Review: Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017)

Rating:

Cheap road tax and economical. Base-model is well equipped. Five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. Swift Sport is great fun.

Plastic overkill in the cabin. Noisy on the motorway. Four-speed auto saps power.

Recently Added To This Review

27 July 2019

Report of TPMS trouble with 2015 Suzuki Swift. Read more

20 February 2017

Report that Suzuki Swifts, Vitaras and S-Cross built in Hungary are being recalled for rear axle problem. Alert number: A12/0399/16. Countries affected so far: Greece, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Malta,... Read more

12 June 2016

Report of voluntary brake calliper TSB on Suzuki Swifts. Read more

Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017): At A Glance

The Suzuki Swift is a stylish, good-to-drive, fun and economical small hatchback. Cheap to run, the Swift will return up to 65.7mpg and features one of the cleanest petrol engines in its class in the shape of the 90PS 1.2-litre Dualjet that emits just 99g/km of CO2.

Owners of the previous Swift - who on the whole have very good things to say about the car - will be pleased that there's no radical departure from what the old car was doing. The looks may be familiar, but this is actually an all-new design, with a wider track and longer wheelbase, which makes for more space inside.

The styling is also slightly more sophisticated and there's a bit more room inside too, although a small boot and a lack of rear legroom means the Swift will not fulfil everyone's needs. Likewise, the plastic heavy cabin lacks the refinement of its upmarket rivals, while poor soundproofing make the Suzuki a noisy motorway companion.

Yet, despite its shortfalls, the Swift is a likeable and fun small car, that has a workmanlike simplicity to its interior, with excellent infotainment options that put some luxury car makers to shame. The Swift also excels in the urban environment, with nimble handling and a punchy range of engines.

It's safe too, featuring seven airbags and earning a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. But, most importantly, it's cheap to run. The benefit of a clean petrol engine is that you won't find yourself paying a premium for diesel - either on the list price, on the forecourt or for fuel at the pumps.

Out on the road, it retains the character that made the previous Swift such a success. The steering is quick, it relishes corners and has a snappy, pleasing gearchange. In short it's fun - not something that can be said of every small hatchback.

What's different this time is that the Swift is a bit more at home at the motorway, with improved steering and high speed stability. The 136PS 1.6-litre Swift Sport injects some high octane fun into the Suzuki formula, while the option of four-wheel ensures rural drivers will never get stranded at the bottom of a wintery road in the hills. Overall, it's a great small car that appeals to a wide range of buyers.

Suzuki Swift Sport 2011 Road Test

Long Term Test Suzuki Swift 1.2

Suzuki Swift 4x4 2013 Road Test

What does a Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017) cost?

List Price from £12,474
Buy new from £12,299
Contract hire from £126.34 per month

Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3850–3890 mm
Width 1695 mm
Height 1500–1535 mm
Wheelbase 2430 mm

Full specifications

As with the exterior styling, there are no major surprises on the inside of the Swift. As with the 2005-2010 generation car, it's clearly laid out, practical and easy to use on the move. It's a little more sober than the interior of a Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo, but what it lacks in pizzazz and snazzy materials, it makes up for with clearly labelled buttons and good all-round ergonomics.

One neat feature is that you can plug a USB stick with MP3 files directly into the car, so there's not need to carry around CDs. Alternatively, you can connect an MP3 player via Bluetooth.

The driving position is comfortable, adjustable and benefits from good all-round visibility. All cars have a height-adjustable steering wheel, while SZ4 buyers get reach adjustment too. Inside, there's more room than in the old Swift - this model is slightly wider and longer - which makes for an improvement in rear leg and shoulder room.

Two adults - or three children - can sit in the back and feel comfortable, though taller passengers might find that headroom is a little tight. Every model apart from the base-spec SZ2 (there is no SZ1) has air conditioning.

The boot is a reasonable size for this type of car, though not among the biggest. One issue for some buyers will be how high it is from the ground which, along the high lip, makes loading heavier bags a bit tricky

Standard equipment from launch (September 2010)

SZ2 has front electric windows, and MP3-compatible CD player and radio, remote central locking, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, tinted glass, trip computer with fuel consumption display and 60/40 split-folding rear seats.

