Skip advert
Advertisement
Road tests

New Suzuki Swift 2024 review: good value but interior feels dated

The new Suzuki Swift is held back by its interior quality and dated infotainment, which trails many of its supermini rivals

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Find your Suzuki Swift
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

Verdict

The new Suzuki Swift will trade largely on its value for money – a combination of generous standard kit, mild-hybrid tech and the ability to deliver solid fuel economy with little effort. This will be a very sensible option for those in the market for a new supermini – but the new Swift’s interior quality and infotainment are still way behind what key rivals offer.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The demise of the Ford Fiesta has left a power vacuum in the supermini class, with both big-sellers and more left-field picks looking to seize on the opportunity. The Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa are among those that have received significant facelifts recently, while the arrival of the all-new MG3 Hybrid+ is imminent. But the latest contender in the small car battle royale is the new fourth-generation Suzuki Swift

Some will see elements of Ford and Nissan products in the exterior styling, but the new Swift’s interior design appears to have been inspired more by Mazda’s line-up – though that’s certainly not a bad thing. The most noticeable difference compared with the outgoing model is the new two-tone dashboard, which has a nine-inch touchscreen and slim bank of climate controls both helpfully angled towards the driver. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

We also appreciate the choice of light grey headliner and dashboard trim to prevent it from feeling too gloomy in the cabin. Material quality certainly isn’t the same as that of a Mazda or many rival superminis, though, with nearly every surface in the Swift made of plastic, including hard, scratchy plastics for some common touchpoints. 

Admittedly, the last Swift suffered from a similar lack of soft-touch materials, but did feature a large, stylised speedo and rev counter that might have looked at home in an Alfa Romeo. Sadly they’ve been ditched in favour of the much more plain-looking instrument panel you see here.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The new Swift does at least have a larger touchscreen than its predecessor, but the set-up feels dated already – partly because of the large, thick housing that sits atop the dashboard, and the thick bezels around the screen. The display itself isn’t very sharp either, and we found it almost always required several taps before responding to our commands. The very basic built-in infotainment software is also a long way off what rivals provide, but Suzuki has at least made wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard fit, so the interaction with it can be minimal.

The Mk3 and Mk4 Swift are actually the same size, and passenger space is unchanged. For those in the rear, headroom is ample, but legroom is in limited supply if anyone approaching six feet tall sits up front. The 265-litre boot should suffice for some, but rivals can accommodate much more stuff.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The engine is a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol unit that Suzuki says offers more torque at low speeds and superior fuel economy compared with the Mk3 Swift’s motor. It gets mild-hybrid assistance from an integrated starter generator that helps with accelerating and efficiency, and is meant to make the start-stop system smoother, too.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The 82bhp and 112Nm of torque on tap isn’t all that generous on paper, but in a car this size, not to mention one that weighs well under a tonne, it’s plenty; 0-62mph doesn’t feel like it takes the official 12.5 seconds. Equally, we didn’t quite achieve the 64.2mpg the new Swift claims to achieve, but came close, getting 52.3mpg during our lengthy test drive.

Suzuki says it also worked to reduce the Noise, Vibration, Harshness (NVH) compared with the outgoing model, and it seems to have paid off because we only noticed a modest amount of road noise on the motorway. The reasonably quiet cabin is matched with a fairly comfortable ride that rounded off the impacts from the few imperfections we came across, so it should be a great match for the UK’s more pockmarked roads. Meanwhile, the light controls and good all round visibility make the Swift pretty easy to pilot around town and tight car parks. 

Unfortunately, as efficient as the new motor is, it produces a very harsh engine note when getting going, which is unpleasant when in stop-start traffic. We also found the Swift’s five-speed manual gearbox to be vague and not at all reassuring. Although the more constant annoyance was the loud bonging that the Swift uses to nag you about various things, and switching off some of these warnings is trickier than we’d like. 

However, we can forgive some of the car’s flaws because it offers appealing value for money. Prices start from £18,699 – nearly a grand less than the most basic Corsa, which doesn’t get any mild-hybrid tech – and standard kit on the Swift includes LED headlights, keyless entry and start, wireless smartphone connectivity, a rear-view camera, heated front seats and several safety and driver-assistance features like lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot monitoring.

That’s all for the entry-level Motion trim, which Suzuki expects most buyers in the UK will stick with. It’s easy to see why, because higher-spec Ultra trim models like the one we drove cost £1,100 more, and the only noteworthy extra features you get are polished rims, automatic air conditioning, rear-cabin heater vents, and electric folding door mirrors.

Model:Suzuki Swift Hybrid Ultra
Price:From £18,699 / Ultra from £19,799 / As tested £20,499
Engine:1.2-litre 3cyl petrol MHEV
Transmission:Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power/torque:82bhp/112Nm
0-62mph:12.5 seconds
Top speed:103mph
Economy:64.2mpg
CO2:99g/km
Size (L/W/H):3,860/1,735/1,495mm
On sale:3 April
Skip advert
Advertisement
News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

New 2024 Vauxhall Frontera is a family-friendly SUV priced to worry rivals
Vauxhall Frontera - front
News

New 2024 Vauxhall Frontera is a family-friendly SUV priced to worry rivals

Vauxhall’s value-focused Frontera SUV will replace the Crossland with ICE and EV powertrains
9 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month
Peugeot 2008 facelift - full front
News

Car Deal of the Day: stylish Peugeot 2008 is a steal at an incredible £142 a month

Buyers can snap up the Peugeot 2008 small SUV at a bargain price; it’s our Car Deal of the Day for 10 April at just £142 a month
10 Apr 2024
Alfa Romeo Milano 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details
Alfa Romeo Milano - front 3/4 static
News

Alfa Romeo Milano 2024 preview: walkaround, specs and full details

Alfa Romeo re-entered the small SUV sector with the new Milano offered in pure electric and petrol forms
12 Apr 2024