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Suzuki Swift Sport (2017 - 2024)

The fun and funky Swift Sport has always been a great little car that boasts dynamic styling and delivers on the performance front too.

Starting price:
£23,670

Why we love it:
  • Punchy hatchback with dynamic styling
  • Competitively priced with impressive fuel efficiency
  • Generously kitted out
Where it could be better:
  • Some cheap hard plastic lowers the interior standard
  • Sat nav is a tad clunky
  • Boot is quite small

Introduction

Suzuki Swift Sport

The fun and funky Swift Sport has always been a great little car that boasts dynamic styling and delivers on the performance front too. It certainly adds the edge to the more ‘sensible’ Swift line-up despite costing £3k more than its nearest stable mate, the 1.2 Swift SZ5.

In 2020, Suzuki added hybrid technology to its Swift Sport to help generate a greater level of torque and that, combined with a significant weight loss, improved the handling of the car considerably.

Then in 2021, additional safety specifications were introduced which means the car now features the likes of blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, dual sensor brake support, traffic sign recognition and lots more besides.

There is just one trim level, but the Swift Sport does come with a service activated warranty that sees the car covered free of charge for up to seven years or 100,000 miles.

Suzuki Swift Sport

Anyone believing the Swift Sport is simply a standard Swift with extra badging needs to think again. This car features a completely redesigned front end that’s exclusive to the model. It boasts a sportier more prominent front grille and bumper, along with the same muscular shoulders, blacked-out A and B pillars and vertically-arranged front and rear light clusters seen in the rest of the Swift range. 

But these features are highlighted on the Swift Sport by black aerodynamic under spoilers, a roof spoiler, dual exhaust pipes and 17-inch alloys.

Moving inside, the interior features manually adjustable sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel both of which boast flashes of red to accentuate its sporty nature. Alloy pedals are another gentle reminder this is no normal Swift.

On-board tech includes a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system offering access to the sat nav, six-speaker DAB radio, Bluetooth, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and a rear camera.

There is adaptive cruise control, separate controls for all the air conditioning settings and a neat driver display panel behind the steering wheel offering all the vital data such as speed and even G-force tracking as well as power, torque, brake and acceleration information.

All dials, controls and readouts are easy to operate on the fly and, despite its compact dimensions, there is bundles of room for a couple of six footers up front.

On the downside, there are a number of hard plastic surfaces throughout the cabin which would likely be prone to scratching over time.

On The Road

Suzuki Swift Sport

Handling & Performance

The main news for the latest Suzuki Swift Sport is the introduction of a clever hybrid powertrain that sees the 1.4-litre, four-cylinder Boosterjet petrol engine gaining 48-volt mild hybrid assistance to deliver 129PS and 235Nm of torque. Those figures may not sound particularly exciting but this hybrid set-up offers the same level of power and torque as a much larger naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre engine.

And when you also take into account the fact the car has shed 80kgs and now weighs in at just over a tonne, it’s a lightweight model with plenty of punch.

It can sprint from a standing start to 62mph in 9.1 seconds (it feels much, much faster) and has a top speed of 130mph. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission with perfectly spaced gear ratios, along with strong brakes, all adding to its dynamic performance.

With excellent road-holding, it can be pushed hard into sweeping bends when firing through quieter country lanes and there is next to no body sway. This is mainly down to its low centre of gravity and an upgraded suspension system that offers greater driving stability with improved dynamic response.

It’s fine on dual carriageways, but you do get a little buffeted by larger lorries due to its low weight. Then in busy town centres, it’s agile and easy to manoeuvre with fairly light steering and a 10.2-metre turning circle. The driver visibility is generally good apart from the over-the-shoulder view which is somewhat blocked by the wide pillars.

Suzuki Swift Sport

Space & Practicality

The Suzuki Swift Sport is a compact five-door hatchback that stretches 3,890mm in length, is 1,735mm across, 1,495mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,450mm.

There is ample space up front for six footers to sit comfortably and room for a couple of back seat passengers too provided the front seats are not pushed back too far. Add a third and it gets a little too cosy.

Careful thought has been given to utilising the available space so there are a number of practical storage options scattered throughout the car, including a glovebox, door bins with room to store a bottle, a central cubby, a single seat back pocket, three cup holders (two front, one rear), trays, along with a handy ticket holder on the driver’s sun visor. 

Isofix fixtures to the outer rear seats make fitting a child seat an easy process and there are also childproof rear doors. The USB and AUX connectors are located in the console box.

The boot, accessed via a manual tailgate is quite compact compared to the Swift Sport’s main rivals with a capacity of 265 litres. This is enough for a couple of overnight bags or to cope with the weekly shopping. And the limit can be increased to 579 litres by dropping the 60:40 split-folding rear seats.

Ownership

Suzuki Swift Sport

Running Costs

The 2023 Suzuki Swift Sport costs £23,670 and, as is the Suzuki way, there are no nasty added costs to bump up the car’s price-tag. It is available in just one trim and comes very generously equipped. In fact, the only extra cost on our test car was optional dual-tone metallic paint that increased the overall price by just £165. 

When it comes to the day-to-day running costs, the Swift Sport offers impressive fuel efficiency thanks to the clever hybrid set-up. Official WLTP-tested figures showed it can deliver a combined 50.4mpg with carbon emissions of 125g/km.

This CO2 figure would result in a first-year Vehicle Excise Duty (otherwise known as road tax) charge of £200 dropping to the standard fee for hybrid cars of £170 after 12 months. This includes a £10 discount compared to non-hybrid models, but is a government-led incentive that will be removed from 2025.

For anyone considering the Swift Sport as a business car, the Benefit in Kind tax rating is 30 per cent and the car sits in insurance group 28.

As we mentioned earlier, the Swift Sport comes with a standard three-year warranty, but this can be extended free-of-charge to seven years and 100,000 miles provided the car is serviced at an authorised Suzuki workshop. And this attractive warranty package can be transferred if the car is sold on. 

Verdict

Suzuki Swift Sport

While the Suzuki Swift Sport may not be quite so dynamic to drive as other hot-hatch designed models, it would be unfair to say it lacked character. It’s great fun to fizz through country lanes and you really notice that weight loss and the extra torque the clever hybrid set-up introduces to the mix.

And despite its price having climbed to the £23k mark, it still compares favourably when put up against many of its established rivals.

By Maxine Ashford
Sep 29, 2023

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