Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
2:08 PM 26th March 2024

Moving Swiftly Along – Suzuki’s All-New Supermini

As others desert the sector, renowned small car experts Suzuki have just launched a new Swift. To get an early drive, a quick trip to Bordeaux was in order to join the European Launch event. Lots of travelling, good food, a reasonable driving route and plenty of warm sunshine were all rather nice.

This is the fourth generation of Swift, and it goes on sale in the UK on 1st April. A staggering 9 million have been sold worldwide, so Suzuki is obviously doing something right. This new model is more evolution than revolution, the aim being to encourage existing owners to upgrade, whilst at the same time offering an appealing package for newcomers to the brand.

Anyone familiar with the old Swift will instantly recognise the new model. Up front a more prominent piano black grille and new LED headlamps are the stars whilst to the rear there’s a new sculpted tailgate and signature lighting. Blacked-out rear pillars give the Swift a floating roof effect, which is rather nice.

We travelled three up on the test route and even with two six-footers up front, there was ample legroom in the rear compartment and headroom is plentiful too. There are seatbelts for three, but you would certainly have to be on good terms with your rear seat travelling companions.

Suzuki has gone some way to disguising the robust, yet somewhat scratchy plastics with some textured designs. The sprinkling of a few softer touch materials on some of the points of contact would not go amiss.

Front seats are heated and are of a new design with reshaped cushioning between the shoulders and side bolsters for a more sculptured look. They proved to be both comfortable and supportive, so no complaints there. Visibility is good all round and all major controls fall easily to hand.

The centre console is angled towards the driver and is fitted with a new nine-inch infotainment system. It is certainly better than what has gone before, and Apple Car Play and Android Auto come fitted as standard.

Heater controls are on a separate panel and are easy to use. With 25-degree heat, the air conditioning was called into play and was a little noisy at times when it was working hard. The boot is 265 litres in size, increasing to 589 litres when the rear seats are folded away. There is room under the boot floor for a space saver wheel and tyre.

The Swift range is now very simple with just two models – Motion and Ultra. The level of standard equipment is extremely impressive with 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, rear view camera and parking sensors and the heated front seats. Ultra models gain automatic air conditioning, electric folding door mirrors and polished alloy wheels.
Prices start at £18,699 with an extra £1,100 being required for an Ultra variant. A CVT transmission will be offered (add £1,250) and for rural dwellers in need of power to all four wheels, there’s an AWD ALLGRIP Ultra model available for £21,049.

Under the bonnet of the new Swift is a new 1.2-litre Mild Hybrid three-cylinder engine with a modest 82hp. That doesn’t sound a lot, but the Swift is a positive lightweight, weighing in at under 1,000kg. A 0-62mph sprint time of 12.5 seconds is quoted, but on our admittedly flat test route, the Swift felt quicker and was more than able to hold its own on fast-flowing French A and B roads. There was no motorway driving, but brief bursts up to the national speed limit brought no dramas.

Ride comfort impressed for one so small, though the roads around Bordeaux are far better maintained than our distinctly pock-marked offerings. Driven briskly, high speed cornering presented no dramas, encouraging me to push on with no complaints from my travelling companions.

Aiding progress is a new five speed manual transmission which has been specifically optimised for the new engine and drivetrain to ensure high fuel efficiency and power delivery. It seemed quite slick in use. And the CVT option will likely suit city dwellers.

The new Swift is fitted with all the very latest safety equipment such as Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Monitor, Dual Brake Sensor support, Lane Departure Warning and a Driver Monitoring System. Some are a mixed blessing, with various beeps and bongs should the car sense you are doing something wrong. You can deselect some, which I did, and I suspect others will do too.

Running costs are likely to be modest, with up to 64.2mpg the official WLTP figure. I would suggest that mid 50s mpg is more the order of the day in the real world unless you are especially light of foot. CO2 emissions are a lowly 99g/km too for the manual transmission FWD models.

Servicing costs should prove to be very reasonable, and if you stay in the dealer network, then a Serviced Activated Warranty is offered free of charge until the car reaches seven years/100,000 miles. Dealers are a friendly bunch in my experience and Suzuki regularly top the polls for customer satisfaction.

With most manufacturers rushing to fully electrify their ranges, Suzuki is of the opinion that many buyers still want their family supermini to be powered by an engine and that is what they will continue to offer for the foreseeable future.

So, good job Suzuki. Listening to your customers and giving them what they want. And I am sure many will want to upgrade to the all-new Swift.

Fast Facts
Suzuki Swift 24MY
Priced from £18,699 OTR
82hp 1.2-litre Mild Hybrid engine
0-62mph in 12.5 seconds
Top speed 103mph
Combined economy 64.2mpg (WLTP)
Emissions from 99g/km CO2
Optional AWD and CVT models
Motion and Ultra variants