- Stylish aesthetics
- Fun to drive
- Great value for money
- Not the most comfortable ride
- Disappointing interior quality
- Limited boot space
Stylish, fun to drive supermini
The supermini market is one of the most hotly contested sectors on the market, with the Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Polo dominating. The Suzuki Swift is a great alternative for buyers who want something a little bit different. First introduced in 2000, and now in its third generation, the Swift is one of the best cars to drive in the class. It’s not as classy as a VW, but for out-and-out thrills, practicality, and value for money, there are few cars that can match the Swift. Add in the Swift’s distinctive looks, and it’s clear to see why the Suzuki Swift is such a common sight on British roads.
An update in 2013 featured minor cosmetic changes and more generous specifications.
Solid and generously equipped
The interior of the Swift isn’t one of the classiest in the supermini class, but it’s without doubt solid. Storage space isn’t the best either, but the generous equipment list is sure to be attractive for those who want value for money.
The dashboard design of the Swift is one that is simple and ergonomic, though it’s not the most contemporary. Nevertheless, controls are well-placed, reasonably well-damped, and easy to use, so it shouldn’t take too much time adjusting from your old car. Material quality is a little bit disappointing, as there are very few soft-touch materials like you’d find in a Volkswagen Polo. It all feels well screwed together though, so reliability shouldn’t be an issue.
Space is one area in which the Swift is a little disappointing. There’s plenty of room in the cabin for four adults, and there’s lots of interior storage space, but the boot is one of the smallest in the supermini class. The 211 litre capacity on offer is as small as some city cars, and way short of the class-leaders like the Honda Jazz, which packs in 354 litres.
Equipment levels in the Swift are impressively generous, no matter which trim you choose to go for. Entry-level SZ2 cars come with essentials such as electric front windows, USB connectivity, and heated door mirrors. The SZ3 offers the best value in the range though, as it is only slightly more expensive, and adds air-con, Bluetooth, alloy wheels, and electric rear windows.
Overall the inside of the Swift is a pretty decent package. It’s certainly not the classiest of interiors, but it’s solid, and there’s enough room for passengers to travel comfortably. Boot space is disappointing, but the generous equipment lists will be attractive to most buyers.
Fun to drive
One area in which the Swift really stands apart from its competitors is in its engaging driving experience. Superminis are made to be good to drive around town, but the Swift is up there with the best in class. The steering is sharp and responsive, there’s plenty of grip through the corners, and the stiff suspension means that body roll is well kept in check. Out of town the Swift is without doubt the most impressive car in its class, so if you’re a keen driver who likes a B-road blast at the weekend, the Swift is the supermini for you.
Suspension and Chassis
The stiff suspension may make the Swift great to drive, but it does compromise comfort somewhat. It’s not especially uncomfortable, but it’s nowhere near as pleasant as a Skoda Fabia. The chassis and suspension cope with most bumps pretty well, but especially bad surfaces jolt through into the cabin. Road and wind noise are quite pronounced at speed as well, so the Swift isn’t the finest motorway cruiser in the supermini class.
Gearbox options in the Swift come in three guises. The standard throughout the majority of the range is a five-speed manual transmission, that features a short, sharp shift, perfect for around town. Swift Sport models come with a six-speed manual which adds greater flexibility for driving long distances at speed, whilst a four-speed automatic is available on some models for those who don’t like changing gear.
A good range of engines for all needs
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Swift, you’ve only got the one fuel source- petrol There’s a good range of power outputs, fuel efficiency, and green credentials on offer, though no model is especially quick.
If it’s power that you want from your Swift you’ll want to take a close look at the petrol-powered 1.6 litre Sport. It’s not as racy as a lot of hot hatches, but with 136bhp, and a 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds, it still offers plenty of fun around town, and out on the open road. It’s also a lot cheaper to buy and run than a lot of superminis, so it’s a great value option for those who want thrills, but don’t have the budget for the most powerful hot hatches.
Eco-friendly buyers will be reasonably impressed with the Swift range, but the standout option is undoubtedly the 1.2 DualJet engine. This model produces just 99g/km of CO2 emissions, which is enough to put your mind at rest that you’re not harming the planet, whilst also giving you free road tax. This model is also the best option for money-savers, as it offers the greatest fuel efficiency. The 65mpg on offer is impressive, though all Swifts in the range won’t cost you too much to run day-to-day.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Swift, you’re going to get a relatively green, efficient engine. The Sport model will be attractive for petrolheads, whilst the DualJet will be sought by eco-conscious buyers.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, with decent standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the Suzuki Swift easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 94% in adult safety, 82% in child safety, and 62% in pedestrian safety, the Swift is amongst the safest cars in the supermini class. It’s worth considering that back in 2010 when the Swift was tested, tests weren’t as stringent as they are today, but the Swift is still one of the safest superminis on the market. This is strengthened when you take a look at the safety kit that the Swift comes with. Even entry-level models come with seven airbags, electronic stability control, ABS, and Isofix child mounts.
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Suzuki Swift represents superb value for money for buyers. This obviously varies between model to model, but generally speaking fuel efficiency is high throughout the range (even the Sport model achieves 44.1mpg), whilst CO2 emissions are decent for the class. The Swift is also quite a bit cheaper to buy than a lot of its rivals, so it will cost you less in the first place.
Insurance groups for the Swift again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 9 for the 1.2 SZ3 Auto, and climb up towards 19 if you’re tempted by the range-topping thrills of the 1.6 Sport SZ-R model. Insurance groups are pretty standard for the class, though some manufacturers offer models that are slightly better value for money.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Swift, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Suzuki Swift is one of the funnest cars available in the supermini class. Not only is it good-looking, it’s also great to drive, good value for money, and one of the safest cars in its class. It’s not quite as classy as a Volkswagen Polo, but that’s not what the Swift is about. If you’re a keen driver who enjoys the thrills of a country road blast, then you’re going to love the Suzuki Swift.
Buying a used Suzuki Swift online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Suzuki Swift for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Swift. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Suzuki Swift online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Suzuki? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Suzuki Swift, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Swift, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Suzuki to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.