Suzuki Swift: Third report

Small car is making big impression as a family runaround

If there’s one thing our Suzuki Swift has taught me over the last six months, it’s that bigger doesn’t always mean better. Despite its dinky dimensions, our diesel-powered supermini has been proving its worth as a versatile all-rounder.
First off, it’s been doing sterling service as a family runaround. Frequent trips with my 18-month-old granddaughter have tested the Swift’s practicality to the limit – and it has rarely disappointed. Sure, the cramped 213-litre boot is well down on class standards, but it’s big enough to swallow Evie’s buggy, plus all the toys and assorted paraphernalia that comes with transporting a toddler.
It copes well with grown-ups, too. On a recent family day out, the Suzuki carried four adults in surprising comfort. I was expecting some complaints from those in the back, but there wasn’t even the slightest murmur of discontent from my passengers.
What’s more, the interior is packed with useful stowage space. I’d complained about the lack of cup-holders in the Citroen DS3 I used to run, but there are no such issues with the Suzuki. It has a large glovebox, door bins and, my personal favourite, a hidden cubby 
on top of the dashboard that’s ideal for stashing a cheeky bag of sweets.
When it’s not being pressed into action as a family car, the Swift has been doing a good impression of a builder’s van. Recent renovations at my mum and dad’s house mean it has been a regular fixture in the car park of my local DIY store.
With the standard 60:40-split rear bench folded flat the boot has a useful 562 litres of space – easily enough for my needs. My only cause for complaint is the high loading lip, which makes lifting in heavier loads back-breaking work.
Yet no matter what the Suzuki is carrying, it’s always brilliant to drive. The light controls and compact dimensions make it perfect for nipping along crowded city streets, while the strong grip and perfectly weighted steering are a delight on the open road. Decent refinement and a supple ride allow the Suzuki to take long motorway journeys in its stride.
Elsewhere, the smooth and eager 1.3-litre diesel continues to make a mockery of ever-increasing fuel prices. Despite spending plenty of time crawling through London’s rush-hour traffic, the Swift is returning an impressive 54.2mpg at the pumps.
Better still, the excellent driving position and supportive front seats help take the strain out of sitting in nose-to-tail jams for hours on end. The simple stereo also features iPod connectivity, which is popular with everyone who drives the little Suzuki.
So, has the Swift done anything to earn a black mark on its report card? Well, while it’s just about big enough, we’d like to see a larger boot, plus the torquey diesel could do with a sixth gear for even more relaxing cruising. But that really is about it as far as niggles go.
After waving goodbye to my stylish and luxuriously appointed DS3, I was worried that I’d be disappointed when I climbed aboard the Suzuki. But so far it’s been brilliant – proving that the best things really do come in small packages.

Extra Info

“Diesel superminis tend not to sell well, but I can’t understand why. Our Swift feels quicker than the petrol car and does mid-fifties mpg on my commute.”Paul Bond, Road tester

“Why not try something different with the styling? Manufacturers really need to try harder and take risks. I’m sure Suzuki can be more creative than this.”jcrowley012, via www.autoexpress.co.uk

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Illegal car modification hotspots revealed
Volkswagen Polo exhaust
News

Illegal car modification hotspots revealed

Gloucestershire has the highest proportion of illegal car modifications, with altered number plates the most common breach
14 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
New Renault Arkana 2021 review
Renault Arkana - front
Renault Arkana

New Renault Arkana 2021 review

Does an eye-catching coupe-SUV body give the new Renault Arkana the edge over other mid-size SUVs? We find out...
16 Jun 2021
New Vauxhall Astra prototype review
Vauxhall Astra prototype - front
Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra prototype review

A new Vauxhall Astra is on the way and we've driven a prototype ahead of its official arrival
14 Jun 2021
New Porsche 911 GT3 Touring tones down the styling
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring - front
Porsche 911

New Porsche 911 GT3 Touring tones down the styling

The optional Touring package aims to bring a few creature comforts to the track-focused Porsche 911 GT3
15 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
'I was cynical about Hyundai's aim to be the world's 2nd biggest carmaker, not now'
Opinion Genesis Hyundai Ioniq
Opinion

'I was cynical about Hyundai's aim to be the world's 2nd biggest carmaker, not now'

Steve Fowler is impressed by Hyundai's electric cars, its N division and now its luxury Genesis brand
16 Jun 2021
Dacia unveils new badge design
Dacia badge
Dacia

Dacia unveils new badge design

The new Dacia branding will feature on the company’s cars from 2022, with the Bigster being the first candidate
17 Jun 2021
New SsangYong Korando e-Motion breaks cover with electric power
SsangYong Korando EV
Electric cars

New SsangYong Korando e-Motion breaks cover with electric power

The new SsangYong Korando compact electric SUV will be on sale later in 2021, says the financially stricken South Korean manufacturer
15 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021