Swift progress with our new Sport

Dan prepares for a fun few months with this new long temer, the Suzuki Swift Sport.

Date: 6 September 2018 | Current mileage: 480 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 49.0mpg

It isn’t normal to start a high performance car test talking about fuel economy, build quality and comfort, but these are the areas were Suzuki hopes the Swift Sport will win over the grown-up end of the hot hatch market.

Fast, comfortable and advertised with 50.4mpg, the Swift Sport is a performance hatchback for those who want to inject some fun into their daily drive, but without any of the eye watering running costs or backbreaking compromises in comfort. 

Regular readers will know that this is not the first time I've run a Suzuki as a long-termer, but the Swift Sport is a very different hatchback compared to the frugal Baleno on which it is loosely based. They might share the same platform, but the Swift Sport is unashamedly aimed at hot hatch buyers. It's also cuts a menacing shape on the road, with its front-lip spoiler, side skirting, rear diffuser and dual exhausts giving it a real sporty stance. In my opinion, it's much better looking that the Fiesta ST and Polo GTI. 

Despite the body cladding, 17-inch alloy wheels and 1.4 engine, the latest Swift Sport tips the scales at 975kg, which is just 60kg more than the standard 1.0-litre car. It's also much more powerful, with the turbocharged 1.4 BoosterJet producing 140PS and (more importantly for a lightweight, high revving hot hatch) 230Nm of torque. 

Suzuki _Swift _003

 Dan's Swift Sport is finished in Speedy Blue metallic and comes in standard spec (no options).

Unlike its hot hatch rivals, the Swift Sport doesn't get a plethora of options and driving modes to annoy and confuse you on the daily drive. Fed up with adaptive damping, steering settings and exhaust buttons? Good, because the Swift doesn't get any of that stuff. 

What you do get is lots of useful kit as standard: LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, DAB radio, touchscreen infotainment, navigation, rear view camera and climate control. Electric heated mirrors and a pair of sport seats are also thrown into the mix, which makes this a lightweight but well-equipped little car. 

Since taking delivery two weeks ago, I've already clocked up 480 miles and first impressions are positive. In fact, in its bright 'Speedy Blue' metallic paintwork, I think the Suzuki looks great. It's also surprisingly easy on fuel, averaging close to its advertised 50.4mpg.

That said, the Swift Sport is noisier that I expected. Motorways at 70mph appear to be a particular problem area, with lots of road noise being transferred to the cabin via the 17-inch wheels. The stiffened and lowered sports suspension also produces the occasional bump in ride quality. 

The Swift Sport torques the torque, but does it walk the walk?

On paper the new Swift Sport is faster and more powerful than its predecessor, but is it better to drive?

Date: 20 September 2018 | Current mileage: 1225 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 49.1mpg

I'm a big fan of the previous Swift Sport. Fun to drive, high revving and extremely affordable (both to buy and run) it was the perfect example of an honest, old school hot hatch. Admittedly, it was never the most fashionable of speedsters with the 'yoof', but it delivered where it really mattered.  

Fast forward to 2018 and there's a new, sportier swifter car in town. It's better looking, more powerful and significantly more expensive, but does it live up to the billing? Well...yes and no. But let's focus on the positives first, before we address the £17,999 elephant in the room. 

The new Swift Sport is, I'm pleased to say, much better to drive than the old car. This is mainly down to the fact that Suzuki has fitted a turbocharged four-cylinder 1.4-litre petrol engine, which produces much more torque. Suzuki has also resisted the urge to add selectable dynamic drive modes for the engine, suspension and steering. This means you still get the old school road-feel, with the car feeding every bump, rattle and vibration back to the driver through its lightweight chassis.

I can't overstate how insulated the driving experience has become in modern sports cars. And it's a refreshing change to find a car that's not been swept up in the obsession with refinement and driver customisation. As a result, the Swift Sport is a hugely involving car to drive with the steering, pedals and driver's seat providing go-kart levels of feedback. 


The old Swift Sport was a hoot to drive, but had to be worked hard to get the most out of its naturally aspirated 1.6 engine.

