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

Why is the VED on my Suzuki Swift so high?

"I own a 2013 5 door Suzuki Swift and road tax is supposed to be £35 per year, yet I'm being charged £150. Many cars in the Suzuki range have the same 1242cc engine but are also £35 per year, am I being overcharged?"
As your Suzuki was registered in 2013 the rate of VED is calculated based on its CO2 emissions. Although all Swift versions bar the Sport used a 1.2-litre engine, the CO2 emissions varied between 99g/km and129g/km depending on the model. Your V5C registration document will indicate the emissions for your specific model, but if it is between 121-130g/km then £150 a year is the correct VED rate for your car.
Answered by David Ross

What's the most reliable car for under £2,000?

"I need a used car for £2,000 or less. Can you please tell me which petrol and diesel models have the best reliability within this type of budget?"
With a budget of £2,000 I would suggest Ford Fiesta 1.25 petrol, Toyota Yaris 1.3 petrol or Suzuk Swift 1.2 petrol. Avoid older diesels and automatics, these will present you with a lengthy and costly list of problems.
Answered by Dan Powell

Can you recommend a cheap diesel for under £5,000?

"I am on a tight budget and am looking for a diesel car which is reliable and economical for under £5,000. My yearly average mileage is around 28,000. What would you recommend?"
If you are operating on a limited budget then you may want to avoid old, high-mileage diesels that will probably present you with a costly list of problems (EGR, turbo,DPF etc). If you are covering 28,000 miles a year then a simple and comfortable petrol hatch would be the most economical option. I would recommend the Ford Fiesta 1.25 petrol or Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol.
Answered by Dan Powell

Can you recommend a cheap car for under £5,000?

"I'm in the market for a used car and have a budget of around £5000. Ideally, I'd like a petrol as I don't do many long journeys. I've had my eye on a Citroen DS3 1.6 VTI (2010-2015) but can't seem to find much info regarding reliability. What would you recommend?"
This version of the DS3 doesn't have the best reputation for reliability. It's based on the old Citroen C3, which wasn't a very good car to start with. All reported faults with the DS3 are listed here: If reliability and comfort are key, I'd suggest a Suzuki Swift 1.2 petrol or Toyota Yaris 1.3 or 1.5 petrol.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

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