Suzuki Swift (2017) Review

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Suzuki Swift (2017) At A Glance

3/5
Honest John Overall Rating
If you’re not so young, but you’re still young-at-heart, then there’s a lot to like about the Swift. It’s a very likeable car that’s bursting with character, and the people it suits will absolutely love it.

+Revvy 1.0 Boosterjet engine, stylish with plenty of kerbside appeal, really good fun on twisty roads, engines are refined and economical.

-Back seatbacks fold but not flat, ride is rather unsettled, interior plastics feel a bit cheap, small boot.

Insurance Group 12
On average it achieves 102% of the official MPG figure

The 2017 Suzuki Swift isn’t perfect, with a small boot, a slightly unsettled ride, high insurance costs and an iffy safety record. However, it’s still a very likeable car thanks to its funky styling, thrill-a-minute handling and rev-hungry engines, and there’s much more to like besides. Granted, most supermini buyers will probably prefer the cocktail of attributes provided by a Ford Fiesta or SEAT Ibiza, but while the Swift is flawed, it’s most certainly charming.

Looking for a Suzuki Swift (2017 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Fiesta. Polo. Corsa. There are some very familiar names in the supermini market, not least because they’re some of the best-selling cars in Britain. And for good reason. Smart to look at, comfortable and enjoyable to drive and practical enough for day-to-day use, they suit a very large number of drivers.

But what if you’re not like most drivers? What if you value different things? What if you could have a car that focused much more on fun and style than comfort and luxury, and you could have it for much less cash than you’d pay for one of the usual suspects?

If that’s what you’re after, then you’d be missing a trick if you didn’t consider the Suzuki Swift.

This thing really is lots of fun. First off, it looks great thanks to its sleek lines and its cutesy features. Secondly, it’s an absolute hoot on the road. The rev-hungry engines tempt you into thrashing them mercilessly, and when you chuch the car into a bend, it rewards you with good grip, meaty-feeling steering and really impressive balance. It’s virtually impossible to drive this car without smiling.

It’s good in other ways, too. The engines are smooth and quiet, and deliver good efficiency figures, there’s decent room for four in the passenger compartment, and all but the entry-level version come with a decent amount of kit.

However, doubling down on fun does involve a few sacrifices in other areas. Some drivers will find the ride rather unsettled, the boot is quite small and the cabin feels pretty plasticky. Still, drivers who are young and care-free are unlikely to care too much about that.

Sadly, the Swift does have one more rather serious - not to mention strange - achilles heel that makes it completely unsuitable for young drivers, and that’s its preposterously and catastrophically high insurance groupings.

Parents won’t much like the fact that the Swift has struggled in Euro NCAP crash tests, either. It’s such a shame, because otherwise, it’s absolutely perfect for that audience.

Ask Honest John

Which small cars offer 4-wheel-drive?
"My partner is looking for a 4-wheel-drive car, however, it needs to be a small car - something like the Suzuki Swift for size. Can you please advise?"
Your choice is pretty limited. Options include the Suzuki Swift, Suzuki Ignis and Fiat Panda. Would your partner consider a front-wheel-drive car with winter tyres? You might be surprised at the difference a set of tyres can make.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a small car for short journeys?
"Which car do you recommend for short journeys? I now only drive about 3 miles per day to work. Also, would it be better to go for a brand new one or one a couple of years old? Need it to be reliable and cost-effective. I currently have a 2004 Volkswagen Lupo with 90,000 miles on the clock. I've had it from brand new and it been great but it's starting to cost me in repairs to keep it on the road. I think it could be time to change. Thanks."
A brand new car is a bit extravagant for your short commute but it might be worthwhile – a small amount each month on a PCP payment, for example, will take away the need to worry about the annual MOT test or the cost of repairs as the car gets older. We'd recommend a Kia Picanto or Suzuki Swift – two little cars which will be very cheap to run. You might find an electric car suits your needs, too – something like the electric Fiat 500 or Peugeot e-208.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I need to get a reliable car urgently. Do you advise a PCP?
"I wonder if you can help as I'm a bit desperate. I have a 2005 Renault Clio with a broken gearbox, which was mis-sold 2 months ago. I have a second Renault Clio (2007) with low mileage, given to me for free 6 days ago, It now has an injector light coming on and it's in limp mode. I'm a nurse who is at her wit's end and needs a really reliable car as taxis are costing too much. Would you scrap both cars and do a PCP? Budget is up to £160 a month. I need a reliable car pretty urgently. Thank you so much."
Unfortunately, as you're finding, an older Clio is a recipe for headaches. A PCP isn't a bad idea – a little Kia Picanto or Suzuki Swift will be very affordable, cheap to run and should prove to be much more reliable than your current cars.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Which secondhand car would be the best buy from a low emissions point of view?
"I can't buy an electric car (nowhere for a charging point) and I don't like automatics so hybrids are out. Which secondhand car would be the best buy from a low emissions point of view? I also want reasonable comfort, reliability and low maintenance."
It reads like you want a mild-hybrid petrol car. These vehicles are offered with a manual gearbox and use an additional battery to recover energy under braking and deacceleration to boost fuel economy and reduce tailpipe emissions. The Suzuki Swift 1.0 and 1.2-litre petrol are offered with this mild-hybrid tech.
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Suzuki Swift (2017) cost?