengers enjoy long trips; while there's decent room for two, the backrest is simply too soft.

Luggage space in the new Swift is tight. The flat-floored boot will swallow a decent-sized suitcase and the hold will be fine for most shopping trips, but at least one section of the 60:40 split rear bench needs folding forwards to carry anything large.

Still, with prices starting from £7,600 for the 1.3 three-door, the Suzuki has plenty of showroom appeal - especially given the generous amount of standard kit. The top-spec GLX model we drove came with six airbags, air-con, alloys and front foglights.

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