SZ3 adds air conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels.

SZ4 is the range-topping model with rear electric windows (on the five-door), automatic air conditioning, cruise control, height-adjustable steering wheel, push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity, front map light and front fog lights.

Child seats that fit a Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017)

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 (2010 – 2017) like to drive?

A 1.2-litre with 94PS replaces the 1.3-litre petrol engine in the previous Swift, while the diesel option, the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel (axed from the line-up in 2014) has been thoroughly re-worked. It not only shows on paper, where it boasts some seriously improved fuel consumption and emissions figures, but out on the road where the 1.2-litre - in five-speed manual form - impresses with its flight-footed and agile nature.

The official figures say that it does 0-62mph in 12.3 seconds, but around town, in first and second gear, it feels much faster. It's a peppy and flexible engine that's as happy diving in-and-out of town traffic as it is holding its own on the motorway or making fast progress on A or B Roads.

In 2015 Suzuki introduced 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine that uses variable intake and exhaust valve timing to match the standard 1.2 for 0-62mph performance, while improving economy and cutting emissions. As a result the Dualjet unit will provide 90PS and a 120Nm of torque from 4400rpm. It's without doubt the best engine on offer in the Swift line-up, with sub-100g/km emissions and up to 65.7mpg. In comparison, the standard 1.2-litre petrol with 94PS will return 56.5mpg and emit 116g/km of CO2.

Dualjet is also available on Swift 4x4 SZ4 models, offering some off-road capability with lower emissions of 111g/km CO2 and an 7.5mpg improvement over the old 1.2-engine.

A five-speed manual 'box is standard across the range, although the 1.2-litre engine can be specified with a four-speed automatic transmission, but it's best avoided unless you really must have an auto. The Swift feels noticeably more lethargic and loses much of the agile and willing nature that's behind the appeal of the manual model. On the motorway it's left wanting, can be slow to kick-down and is noisy, while at other times, it will kick down when it's not really needed.

As with the previous-generation Swift, there's the option of a 75PS 1.3-litre DDiS diesel, but this was phased out in 2014 with the introduction of the Dualjet. But as the 1.2-litre petrol does such a good job - on both the driving and economy fronts - only the highest of high mileage drivers should opt for it when buying used. That's not to say that it's a bad engine, it's actually very good. Although it's a bit noisy at start-up and at lower revs, it soon quietens down on the motorway and cruises well.

Like the 1.2-litre petrol, it's more economical and has lower emissions than the engine in the old car. It now returns 67.3mpg, whereas it was previously capable of 62.8mpg. It's related to the 1.3-litre MultiJet that you'll find in many Fiat models, though this version is built under licence by Suzuki.

Out on the road, the Swift is a great small car to drive and manages to achieve something that many other small hatches don't - it's fun. It steers well, has a snappy gearchange and corners with enthusiasm; this is especially evident with the 1.2-litre petrol, with its peppy, willing nature. This Swift has also achieved something that the previous model didn't - it has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. In addition, there are seven airbags and an electronic stability programme.

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Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2 57 mpg 12.3–16.0 s 116 g/km
1.2 4x4 51 mpg 13.4 s 126–129 g/km
1.2 4X4 51 mpg 13.4 s 129 g/km
1.2 Automatic 50 mpg 13.5–16.0 s 129 g/km
1.2 Dualjet 66 mpg 16.0 s 99–116 g/km
1.2 Dualjet 4x4 51–59 mpg 13.4 s 111–129 g/km
1.3 DDiS 67–72 mpg 12.7 s 101–109 g/km
1.6 Sport 44 mpg 8.7 s 147 g/km
Sport 44 mpg 8.7 s 147 g/km

Real MPG average for a Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017)

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

90%

Real MPG

32–74 mpg

MPGs submitted

469

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 (2010 – 2017)?

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 economical small automatic do you recommend for under £6000?

I'm looking for a used small car that's reliable and economical for my mum to drive around town (extremely rare motorway driving. It has to be automatic and include parking sensors, a reversing camera, air con and Bluetooth.
We'd recommend a Hyundai i20. It will be a really reliable little car that's easy to drive around town and is available with a robust torque-converter automatic transmission. The Suzuki Swift is worth a look, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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