November 14, 2018

Suzuki Swift Sport First Drive Review

Caroline drives the sportiest Swift!

Suzuki Swift Sport
The new Suzuki Swift Sport at Mondello Park, Kildare

Suzuki Ireland is adding a new Suzuki Swift Sport to the Swift range. With 140hp, the Suzuki Swift Sport is more of a warm hatch that hot hatch but this package has plenty to entertain, as Caroline Kidd found out at the UK and Irish press launch in County Wicklow.

Styling

The Suzuki Swift Sport is a good-looking small hatchback with a lower and wider profile. The Swift Sport is enhanced with a new grille, bumpers, black aerodynamic under spoilers, 17” alloys, dual tailpipes and a roof-end spoiler. LED headlamps come as standard. The Swift Sport is available in six colours, including Champion Yellow exclusive to the Sport and inspired by the Suzuki Works Junior Rally Team.

Interior

Inside, the Suzuki Swift shows its more budget positioning in the market with a lot of hard black plastics, but the Swift Sport interior is enhanced with unique Sport interior trim that adds some red detail. The tachometer has a red dial face and the speedometer is coloured silver. The front seats have a semi-bucket design. Infotainment is provided via a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Navigation also comes as standard. There is impressive safety equipment on board including Adaptive Cruise Control, Dual Sensor Brake Support and Lane Departure Prevention.

Practicality

The Suzuki Swift Sport feels roomy up front for driver and passenger. The car feels smaller in the back to some rivals. The boot is on the small side for this class of vehicle at 265 litres.

The interior of the Suzuki Swift Sport
The interior of the Suzuki Swift Sport

Engines

Under the bonnet of the Suzuki Swift Sport there’s a 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine producing 140hp and 230Nm of torque. The Swift Sport uses a 6-speed manual gearbox. 0 to 100kmh is 8.1 seconds and the Sport can reach a top speed of 210km/h. CO2 emissions of 125g mean motor tax will be €270 per year and the car can return up to 50.4mpg on a combined cycle.

On the road

The new Suzuki Swift Sport has been engineered under the concept of “ultimate driving excitement”. It’s built on a light but rigid new platform and weighs just 975kg. It’s no surprise that the Suzuki Swift Sport is riotous good fun to drive. Performance could never be described as blistering but the Swift Sport takes on the road with youthful enthusiasm. The grip is superb through corners while the steering is delightfully tactile. The engine noise in the cabin makes the driving experience feel all the more frantic! The ride comfort is fine for daily use with some predictable firmness.

Equipment

There is just one trim level that comes very well-equipped with auto air conditioning, DAB radio, rear privacy glass, touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, electric windows, front fog lamps and rear view camera.

Suzuki Swift Sport
The Suzuki Swift Sport is a fun-to-drive small hatchback

Pricing

Unfortunately, Irish pricing has not been finalised yet. In the UK, the Suzuki Swift Sport starts from £17,995.

Verdict

Pricing remains to be confirmed but the Suzuki Swift Sport is a neat little package with a high spec, plenty of equipment and plenty of character. The performance figures may not look amazing for the new Suzuki Swift Sport but that’s only half the story. The Suzuki Swift Sport is so much fun to drive, with a sort of back-to-basics feel that will have you taking the long way home.

The new Suzuki Swift Sport goes on sale in Ireland in June.

Caroline Kidd