Suzuki Swift review 2019

Find out more about the Suzuki Swift in the latest MOTORS Review

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Out of 5


  • Fun to drive
  • Affordable
  • Cheap to run


  • Tough competition from rivals
  • Practicality not the best
  • Feels cheap in places
Model review

The Suzuki Swift has been around for quite some time now. The model originated in 1983 as a rebadge of the compact Cultus – it was produced this way for three generations and came in four body configurations.

In 2000, we got the first official generation of the Swift. Well, kind of, because outside of Japan the car was dubbed the Ignis instead – a nameplate brought back and given to another compact Suzuki model in 2016.

For 2005, the second-generation model arrived in the UK, and bearing a Swift badge too. A marketing campaign was kicked off by none other than footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and the car proved to be a massive success, especially in Europe and Japan.

In the year after, Europe got the Swift Sport – a punchy little performance hatch with a high-revving 121bhp 1.6-litre engine. The Sport is a model variant still available with the latest generation Swift and falls into the niche ‘warm’ hatch segment.

The next Swift began production in 2010 and only went to further the previous generations appeal. It featured an updated design that’s familiar yet sleeker and more muscular. Overall, the car kept the same ethos, but was just modernised and improved in every way.

Its current form was introduced in 2017 and turned out to be quite the step forward for the supermini.

Current model

As mentioned before, the current Swift first went on sale in 2017. It shook things up, with revised, funkier styling and a boxier shape. Inside, the model was brought bang up to date and now can be had with a substantial 7.0-inch touchscreen in the centre console.

However, like the previous generations, the model has kept true to what it’s best at – being a small, affordable, fun to drive supermini. The Swift has always been a no-nonsense car, and it would’ve been easy for Suzuki to go overboard with the thing, complicate it and blur its core values. Fortunately, the Japanese firm hasn’t gone down this route.

Although, despite its long-standing, tried and tested, fairly traditional qualities, Suzuki has innovated in some interesting areas. For instance, you can get the model with all-wheel-drive and a mild hybrid powertrain.


Value for money

One of the key pillars of the Swift’s appeal is its affordability. In terms of new models, they start from £12,499 – this is about in-line with rivals. The Sport version, on the other hand, is a bit more expensive, starting at £17,499, but is still priced reasonably within its class.

With regards to the used market, there is really a Swift to suit everyone’s budget. There are plenty of examples going for under £1,000, and model years up to circa 2009 can be had for that.

Even stepping into the latest generation model on the used market won’t break the bank – there are 2017 cars listed on the classified for around £7,000 at the cheapest.


Looks and image

Personally, we think the Swift looks better than ever before. Sure, some may miss the slightly sleeker lines of the older iterations, but what Suzuki has done with the new car has really helped it to stand out from the crowd.

Its now boxy shape adds some funky style, while the hidden rear door handles help retain some sleekness. The cabin is more function over form than the exterior, but the Swift still has a fair amount of character and charisma.

Video review

Space and practicality

The Swift is surprisingly big on the inside, especially considering its compact proportions. We have no complaints about front passenger space, as it is in the plenty. Both short and tall passengers will easily be able to get comfortable.

Rear passenger space is still fairly decent, although doesn’t provide the same amounts of comfortable passenger room as the front. A couple of people can fit fine – tall ones at that – however throw in a third and things start to get cramped. And due to narrow rear windows, the view out isn’t the best.

Boot space is about average for the class, if not a bit below. For example, the Swift’s closest competitor, the Ford Fiesta, offers 292 litres of room, while the Suzuki has 264.  



The Swift is powered by a range of petrol engines, with the mild hybrid combining petrol and electric power. The entry-level motor is a 1.2-litre Dualjet unit. It produces 89bhp and results in a 0-60mph time of 11.2 seconds.

Pay a little more, however, and that steps the powertrain up to Suzuki’s turbocharged 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine. This has a bit more punch behind it, producing 110bhp and allowing for a 0-60mph time of 10.6 seconds. Both of the engine choices can be mated to Suzuki’s ‘SHVS’ mild hybrid system.

The Swift Sport, on the other hand, has a peppy 1.4-litre Boosterjet. This little turbo motor has a healthy 138bhp, so best go for this model variant if you want the most punch out of your Swift.


Running costs

Suzuki has produced quite the economical supermini here. All model variants are reasonably cheap to run, with the 1.2-litre being the cheapest – the manufacturer claims 55.4mpg can be achieved, while only emitting 115g/km of CO2. The 1.0-litre offers similar figures at 51.8mpg and 124g/km of CO2.

Going for the mild hybrid version doesn’t have a massive effect on running costs as you may initially think, but it’s something. For example, it will bring the 1.0-litre unit’s CO2 emissions down to 123g/km.

Things to look out for

The Swift is known to be a reliable car, with owners generally pleased. Suzuki, as a brand, is also known for building vehicles that simply work. In the driver satisfaction surveys, the Japanese company usually ends up around the middle.

However, no car is perfect, so best to check everything’s up to scratch, especially when purchasing a used one, as age could prove to cause issues.



It just so happens that the Suzuki Swift is in the same segment as Britain’s best-selling car, the Ford Fiesta. To be honest then, it’s got some tough competition. There’s also the Volkswagen Polo and the Dacia Sandero, just to name a few. Luckily, the Swift does enough to stand out.



The Swift fairs about as well as any other supermini when it comes to deprecation. This is to say it won’t hold its value massively well – it’s too common and mainstream for that – but it won’t plummet whether you buy new or used.

The Sport model doesn’t differ too much from this, if not a tad better due to its focus on performance and driving enjoyment, as well as the fact its more desirable than the standard car. Although, it doesn’t offer amazing amounts of performance and desirability, so don’t expect Ferrari resale values. 

Trims explained

There are currently four trim levels offered with the Swift – SZ3, SZ-T, Attitude and SZ5.


SZ3 is the base trim and starts at £12,499. This nets a Bluetooth integrated audio unit, four speakers, DAB digital radio, manual air conditioning and LED daytime running lights.

Starts at £12,499.


Next up is the £14,499 SZ-T, and on top of what you get as standard with the SZ3, it adds a brake assist function, smartphone linkage display audio and 16-inch alloy wheels.

Starts at £14,499.


Attitude, from £14,099, gets some sporty upgrades such as a rear upper spoiler, front, side and rear carbon effect skirts and a mesh front grille with chrome trim.

From £14,099,


Then, there’s the range topping SZ5, which starts at £15,999 and adds things like automatic air conditioning, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry with start button, advanced forward detection system, LED rear combination lamps and rear electric windows.

Starts at £15,999.


There’s also the £17,499 Sport, which is less of a trim level, but still worth mentioning. As well as increased performance, it gets 17-inch alloy wheels, a dual-exit exhaust and Sport-exclusive seat upholstery.

Starts at £17,499.


  1. The Suzuki Swift is an entertaining supermini
  2. It’s affordable, with new models starting at £12,499
  3. On the used market, there’s plenty to choose from – some under £1,000
  4. The model has stuck to its roots, remaining compact and fun to drive
  5. Suzuki has made some innovations, adding all-wheel-drive and mild hybridisation to the range
  6. Limited engine choice, but what’s there is good
  7. It should be relatively reliable and cheap to run
  8. Practicality is good, not great
  9. The Swift faces tough competition from fellow superminis
  10. Nice choice of trim levels

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