Suzuki Swift Sport (2018) Review

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Suzuki Swift Sport (2018) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The biggest problem for the Suzuki Swift Sport is its price, which just looks too much next to faster, better handling rivals, even if they don’t offer hybrid power.

+Powered by impressive and spirited 1.4 BoosterJet engine, economical for a sporty hatch, good fun to drive.

-List price for fully equipped Swift Sport only £1000 less than base model Ford Fiesta ST, lots of road noise at motorway speeds.

On average it achieves 91% of the official MPG figure

Suzuki is bang on trend with its latest Swift Sport, which was first launched in 2018, as it now has hybrid power. This is the third incarnation of this car since it made its debut, so we cannot accuse Suzuki of sitting on its laurels. The Swift Sport is an engaging warm hatch when taken on its own, offering decent performance and running costs allied to good handling and a practical cabin. 

Looking for a Suzuki Swift Sport (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

There have been two significant changes for the Suzuki Swift Sport since this generation arrived in 2018. Firstly, the car was launched with a turbo petrol engine, so saying goodbye to the older non-turbo motor that did so much to endear this mildly warm hatch to so many.

The new engine may have been smaller in capacity, toting 1.4-litres to the previous motor’s 1.6-litre size, but the addition of the turbo boosted power to 140PS. 

As a result, the Swift Sport was a much better drive without the need to thrash the engine just to access the power. It was far nicer at everyday speeds too with a less frantic nature and much stronger in-gear acceleration.

On paper it accelerated from 0-62mph in around 8.1 seconds, so wasn’t quite a hot hatch, but did compete alongside 'warm' alternatives like the SEAT Ibiza FR 1.5 TSI Evo and Ford Fiesta ST-Line 1.0 EcoBoost 140.

So far, so good. Then Suzuki got all zeitgeist-y and made the Swift Sport a petrol-electric hybrid. Not a plug-in hybrid or one with an enormous electric motor, just a mild hybrid. Overall, it means power for the Swift Sport has dropped to 129PS while mid-rev shove has risen by a modest 5Nm to 235Nm at 2000rpm.

Fortunately, Suzuki has kept the six-speed manual gearbox as fitted to the old Sport, but performance has suffered and the Swift Sport now takes 9.1 seconds to get from a standing start to 62mph, while top speed is 130mph. Neither is going to blow the socks of performance car fans, especially when the Sport’s price jumped by £3500 with the addition of hybrid tech.

Suzuki argues the latest Swift Sport comes with more standard equipment and that it’s cleaner and more economical. All of this is undoubtedly, unequivocally true, but it’s also a fact the far superior Ford Fiesta ST can be had for the same sort of money.

Take a look at the Swift Sport as a range-topping version of the Suzuki supermini and it’s a more appealing prospect as it does have a lot of enticing kit as standard. It also looks good in a gently sporting manner and it still deals with corners in an enthusiastic fashion.

There’s also the fact the Swift comes as a five-door only model, so it’s more practical than other supermini-derived hot hatches.

Yet the problem remains that on scale of bang for buck, the Suzuki Swift has got worse not better with its latest revision. It’s hard not to miss the earlier 1.4-litre non-hybrid model for its chirpily uncomplicated approach and appeal.

Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a reliable car for £5000?
"My friend has up to £5000 for a car. She does a 30 mile round trip three times a week and doesn't want something too slow. She needs something reliable that won't have big repair bills. Options are MINI Cooper, Volkswagen Golf, Audi A3. Where should she put her money? Thanks."
If your friend is worried about cars with expensive repair costs then avoid the MINI, Audi and Volkswagen. At £5000, these cars will be quite old and worn out. My recommendation would be the Suzuki Swift Sport. Great fun to drive. Very good reputation for reliability. Cheap to fix and service: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/suzuki/swift-2010
Answered by Dan Powell
Need a fun and practical small five-door car - what do you recommend?
"I'm looking to get a small five-door car. My Fiat 500 is no longer practical. I want something similar in style. I'm an older lady but not in my head! Thanks."
If you are feeling adventurous, try a Suzuki Swift Sport. It's a cracking little car and strikes a very good balance between performance and practicality: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/suzuki/swift-sport-2018/ I ran one for six months and was very impressed. Lots of deals on 2018 and 2019 models right now: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/our-cars/suzuki-swift-sport/
Answered by Dan Powell
I have £6000 for something reliable and stylish. Recommendations?
"I have up to £6000 (could push for a little more) to spend on a car. I want a reasonably economical to run/repair model, but with a bit of punch and flair. I'm an older driver so the insurance bracket isn't so expensive for me. Head says Ford Fiesta, heart says DS3 or Scirocco! I drive around 8000 miles per year, mixed motorway/town. Very rarely more than two people in the car."
I'd recommend a Suzuki Swift Sport. It's fun to drive and has a very strong reputation for reliability: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/suzuki/swift-2010
Answered by Dan Powell
Is there a 'warm' hatch for an 18 year old that won't be ruinously costly to insure?
"Our 18-year-old daughter is angling for her own car and would like something 'more interesting' (i.e. faster) than her mother's three-cylinder 1.0 litre Hyundai i10, in which she's to date been a secondary driver (with black box). Is there a model out there - a warm hatch - which can pull the proverbial skin off a rice pudding AND not prove ruinously costly to insure for a driver of such tender years? "
A Suzuki Swift Sport or Ford Fiesta ST-Line might be a good option, but I suspect either of these will still be very expensive to insure for an 18-year-old. Consider something older that qualifies for classic insurance... a second-generation Golf, for example, won't be quick but will be more interesting than a Hyundai i10.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Suzuki Swift Sport (2018) cost?

Buy new from £14,299 (list price from £15,269)
Contract hire from £133.86 per month