The newest addition to our fleet has got me seeing double! Although the Suzuki Swift
is an all-new car, I can’t help thinking it’s the spitting image of a previous long- termer – the last-generation Swift we ran in 2008.
Although the overall shape is strikingly similar, there are, in fact, a number of crucial changes to the latest model. The front lights are much bigger in proportion to the rest of the car, its grille is more upright and the tail-lights have been given a makeover. Under the skin, the Swift uses an all-new platform and has grown by 90mm in length. It’s 5mm wider, too.
The cabin has also been refreshed, with a simple-to-use layout and higher-quality materials including aluminium accents. It’s not exactly luxurious, but a marked improvement over the last model. However, while the front passengers benefit from the boost in dimensions, the rear is still cramped for adults.
A 1.3 diesel version goes on sale in January, but our car is fitted with the perky new 1.2-litre petrol engine. And the smooth but revvy unit is perfect for the city. On the motorway, the Swift occasionally feels out of its depth, but when it comes to the short bursts of acceleration needed around town, it’s never left behind at the lights. New suspension architecture makes it supremely comfortable on potholed roads, too. And while the soft ride means there’s a bit of body roll in corners, there’s no more than you’d expect from an urban runabout.
Improved noise insulation and a quieter engine mean that despite its squat dimensions, the Swift has more of a grown-up feel. And our top-spec SZ4 car comes with tons of big car kit, too. A multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth and automatic headlights are all fitted. For £12,000, you couldn’t expect any more, although less familiar styling would have been good!
“It has only been with us for a few weeks, but I’ve already fallen head over heels for our Suzuki’s charms. The combination of beautifully balanced handling, a supple ride and keen 1.2-litre engine make it huge fun on twisting back roads.”
Deputy Road Test Editor