Unlike the old Swift Sport, the new car uses a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine. This means you get the same 140PS as before, but with 100Nm more torque. On the road, this translates to a bigger kick in acceleration, particularly at the lower end of the rev-spectrum. 

Thankfully that improved performance hasn't come at the cost of higher running costs; the new Swift Sport returns an advertised 50.4mpg, which is a clear upgrade on the 44.1mpg that was claimed for the old VVT engine. However, there is still a price to pay, with the new car costing significantly more to buy new.

Five door models of the old Swift Sport could be picked up new in the region of £14,000 - £15,000, but the new car costs significantly more than that. Indeed, at £17,999 (at launch in September 2018) it sits worryingly close to some accomplished opposition from Ford and Volkswagen.

To be fair to Suzuki, they have produced a much better car; the new Swift Sport is faster, better to drive and more efficient. But four weeks into my long term test, I'm unconvinced that it lives up to its hefty price tag. Perhaps that will change over the next five months, but the car has a lot of work to do before I consider it good value.

Fuel frustrations in the Swift Sport

The Swift's 37-litre fuel tank makes fuel stops a hobby that Dan isn't all that fond of...

Date: 4 October 2018 | Current mileage: 1965 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 47.9mpg

The guy who works at my local fuel station is called Dave. He's from Huntingdon, works five days out of seven and drives a Mk1 Ford Focus, which he's hoping to replace with a new car in the next 12 months. He likes the Suzuki Swift Sport very much. 

How do I know all of this information? I visit Dave two or three times a week. Because my car has a tiny 37-litre fuel tank. And it's quite annoying. 

To be fair, the Swift's fuel economy isn't all that bad. Until recently I was getting close to 50mpg, but that has dropped to 48(ish)mpg in recent weeks due to a spell of cold weather. But it's just the lack of space to carry fuel that's the problem. The trip computer's inability to predict an accurate fuel range is also a bit of bother.  

In short, the fuel range aspect of the trip computer is useless, with its predictions changing with the wind. For some reason it seems to hold at 120 miles for ages, before dropping to 54 miles and then (out of the blue) deciding that you have another 30 miles to go or almost no fuel left. This makes it rather difficult to understand how far the Swift will actually travel on a full tank. 

Suzuki _Swift _040

Fuel economy is respectable, but the Swift's tiny fuel tank requires a careful eye to ensure the driver is not left short.

It's not all bad: the Swift's 1.4 BoosterJet is a punchy thing of joy on a tight and twisty B road. The official 0-62mph of 8.1 seconds might sound mundane, but the Swift is a potent little thing thanks to its high torque and low kerb weight. The light and nicely weighted steering makes it easy to handle, too.  

The ride quality is quite forgiving, with the 17-inch wheels and lowered sports suspension absorbing all but the deepest of pot holes and road ruts. In fact, dare I say it, the Swift Sport feels like a standard hatchback on the motorway, with a composed and comfortable ride that makes it quite pleasant to cover 100+ miles in.

The only slight annoyance is the high levels of road noise, with the large wheels transferring lots of tyre roar into the cabin. Some of my commute from Cambridge to Peterborough covers rough parts of the A14 and the noise can be quite loud. It doesn't quite drown out the radio, but it does force the driver to increase the volume by a bar or two. 

I guess that's the price to pay for having a hot hatch with old fashioned handling. And while the road noise is tad annoying, I think it's a price worth paying for a car that handles this well. 

Swift Sport: The quiet and sensitive hot hatch

Dan discovers that Suzuki forgot to bring the noise when it created its Swfit Sport hot hatch.

Date: 18 October 2018 | Current mileage: 2489 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 48.4mpg

When I was a kid, growing up in Essex, I would routinely be awoken at 7am each morning by the neighbour’s 18-year-old son. The lad drove a souped-up Mk3 Ford Fiesta. And it was very, very loud. Right up to the point that he put it in a ditch, just outside the village, on the first icy morning of the winter. After that he was forced to get the bus to work...

Fortunately, for my neighbours, the Suzuki Swift is not very noisy. In fact it's near silent, which is a bit of a let-down for an Essex lad like myself. Indeed, the Swift doesn't emit the slightest hint of a burble or pop.

