The Suzuki Swift has had many design iterations since its 80’s launch but in the 2000s, Suzuki really nailed it with a styling blueprint that was made fashionable by the relaunched BMW MINI in 2001.

The Suzuki Swift’s squared off roofline, sporty stance, large headlamps, optional bonnet stripes and bi colour finish held it to good stead: the design remained largely unchanged for ten years, yet still managed to look cool and modern.

This year, an all-new Suzuki Swift has arrived in Ireland sitting on Suzuki’s latest small car platform that also underpins the Baleno and the Ignis.

But while the Suzuki Baleno is unfashionably practical and the Ignis is fashionably weird, the Swift is designed to be the model with the most ‘emotional appeal’ in Suzuki’s small car line-up.

And this is an attractive five door supermini. The styling has evolved gently, while bi colour options remain. So far so good for new Swift.

Inside hard plastics prevail in the new interior but aesthetically they don’t look bad at all and there is no arguing that this is a well-built cabin with an intuitive layout. The car is now wider by 4cm and the front seats have been moved further apart to give more shoulder room. Headroom is very good all round and the footwells in the back are bigger than in the old car. The boot is now over 50 litres bigger at 265 litres, though still some way off the class best.

2017 Suzuki Swift review ireland
The interior of the new Suzuki Swift

Suzuki is also offering a good standard specification including air con, 15” alloys, DAB radio, Bluetooth, LED DRLs, leather steering wheel, front electric windows and rear privacy glass (SZ3 from €14,995). A rear view camera and touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto is available one trim level up (SZ-T from €16,995). Top spec SZ5 models (from €18,995) have an impressive list of technology on board including forward collision alert, navigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and high beam assist.

That start price of €14,995 will get you a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with 90hp. However an even better engine for the new Swift is the 1.0-litre turbo petrol Boosterjet engine that packs 111hp and is available from €16,995. In light of competition from turbo petrol variants of the Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208 and SEAT Ibiza, this one is good value.

On the road, progress in the Suzuki Swift 1.0-litre is brisk, especially around town, while out of town the turbo adds extra flexibility and helps the car pick up speed quickly.  It’s also a very refined unit with little vibration. I returned close to 50mpg on my test drive and emissions are low at just 97g of CO2 per kilometre.

The Suzuki Swift has lost weight and has a kerb weight as low as 890kg on some models. But rigidity has been increased and the Swift handles with aplomb. The steering is quick and the car enters corners eagerly but with some body roll it’s not as tight through corners as a Ford Fiesta or SEAT Ibiza. The cabin is mostly quiet but at high speed there is some more noticeable road and wind noise. Comfort is generally good but the Swift feels more rudimentary over larger imperfections in the road surface.

2017 Suzuki Swift review ireland
The Suzuki Swift is a good value small car with plenty of kerb appeal

The Suzuki Swift is one to watch out for among superminis. The new car has benefited from some modernising inside and out. It’s not the plushest supermini out there or the most spacious, but the technology and new Boosterjet engine make it a formidable competitor in its price range.

Model tested: Suzuki Swift 1.0 SZ5 SHVS Boosterjet
€18,995 (Range starts at €14,995)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Torque: 170Nm
10.6 seconds
Top speed: 195km/h
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax:
€180 per year

Caroline Kidd

If you are looking for a fun, small petrol car, you might also like this review of the SEAT Ibiza.