Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017) Review

Suzuki Swift (2010 – 2017) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
Overall, the Suzuki Swift is one of the best of a breed of small hatchbacks in the shadow of the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa.

+Excellent equipment across the range, great fun to drive regardless of the engine, sport version is huge fun, 4x4 is great for rural areas.

-Small boot limits practicality, interior feels cheap, lacks the refinement of modern rivals.

Insurance Groups are between 9–19
On average it achieves 90% of the official MPG figure

The Suzuki Swift is one of the best of the ‘other’ breed of small hatchbacks. What we mean by that is that it must fight for supremacy in a playground occupied by the small cars that aren’t the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. The chances are, if you’re in the market for a supermini, you’ll look at three: the Fiesta, Corsa and one other. The Suzuki Swift is good enough to be the third car on the shortlist. It’s good looking, well-equipped, nice to drive and affordable. You can even opt for a racy Swift Sport or a rugged Swift 4x4. Just occasionally, choosing the other direction can be a rewarding experience.

This is one of the best value small cars you can buy. The Suzuki Swift looks good, is great to drive, comes with a generous level of equipment and should be cheap to run. Only a small boot and a cheap interior stop it from pushing for class honours.

Let’s get those negatives out of the way first. The boot is far too small for a car of this size, so it’s not the ideal supermini if you’re hoping to drive home with a big grocery shop. Although the rear seats split and fold 60/40, they don’t fold flat, so it’s not great for making an impromptu trip to the Swedish furniture store.

As for the interior, some of the plastics feel cheap, while others are bordering on nasty. It’s hard-wearing and robust, but the Swift lacks the soft-touch plastics and plush materials you might find in some rivals. Everything should be viewed in the context of price. Excellent value when new translates to even better value on the second-hand market.

Besides, the Swift impresses in other areas. Its boot might be small, but the cabin offers plenty of headroom and legroom for four adults, and there’s an option for three or five doors. Even the entry-level version comes with a generous level of equipment, but the absence of air conditioning means that you’ll want to upgrade to the mid-range model.

Regardless of the engine or trim level, the Suzuki Swift is brilliant to drive. Whether you’re in the city or on a country road, the Swift changes direction like a housefly and corners without any body-roll. The flipside is that ride quality is a little firm, but the raised ride height of the 4x4 version makes things a little more comfortable.

Alternatively, the Swift Sport offers junior hot hatchback levels of enjoyment, with power sourced from a 1.6-litre petrol engine. It’s like a cut-price Ford Fiesta ST, with upgraded styling, supportive seats and a good level of kit. That said, even a Swift with the 1.2-litre engine is fun to drive, while the 1.3-litre diesel offers excellent fuel economy.

Used prices start from around £2000, but a budget of £3000 will secure a low-mileage example in the right spec. Swift Sport prices start from £4500, while the rare Swift 4x4 will cost at least £5,500. The latter is ideal if you live in a rural area or in a region with less than perfect roads.

It’s not the most practical car in its class, and because it dates back to 2010, it’s certainly showing its age. But if you’re after a safe, reliable and good looking supermini, the Swift should be on your shortlist.

Ask Honest John

Should I buy an old car with low mileage?
"I am tempted to buy an immaculate one owner 2013 Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI R Line with only 23,000 miles on the clock to replace my 2015 low mileage Suzuki Swift. Would it be a bad move as I know you have highlighted problems with timing chains etc. I just would like a small car that is more refined than the Swift."
I'm not an advocate of buying old cars with low mileage. It suggests that this Polo has spent most of its life standing around doing nothing. And unless it has been carefully dry stored then it will have a range of age-related issues with the suspension, joints and underbody. There has also been a number of timing chain complaints about the 2009-2013 EA111 1.2 TSI. If I was going to replace a Suzuki Swift with a Volkswagen Polo then I would swap it with the latest 1.0 TSI model, which is one of the best small cars on sale today:
Answered by Dan Powell
Best budget family car for under £1700?
"Which second hand cars are the most economical and reliable? I have a budget of under £1700 pounds. The car must be dependable and fit two child seats in the rear. "
At this price point, I'd go with the old shape Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol. It has an excellent reputation for reliability and has space for two child seats in the back. But you'll need a five-door model, otherwise, you'll need to slide the front seat forwards/backwards each time you want to get your children in/out of the car. For our Suzuki Swift review, see:
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you recommend a cheap, reliable runabout?
"We need to buy a secondhand car for my wife for local trips. She will probably do no more than 2000 miles per year. Can you please recommend something between £3000 and £5000, which hopefully would prove reliable? We can garage the car, too."
I would recommend a Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol: or Toyota Yaris 1.3 petrol:
Answered by Dan Powell
Could you recommend a small, cheap to run car with a bit of oomph?
"My 2003 Renault Megane convertible is about to die. I LOVE this car; it's so easy to drive, decent acceleration, good for longish journeys. But read tax is over £200 a year and insurance is fairly high. It also only does 35mpg. So, I'm looking for a 3-door, smaller car but I want something fun to drive that looks nice. Is there anything that looks funky, lovely to drive, has bit of power — but also has low road tax and insurance? Budget £3000, possibly £3500. I know I want the earth... Suzuki Swifts look cool but I've never driven one. Polos look boring, Corsas are too common, Fiestas don't really excite me. Thanks!"
A Suzuki Swift sounds like a good option. They're very reliable, cheap to run and represent excellent value for money on the used market. We rate the Fiesta, too, but it's certainly not an exciting choice. How about a SEAT Ibiza? It's a very trendy little car with low running costs.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

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