Even pushed hard, the turbocharged engine sounds more like an angry Dyson vacuum than a hot hatch and it would have been nice to have some vocal character to back up the fun handling and peppy 1.4 BoosterJet engine. 

The Swift Sport is a sensitive soul too. The automatic headlights, for example, switch themselves on at the slightest hint of a shadow, which is annoying as cars at junctions assume you're letting them in/out of traffic. During one commute to the office, the lights switched themselves on (and off again) 18 times. Needless to say, the auto headlight function is now deactivated. 

Suzuki _Swift _030

Contrary to their racer appearance, the Swift Sport's twin exhaust system does not actually make any notable sounds.

The Swift Sport has another system that has a life of its own, the collision-mitigating system. This bit of kit should – in the event of potential collision – provide visual and audible warnings to warn the driver of their impending doom. Yet, in real world driving, the system is a little premature. 

It doesn't matter if you're driving along an empty road or navigating a near empty supermarket car park, the collision-mitigating system will scream into life to warn you of an accident that isn't going to happen. I can only assume that (like the auto headlights) there is a sensor or two somewhere that needs adjusting. 

Fuel costs remain affordable, however, with the turbocharged 1.4-litre engine returning roughly 48mpg in wintery weather conditions. Activate the adaptive cruise control on the motorway and economy climbs to 50mpg, which makes the Swift good value when it comes to fuel. 

Admittedly, the cabin is on the noisy side when it comes to road noise. But long distance comfort is excellent, with the firmly padded sports seats providing just the right level of back and upper leg support. There's also lots of useful in-car storage, for coffee cups, water bottles and phones, but the boot on the other hand is a little small with just 265 litres provided.

Why we love the Swift's five-to-three style

Dan thinks the Swift Sport is a looker, thanks to its sleek three-door styling and bright blue paintwork.

Date: 1 November 2018 | Current mileage: 3047 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 48.3mpg

It's been almost three months since I took delivery of the Swift Sport, but I still get confused by how many doors it has. This is caused (mostly) by the fact that it genuinely looks like a three-door car, with the rear door handles hidden in the corners of the window frames. 

It's not really anything new - the old five-door Honda Civic uses a similar arrangement - but it does deceive you into thinking that you have less doors. Just last week it caused all sorts of confusion when I gave my car keys to a friend and asked him to "hop in the back" while I locked up my flat. And I'm pretty sure he spent a good five minutes in the cold trying to find a lever to lower the front seats...

The Swift Sport does get lots of compliments for its styling. The three-door design gives it a real streamlined appearance, while the pointy front end and LED headlights add a menacing touch that is perhaps lacking from rivals like the Fiesta ST and Polo GTI. Of course, the Swift doesn't get close to either of those cars in a drag race, with its 0-62mph time being almost two seconds slower, but it looks the part. 

On the subject of performance, the Swift Sport is quick enough for the daily drive, but it's more of a warm hatch than high octane 'hot'. The high revving engine picks up the pace when pushed hard, but neither the brakes or gearbox are really suited for truly rapid driving. Indeed, the brakes are firm but lacking in ultimate bite while the gearbox lacks the sharp, dynamic changes you need to make rapid progress.

Suzuki _Swift _043

The Swift Sport's hidden rear door handles provide a sleek three-door appearance, but occasionally cause problems. 

There's nothing wrong with the handling, however, and the direct steering and firm but grippy sports suspension providing the tools for a bit of fun on a twisty B roads. Combined with the high revving engine, the Swift's front-wheel drive set-up clings to the road with a ragged determination and only truly reckless behaviour will disrupt.

I doubt many owners will really push their Suzuki to the raw limits, but it's reassuring to know that it cuts it with the hot stuff when asked too. It's just a pity that the vague gearbox struggles to keep up with proceedings, because the Swift Sport could probably get close to its more powerful rivals on a small and twisty circuit with a few minor tweaks. 

Even with a heavy foot on the throttle, average fuel economy is affordable with the 1.4 BoosterJet averaging at 48mpg. It's just a pity that the Swift's thimble-sized fuel tank requires constant attention, because it feels like I'm stopping every other day for fuel.  

