Review: Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010)


Well liked by owners. Chain cam Toyota engines. Decent handling. Fun to drive.

A little bit tinny. Do not jack by the rear twist beam axle or it will need replacing.

Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010): At A Glance

This car surprised me.

I'd driven a Swift before at an SMMT test day and not been particularly impressed. But maybe that's because I drove twenty other cars the same day.

I really liked the 1.5GLX Suzuki sent me this week.

I knew readers had the hots for it because of all the e-mails I received from the Suzuki Swift fan club. So I thought I'd better make a longer acquaintance with the car.

Suzuki Swift 2008 Road Test and Video

What does a Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010) cost?

List Price from £13,224
Buy new from £10,787
Contract hire from £126.34 per month

Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3695–3765 mm
Width 1690 mm
Height 1500 mm
Wheelbase 2380 mm

Full specifications

The 3-door is only a 4-seater (the 5-door has seats for 5), yet there's stacks of headroom in the back and the seats are very comfortable. You can fold down the seatbacks very easily and they make an almost level, carpeted floor. The boot floor itself has space underneath and cleverly folds into two, then slots in behind the back seats if you want to leave the space open. The seats a re quite high, like a Yaris, which always suits more elderly drivers.

Child seats that fit a Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010) like to drive?

The 1.3 and 1.5 petrol engines are chain-cam, Toyota Yaris derived. We've got the 1.5 in our Vios in Thailand, where it develops a bit more power and plenty of torque that matches its long (automatic) gearing very well.

The Swift 1.5 has plenty of low down grunt too. You can row it along economically like a diesel, not needing high revs. And it's an eager little thing, like an excitable Pug puppy.

The steering is light, but with plenty of feel. With a wheel in each corner and quite wide track it feels well ‘planted'. And it grips like a Pit Bull Terrier. Just doesn't want to let go at all. On our video test, my ‘assistant' dropped her camera and complained it was like a ride at Thorpe Park. We got some excellent footage of her feet.

That eagerness translates to a bit of harshness on the motorway. It only pulls about 22mph per 1,000rpm in 5th, and you get some road roar. But that's the natural penalty of its eager, dodgem car ability. It actually feels more like a Mini than a MINI. And nips at the ankles of the Mazda 2 for sheer ability, though isn't as refined. 42.5mpg wasn't bad either, considering the mix of use I put it to, including filming a video.

ABI Thatcham reports that poor bumper design means that a minor Suzuki sandwich crash could cost £4,600 to repair, yet they still awarded it Groups 4 - 6. But this is the sort of information that can creep into a road test when a car has been on the road for 3 years, putting the Swift at an unfair disadvantage against an all-new car in which problems have not yet emerged.

There were a few "issues" over the three years the car has been on UK roads, happily now resolved. One was a rattle behind the dash, that only seemed to affect 2005/2006 models. The other was excessive rear tyre wear. It seems that early car rear suspension was not welded together properly aligned and the only cure was a new rear torsion beam. But this can also happen if it has been jacked up by the rear suspension, which a big yellow sticker warns you not to do. For the last year feedback has been all good, apart from minor criticism of some of the terminology used for the controls, such as "Illumi Cancel" for the dashboard dimmer.

Readers also report generally good, helpful dealer service.

So the Swift gets the thumbs up. It's a really likeable little car, sensibly priced, and a worthy competitor to the Yaris, Fiesta and Mazda 2.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.3 49 mpg 11.0 s 140 g/km
1.3 DDiS 63 mpg 14.2 s 119 g/km
1.5 44–46 mpg 10.0–11.7 s 143–153 g/km
Sport 40 mpg 8.9 s 165 g/km

Real MPG average for a Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

29–61 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's the best first car for young driver on a £2000 budget?

My daughter, who is 17, is currently learning to drive. What cars would you recommend for her as a first car? Reliability and safety are paramount, I have a budget of £2000.
I'd look for a Suzuki Swift - they're very reliable and cheap to run, while also being a bit bigger than something like a Toyota Aygo. A Ford Fiesta with the reliable 1.25-litre engine would be another good option.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The Suzuki Swift (2005 – 2010)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Economical and Small hatchback.

Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.

What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 67%
  • 4 star
  • 3 star 33%
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

See all owners' reviews