Review: Suzuki Swift (2017)
Great steering and handling. Revvy 1.0 Boosterjet engine. Excellent 6-speed auto. 97g/km mild hybrid. A joy to drive.
Back seatbacks fold, but not flat. Room for a spare but not standard. 5-speed manual gearlever has long throw. Satnav does not show speed limits.
Suzuki Swift (2017): At A Glance
- New prices start from £11,993, brokers can source from £10,327
- Contract hire deals from £126.34 per month
- Insurance Group 12
- On average it achieves 103% of the official MPG figure
With agile handling, eager yet economical engines, generous levels of equipment and sensible pricing, the Suzuki Swift is a great car. It’s practical and well made, but it doesn’t feel quite as plush or substantial as a SEAT Ibiza. Even so, it’s still one of our favourite hatchbacks.
It might look chunkier than the old Swift, but the new car is actually more or less the same size – so it’s at home on tight city streets and in multi-storey car parks. But it’s just as happy on a country road, with precise steering loads of traction and great handling, thanks in part to its very lightweight design.
There are two engine options – a 90PS 1.2-litre DualJet petrol, as seen in the previous Swift, and a 111PS 1.0-litre BoosterJet petrol. The 1.2 is revvy and enjoyable, but the BoosterJet is even better, with the same free-revving character plus an added injection of punchy, mid-range torque and excellent fuel economy.
Rear head and leg room is surprisingly decent, with room for a pair of adults if the front seat occupants aren’t too tall. The 265-litre boot capacity isn’t huge, but it’s plenty for shopping and the rear seat backs fold down for some extra space – although not completely flat.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, Bluetooth and DAB radio, but we’d go for a mid-spec SZ-T to gain alloy wheels, better infotainment, a reversing camera and the excellent BoosterJet engine. But even top-spec SZ5 models are well priced and come with the option of an automatic transmission and even all-wheel drive.
The Suzuki Swift is easily one of the best small hatchbacks around. Forgive some slightly cheap looking interior plastics and a slightly small boot and there’s really nothing else to pick fault with – the driving experience, running costs, price, and equipment levels make it a superb buy.
What does a Suzuki Swift (2017) cost?
Suzuki Swift (2017): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of three stars
The Suzuki Swift makes do with some less-than-premium plastics in its cabin, so it doesn’t have the same plushness as rivals like the Skoda Fabia. But if you can forgive that, there’s a lot to like, with reasonable levels of space, good build quality and plenty of standard equipment.
Up front the instruments are clear and easy to read, while the audio and ventilation controls are sensibly placed and labelled. From mid-spec SZ-T and upwards there’s a touchscreen system that isn’t too difficult to use – but it’s not as intuitive as those available in the Skoda Fabia or SEAT Ibiza.
Still, it comes with a reversing camera along with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink support. In top SZ5 trim, it features navigation too. The SZ5 also gets some fancy modern tech including adaptive cruise control, auto-dipping headlights and auto emergency brakes.
The back row of seats is practical enough for a pair of adults, with plenty of head room and generous legroom, provided the front seat occupants aren’t particularly tall. For children there’s more than enough space and, since the latest Swift only comes with five doors, access is good.
Boot space isn’t exactly class-leading, with 265 litres of capacity, but it’s plenty for a shopping trip and certainly an improvement over the previous car. The rear seat backs fold down to free up some more useful space, but they don’t fold flat so loading and unloading can be tricky – plus there is a big load lip to lift heavy items over.
Standard equipment (from launch):
SZ3 is the entry grade and includes with 15-inch steel wheels, electric front windows, manual air conditioning, auto lights, DAB radio and Bluetooth audio.
SZ-T gains 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, touchscreen system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink and a reversing camera.
SZ5 gains 16-inch polished alloy wheels, sat nav, lane departure warning, keyless start, electric rear windows, speed limiter, automatic air conditioning, LED front and rear lights, electrically folding door mirrors and an advanced forward detection system, with auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and auto high beam.
Child seats that fit a Suzuki Swift (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.
What's the Suzuki Swift (2017) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.0 Boosterjet Automatic to 1.2 Dualjet SHVS 4x4
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 42–80 mpg
The Suzuki Swift comes with a choice of two petrol engines – the 1.2-litre DualJet and the 1.0-litre BoosterJet. The 90PS 1.2 is taken from the outgoing Swift and is very good – it’s quiet at low speeds and is great fun when pushed hard on a country road.
But the 1.0 BoosterJet is much, much better. It’s turbocharged, so has a more generous torque output at lower engine speeds which adds up to much punchier performance on the road. It’s a great little engine, packed with character and delivers surprisingly strong performance.
Despite being a lot of fun, fuel economy is excellent. The official figure looks optimistic at more than 60mpg, but getting close to it in real world driving is actually quite easy. In part this is down to the light weight of the car – every version weighs in at less than 1000kg.
An added advantage to the low weight is fun, agile handling. The Swift has light but accurate steering and loads of grip through bends, with very little body roll and a real sense of nimble precision. It’s great fun to drive – but the suspension does sometimes feel a little on the hard side over very uneven surfaces.
If you choose a top-spec SZ5 model, the BoosterJet engine is available with a ‘mild’ hybrid system. This provides a little bit of extra drive from a standing start, which helps improve economy and lower CO2 emissions. The BoosterJet engine is also available with a smooth, six-speed torque convertor automatic gearbox.
The most expensive Swift actually comes with the less impressive 1.2-litre engine, but it gains the SHVS mild hybrid system and - more importantly for some - comes with an on-demand all-wheel drive system. This isn’t really geared towards getting you over rough terrain, but will provide some reassurance in bad winter weather.
The engine range is linked to the trim level you choose – so if you go for a basic SZ3 model you’ll get the 1.2-litre DualJet petrol engine, while SZ-T trim only comes with the 1.0-litre BoosterJet. Buyers of SZ5 models can get the most options, with the automatic transmission and the all-wheel drive variant both available.
|1.0 Boosterjet||59 mpg||10.6 s||104 g/km|
|1.0 Boosterjet Automatic||53 mpg||10.0 s||114 g/km|
|1.0 Boosterjet SHVS||66 mpg||10.6 s||97 g/km|
|1.2 Dualjet||61 mpg||11.9 s||98–108 g/km|
|1.2 Dualjet SHVS 4x4||64 mpg||12.6 s||101 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Suzuki Swift (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.
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.
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