Yet, all things considered, I am happy with the Swift Sport as a daily driver. It's comfortable, efficient and great fun to drive. And while it might not match its pricer rivals for performance, it has enough in its locker to raise a smile. 

Is the Swift Sport good value for money?

With prices starting at £17,999, does the Swift Sport really justify its premium price tag?

Date: 15 November 2018 | Current mileage: 3828 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 48.0mpg

Suzuki, as a brand, has traditionally been aimed at the value-for-money brigade. But something has clearly has gone amiss with the Swift Sport, because it costs a whopping £17,999 (at launch in 2018) to buy new. And that's a heck of a lot.  

To be fair to the sporty Swift, it’s an accomplished little car with keen handling and eye-catching looks. But it sails perilously close to the faster and more refined Fiesta ST. Too close if I'm honest. 

This car has lots of positive traits, but few of them hide the fact that this is a car that's founded in the bargain-end of the car market. And it's difficult to overlook its cut-price traits when you have to fork out the best part £20,000 to get one on your drive.

The infotainment system, for example, looks ancient by modern standards with a tiny screen, blocky graphics and fiddly menu system that is - to be blunt - borderline unacceptable for a car that's advertised at £17,999.  

Suzuki _Swift _042

The Swift Sport is a comfortable and practical car, but its lacks the premium touches of its Ford and Volkswagen rivals. 

Over the past three months I've clocked up almost 4000 miles and the Swift's lack of refinement is an issue that nags away at the back of my mind too. Road noise, for example, is painfully loud on rough and bumpy road surfaces. The tinny doors also remind you of the cut-price design, every time you ping them shut. 

Of course, savvy buyers will never pay £17,999 for a Swift Sport. I've already heard reports of dealers offering savings of £1000 on factory orders, while pre-reg models can be found for under £15,000. And for that money, Suzuki's warm hatch starts to make a lot more sense.

The turbocharged three-cylinder BoosterJet engine is a thing of joy. It's smooth, efficient and has a rewarding, rev happy nature that always encourages you to push it to the red line. However, with on-the-road economy averaging at 48mpg, the Swift Sport is not a car that punishes your wallet when you want to have some fun. 

What's more, being lightweight and front-wheel drive, the Swift Sport is perfect for scampering over wintery roads. It also has an industrial heater, which takes seconds to heat up the cabin, which makes it perfect for those sub-zero mornings. That said, unless you pick one up for sub-£15,000, it's a car that's difficult to wholeheartedly recommend. 

Not very fast, but occasionally furious

It might not be as fast as its rivals, but Swift can be worked into a odd moment of fury.

Date: 29 November 2018 | Current mileage: 4247 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 46.1mpg

The Suzuki Swift Sport is a bitter sweet sort of car, with its sharp handling and rev-happy engine let down by a sloppy gearbox and a lack of outright power. That's not to say there is not fun to be had, but there are always reminders that this is car that has been forced to accept compromises.

My biggest gripe is the six-speed manual gearbox - to be blunt, it isn’t good enough for a car with hot hatch aspirations. The gear changes are too loose and long. And the occasional notches in the gear selector will force a cry of anguish from the driver, as they attempt to hurry the Swift along a challenging A or B road.

There are the off moments when the cog gods will align and allow you to do what you want, And on these rare days you get to enjoy the Swift’s engaging and thoroughly brilliant handling. For sure, it’s a tad raw, with lots of noise and feedback through the chassis, but that’s what hot hatches are all about. And Suzuki is so painfully close to having a class challenger, it hurts. 

The engine lacks the 200PS punch you get with the Fiesta ST, but its high-revving nature is something I've grown to appreciate every week. And the fact that the Swift returns the sort of economy you'd expect from a run-of-the-mill hatchback is an added bonus - even if the fuel tank is the size of a thimble. 

Suzuki _Swift _036

 The Swift Sport is let down by its slow and notchy six-speed gearbox

With winter in full swing, fuel economy is still respectable with things averaging at 46mpg. Switch on cruise control on the motorway and that figure climbs to almost 50mpg, which makes this a sensible car for the day-to-day. 

