Suzuki Swift: Fourth report

Nippy little supermini is the perfect option for park and ride exercise regime

When the weather lurches from blistering hot sunshine one minute to lashing rain showers the next, it can only mean one thing – spring has finally arrived and summer can’t be far behind.
I’ve already started planning family days out and short breaks in our Suzuki Swift. As I reported in February, it’s deceptively roomy. But before the holiday season begins, I’ve decided to get into shape – so I’ve bought myself a neat folding bicycle to exercise on.
As I’ve not been on a bike since I was around 12 years old, I decided it was probably best to avoid cycling on the public road – where I’d be a danger to myself and other road users. So I folded up my bike and loaded it into the Swift to drive down to Brighton, where there are miles of flat promenade to ride along.
Getting the bike aboard was a breeze. In the past, the Suzuki’s cramped 211-litre boot has come in for a fair bit of criticism, so I was pleasantly surprised when my bike fitted in easily, without me even having to fold the rear seats. I did have to remove the parcel shelf, but that’s no bad thing as I always forget to put it down after loading up. I usually only realise my mistake when I sit back behind the wheel and find the view out of the rear window has been totally blocked.
It’d been a while since I’d last driven the Swift, so the run down to Brighton gave me the chance to fall for its charms all over again. It really does tick all the boxes as a great daily runabout. The compact dimensions make it a brilliant choice for diving in and out of London’s crowded streets, yet the cabin is roomy and refined enough to take the strain out of a high-speed A-road slog to the seaside.
For the first few miles of the trip, though, I was convinced the Suzuki’s handling wasn’t as sharp as I’d remembered it. A quick pitstop at a service station revealed that the front tyres needed topping up with air. Happily, once they were the right pressure, the chassis felt as engaging as ever.
In fact, I’ve now covered more than 7,000 miles in our Swift, and I have to say I’m struggling to find fault with it. Yes, the diesel is a little noisy when revved, but its eager nature makes the din easy to ignore. And while a sixth gear would be welcome on the motorway, the comfortable seats and supple ride take the sting out of long journeys.
Build quality has also impressed me. The tough interior still looks as good as new, even though the Swift has been used for rubbish removal, DIY purchases and as a taxi for my 22-month-old grand-daughter. What’s more, it’s returning nearly 50mpg – so is almost as cheap to run as my bicycle.

Extra Info

“Here’s proof that small and economical cars can be as fun as faster and pricier models. On a twisty back road the Suzuki always makes me smile.”James Disdale, Deputy road test editor

“The small boot really is the only drawback with the Suzuki. It’s a pity we can’t get the spacious mini MPV version of the Swift that’s available in India.”bjbchelsea, 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
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 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
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
Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police
police speed gun
News

Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists
16 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
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
'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
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 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
Mazda to launch 10 new hybrids and three new EVs by 2025
Mazda electric plan
Mazda

Mazda to launch 10 new hybrids and three new EVs by 2025

The electrification push forms part of Mazda’s goal to become a completely carbon neutral company by 2050
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
'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'
Toyota Mirai opinion
Opinion

'The hydrogen underdog disruptor is back in town'

Mike Rutherford says hydrogen-powered cars could still be a frequent sight on UK roads
13 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