Shuttling friends and family around isn't a problem, with the five-door layout and spacious rear seats providing a genuine four-seater. The boot is a little on the small side, at 265 litres, with a couple of average-sized suitcases being the Swift's limit. That said, you only get 292 litres in the Fiesta, so perhaps this is a given for this class of small, sporty(ish) hatch. 

The positives still outweigh the negatives, with the Swift Sport being a car that - for the most part - gets things right. The ride quality is good, it feels well-made and you get lots of kit for your money. I also maintain that this is the best looking warm hatch on the market. 

The low-thrills cabin might disappoint badge snobs, but it's practical, easy to keep clean and designed for daily driving. Need a cup holder? It's right by the ventilation controls. Want to swap the radio station or listen a playlist on your phone? Flick a button on the steering wheel. Want to charge up the engine for some fun? Simply downchange the gear stick to fou...hang on...it's here somewhere…there we go...fourth. 

A bright and Swift winter

With winter rolling in, Dan's little Suzuki turns up the heat with its industrial heater.

Date: 13 December 2018 | Current mileage: 5004 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 46.0mpg

Winter might be in full throw but things remain bright and toasty with the Swift Sport, thanks to its industrial-quality heater and automatic ultra-bright LED headlights that make my daily commute from Cambridge to Peterborough a relatively pain free exercise.  

Cars with rubbish heaters are a bugbear of mine, ever since I spent a freezing few months with the SEAT Ibiza, but I've got no such problems with the Suzuki - it fires heat within 60 seconds of the engine starting. 

The Swift is actually difficult to fault, as a motorway and A road commuting tool, with its cruise control, well-lit cabin and supple ride making it easy to drone home in. The navigation system also does a relatively good job of warning you about any jams on your route to and from work, even if its touchscreen is difficult to use due to its slow screen changes and 1990s' graphics. 

Sitting in the dark on my commute I have spent more time examining the Swift's trip computer and come to the conclusion that the majority of its displays are pointless. For sure, it shows some useful stuff, like average fuel economy and mileage covered, but does anyone really need to know how much G force they are pulling on the A14, in a Suzuki? The boost ratings for the engine are also baffling; I mean who really needs this stuff on a 140PS car?  

Suzuki _Swift _037

-10 outside? Who care, when you have Suzuki's industrial strength heating.

The absence of a digital speedo is a particular annoyance, given the sporty nature of the car. The mileage rating for fuel remaining also has a life of its own, jumping up and down like a 56k download from Windows 95. 

LED headlights might have its critics for being too bright - mainly from those who don't have LED headlights - but the set on the Swift are nothing short of excellent. Not only are they bright and clear, but they will also automatically switch between high and low beam.

Getting LED headlights and navigation as standard is a big feather in the Swift's cap. Indeed, to get a similar system on the Fiesta ST, you'd have to spend an extra £600. And then another odd £500 for the touchscreen navigation.

The Suzuki might not be a true, trail blazing hot hatch, but it does some things very well. And when it comes to value, it scores very highly. It's just a pity that Suzuki has priced it way beyond what should be realistically expected. But you can circumnavigate its £17,999 list price by shopping around

Blurring the lines with the Swift’s rear-view camera

Dan discovers that winter grime makes reversing a difficult exercise in the Swift Sport.

Date: 27 December 2018 | Current mileage: 5757 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 46.0mpg

Winter's in full swing and I've given up with the Swift's rear-view camera because, to be blunt, I can't see the point. Or the driveway. Or even my garden fence that sits at the end of the driveway.

Like many parking aids, the problem lies with the fact that the camera is located at the rear of the car where winter grime, water and other general road detritus kicks up and gathers on the lens. The end product is a blurry, useless rear-view camera.

It was a problem I experienced with the Baleno but I hoped that Suzuki would have improved it somewhat in the Swift; but (if anything) it seems to be even worse with the unit sitting above the number plate and capturing all manner of water and muck.

The grubby rear-view camera is, of course, a minor thing. But it's a pain nonetheless. And I can see why some drivers (who rely on cameras for reversing) would take issue with the fact that Suzuki's version is pretty much unusable from October to March.

Suzuki _Swift _030 (1)

The Swift Sport's rear-view camera is mounted above the numberplate, which means it's quickly covered in winter grime. 

The Swift Sport is not a bad car, however, with its rewarding handling and affordable running costs making it a pleasant daily driver. Cabin comfort remains excellent, with the sport seats provide great all-round support, while the firm suspension and 17-inch wheels do a surprisingly good job of suppressing pot holes and rough road surfaces.

That said, the Swift Sport is a noisy thing, with wintery roads producing a tonne of road roar. Obviously, the larger wheels (by their size) produce more noise as they rumble along the road, but the addition of winter salt and crumbly road surfaces has put it into overdrive.

A recent trek from Cambridge to Birmingham magnified the problem, with both the A14 and M6 doing a pretty good job of drowning out the radio for the entire journey. The issue of refinement is something I struggle to ignore when it comes to assessing the Swift Sport. Especially when you factor in its hefty price tag. 

Next week I'll be taking delivery of the Fiesta ST for a week-long-test. And it'll be interesting to see how the two compare, given their relatively small price gap.

Suzuki Swift Sport vs Ford Fiesta ST – which is better?

The day of reckoning, Swift vs Fiesta, which will emerge victorious in Dan's twin test?

Date: 17 January 2019 | Current mileage: 6200 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 46.0mpg

The Suzuki Swift Sport would have probably got away with its lofty £17,999 price tag, if it wasn't for those pesky kids at Ford and their annoyingly brilliant Fiesta ST.   

The Fiesta ST starts at £19,495, and even though you only get three-doors and a fraction of the kit the Ford is the sure-fire winner every single day of the week when it comes to performance and driver enjoyment. 

Better to drive, more refined and packed with vocal character, the Fiesta ST emits a satisfying bark as you thumb the starter before howling off down the road as you punch the throttle and hold on for dear life. In comparison the Swift Sport is quieter, less boisterous and less fun. It's striking how much better the Ford is. It really is.

However, before you log out of HonestJohn.co.uk and run off to your local Ford dealer, I should point out that there is a catch. And it's quite a big one, because it's perhaps a little unfair to compare the heavy weight champion Fiesta ST with the welterweight Swift Sport.


The Fiesta ST is a brilliant hot hatch, but it comes at a significant price if you want it to match the Swift Sport on spec. 

For starters, no one buys the entry-level Fiesta ST. Far from it, most buyers opt for the mid-level ST-2. And that pushes the price up to £20,495. Want LED headlights and touchscreen navigation? That'll be another £1100...

To get the Ford up to the same level of spec as the Suzuki, you would probably have to spend £25,000 and that's a hell of a lot when you consider that you can currently snap up a pre-reg Swift Sport for under-£15,000

As a budget hot hatch, the Swift Sport and its shortfalls can easily be overlooked when you cut its price. And pre-reg buyers will have little trouble securing a delivery mileage car for something that's much more palatable than the stupendously high £17,999

For sure, it isn't anywhere near as fast as the 200PS Fiesta, but the Suzuki provides plenty of smiles per miles. It's also comfortable and (dare I say it) the better looking car in the metal. Don't get me wrong, I think the Fiesta ST is a brilliant car, but it has bug-eyed face that only a mother could love.

Gearbox grumbles with the Swift Sport

The Suzuki Swift Sport is let down by its vague and notchy gearbox that seldom feels at home in its hot hatch settings.

Date: 31 January 2019 | Current mileage: 6895 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 45.9mpg

If I had to choose one thing that annoys me the most about the Swift Sport then its half-hearted gearbox selector would be my number one gripe. Vague, wobbly and determined to stutter any form of rapid progress, the six-speed gearbox is one of the most disappointing aspects of the Swift Sport package.

I know 140PS doesn't sound like a huge amount of performance, but when you factor in the Swift's 975kg kerb weight then it becomes quite a potent little tool on a twisty A or B road. Sadly most of the fun is cut short by the terrible gear selector that makes it virtually impossible to unleash the full potential of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The gear ratios are actually pretty good, with lots of meaningful scope for hard acceleration. Yet, when it comes to navigating third and fourth gears, the Swift Sport gets bogged down with a slow gearstick that appears to have two speeds - slow and stop. It's a real shame, because the Swift Sport is a car that responds to being pushed hard.

Since taking delivery I've covered almost 7000 miles, and this figure increases to 10,000 when you factor in the mileage my Swift Sport had covered before it arrived. However, when it comes to accessibility to its cogs, I doubt things will improve with more time or mileage. The gear selector is a dog and that's sadly that. 

Suzuki _Swift _027

The Swift has heated, electric door mirrors, but for some reason they cannot be retracted with the electric key fob. Why Suzuki, why?

And on the subject of niggling annoyances, why do the door mirrors not fold in automatically when you lock the car? Suzuki has done the hard bit by making them electric and retractable, but for some unfathomable reason they cannot be remotely retracted when you lock the car. 

It's also baffling why a digital speedo is not included. The trip computer has a huge array of useless faff, from G-force to torque counters, but something as useful as a digital speedometer is strangely absent. 

As you might have guessed, from these first world problems, there isn't a great deal of things to complain about. It's comfortable, efficient (for a hot hatch) and ridiculously well-equipped. In fact, no other car in this class comes with so much kit as standard at this price point. And if you hunt out a deal, you'll get one of these cars for much less than the £17,999 list price. 

There a catch, however, with the Swift Sport sitting in insurance group 35. That's higher than the Fiesta ST (group 28) and Volkswagen Polo GTI (29), which suggests that fixing one of these cars in the event of an accident is something of mammoth task...

Swift Sport is a great car, but only if the price is right...

The Suzuki Swift Sport is an accomplished effort, albeit one that's unreasonably priced.

Date: 14 February 2019 | Current mileage: 7301 | Claimed economy: 50.4mpg | Actual economy: 45.9mpg

It's a strange feeling saying goodbye to the Suzuki Swift Sport. After all, it's a cracking little car that has lots of likeable traits. Sadly none of them are strong enough to persuade me to part with £17,999.  

Honest, fun, fast and backed by Suzuki's strong reputation for reliability, this hot hatch should have everything that I want in a car. Yet, with its unrealistic list price looming large, this is a car that only hard-nosed hagglers will want to consider.

Before we get bogged down in the monetary arguments, let's focus on what's good about the Swift Sport. It's honest when it comes to real world fuel economy, with its 45.9mpg being respectably close to its advertised 50.4mpg. It's also good to drive, with its peppy turbocharged engine and miniscule kerb weight producing a genuinely engaging experience.  

For sure, the gearbox is slow and annoying, but there is lots of fun to be had behind the wheel of the Swift Sport. It's also extremely comfortable, which means you can cover long distances without the usual hot hatch back aches or neck pains. The only blot in the report card, however, is the troublesome road noise, which borders unreasonable levels when travelling over less than perfect road surfaces. 

Suzuki _Swift _014

The Swift Sport is a well-equipped, smartly styled and fun to drive, but its sky high list price lets its down rather badly. 

The Swift Sport does get a ludicrous amount of standard equipment, with touchscreen infotainment, rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control and a whole host of other bits ot tech that puts it far ahead of the competition on spec. However, with a list price of £17,999, I cannot help but think that Suzuki would have been better to cut the equipment level to bring the price down to something more palatable.

Thankfully Suzuki dealers appear to be somewhat more accommodating, with readers telling me that a bit of haggling will easily lower the asking price to sub-£17,000. And pre-reg buyers can save even more, with a glut of sub-£15,000 cars on the market

However, there is no escaping the fact that the Swift Sport is a car that will be expensive to insure. Even against something like the Honda Civic Type R (group 34) the Swift Sport's group 35 rating is nothing short of baffling. And its high levels of standard equipment and lightweight construction appear to make it an expensive car to fix in the event of an accident.

That said, if you can find a deal and go into the Swift Sport experience with all of the facts then it will be a rewarding ownership experience. Just be sure to haggle hard.