The new Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift Review (2024) | The affordable small car

Read Caroline's Suzuki Swift review for everything you need to know about buying the new Swift in Ireland.

The Suzuki Swift is one of the perennials of the small car class. It's been around for years and it's known for being simple, affordable and fun to drive.

Some manufacturers are moving their small cars to hybrid and full electric - adding the Euros in the process. Others are killing them off altogether, like the Ford Fiesta.

Suzuki is taking a more relaxed approach. The company is launching its new Swift in 2024 as a petrol mild hybrid with a starting price of just €21,495.

And this approach could pay dividends for the Japanese car brand, which has already been growing in Ireland over the last few years. As the race to electric gains pace, buyers seeking simple, affordable motoring need to look elsewhere - likely falling into the arms of Suzuki, among others, whose entire range of cars come under the €35,000 mark new.

The new Suzuki Swift
The new Suzuki Swift

Suzuki bestsellers include the Vitara and the iconic Swift. The new Swift is expected in Ireland in April and could be the perfect antidote if you're fed up of crazy car prices.

Styling

The new Swift sees an evolution of its styling so it's still very recognisable. The car hasn't changed much in its dimensions and takes up a similar footprint to before. It looks a little more grown-up thanks to a new front end, gloss black grille and new lights with L-shaped daytime running lights. The Suzuki badge has been moved from the grille to the bodywork. There's also a new bonnet that doesn't appear to sit completely flush with the car leaving a slightly awkward panel gap.

The standard wheel size is 16-inch across the range. Like before, you can opt for a contrast roof. There's a great selection of colours too including the new Frontier Blue and Cool Yellow. The Burning Red Pearl Metallic and Frontier Blue Pearl Metallic colours consist of a three-layer coating for a richer finish.

Around the back, there are more 3D-style light clusters and a wide rear bumper. The Swift's classic sporty stance is complete. It's lost a bit of its cuteness overall but this more mature look is what's required of a global car that will sell in many markets around the world.

Interior

The cabin of the previous Swift was looking quite tired and basic. Thankfully this new one comes on in leaps and bounds. The new two tone pale grey and black interior makes this far more appealing. There are still lots of hard plastics but they are disguised well and don't look as cheap. There's a sporty steering wheel and old-fashioned analogue dials. A new 9-inch touchscreen comes with wireless smartphone connectivity and is a big improvement on the previous version. But no wireless smartphone charging option is a disappointment.

The cabin of the 2024 Suzuki Swift
The cabin of the 2024 Suzuki Swift

Otherwise it's an exceptionally well equipped car. Just two trim levels, Motion and Ultra. Standard equipment includes a reversing camera, push button start, four electric windows, heated front seats, automatic air con and lots of standard safety features like adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and traffic sign recognition.

Practicality

The boot can only muster about 265 litres, which is a good way off the best in class. Still it will fit a few bags or suitcases and the rear seats can split fold. The Swift is surprisingly roomy in the back with decent headroom and legroom for adults from time to time, though children should be fine. It's short on amenities or storage with just space in the doors for a bottle. However, in a smart move Suzuki has given the Swift conventional rear door handles rather than the hidden ones from the previous car, which makes access in and out easier - particularly for small children.

Engine

The engine in the Swift is brand new. It's a 1.2-litre mild hybrid just like before, but it's gone from four to three cylinders. It offers about 82hp and fuel consumption as low as 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres. A little more torque makes it more responsive to drive than before though 0-100 km/h is a leisurely 12.5 seconds. Motor tax is €180 per year for the manual or €190 per year for the CVT.

The new Swift is one of the most affordable cars on sale
The new Swift is one of the most affordable cars on sale

Driving

Still it feels a lot quicker on the road. That's because the Swift is a true lightweight. It weighs less than one tonne. It comes with a five speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic and is an absolute hoot to drive.

Suzuki has reduced the roll in corners and the Swift is mighty fun out on the open road. It's not too noisy thanks to a bit more sound insulation and offers a nicely cushioned ride for a small car.

We didn't get to test it out on the motorway but it excelled on rural roads and in suburbia.

Pricing 

The 2024 Suzuki Swift 1.2 Motion goes on sale from €21,495 with a manual gearbox or from €23,495 with a CVT. The Ultra model with more equipment is available from €22,695.

Rear seating in the new Swift
Rear seating in the new Swift

Verdict

Suzuki sells the Swift in 169 countries and it has sold over 9 million units since it became a global model in 2004.

In Ireland it's one of the brand's bestsellers and has been for many years.

Suzuki is not in a hurry to go electric but its entire range now has some sort of hybrid assistance to boost efficiency. We are likely to see the brand's first EV in 2025 but the Swift still satisfies a market looking for a simple, affordable fuel-powered car.

And let's not forget the Suzuki Swift is still astoundingly good value for a small car in 2024. The interior and equipment levels are a massive improvement over the old car. It's reasonably practical too.

Cheap to run and fun to drive, the new Swift is one of the surprise highlights of the year so far.

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The 2024 Suzuki Swift is a fun and efficient small car
The 2024 Suzuki Swift is a fun and efficient small car

The Suzuki S-Cross Hybrid has arrived in Ireland

Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid Review

Read Caroline's Suzuki S-Cross review for everything you need to know about buying Suzuki's new hybrid version of the S-Cross compact SUV in Ireland.

Suzuki launched an all-new S-Cross in Ireland in 2022, which was a radically transformed version of the brand's popular compact SUV.

Responding to consumer preferences for hybrid vehicles, Suzuki has now expanded the S-Cross range with a new full hybrid version. It joins the S-Cross petrol mild hybrid that is already on sale priced from €30,465.

Suzuki is currently selling well in the Irish new car market with sales up in 2023 for all their key models like the Vitara, S-Cross, Swift, Swace and Ignis.

The Suzuki S-Cross Hybrid has arrived in Ireland
The Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid has arrived in Ireland

What's so special about the S-Cross Full Hybrid?

Priced from €32,495, the new Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid seriously undercuts rivals in the compact SUV class like the Toyota Corolla Cross and Nissan Qashqai.

Suzuki has improved the styling of this new generation S-Cross model so it has an appealing tough and utilitarian look that is very fashionable among SUV buyers.

All S-Cross models are also very well equipped including 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, roof rails, rear privacy glass and silver skid plates under the bumpers.

The S-Cross Full Hybrid is not yet available in the top of the range Ultra trim so for now if you opt for the hybrid you won't be able to enjoy extra gear like a panoramic sunroof, 360 camera and all wheel drive.

The new S-Cross Full Hybrid uses the same 1.5-litre petrol electric hybrid as the Vitara Full Hybrid. It promises even greater efficiency than the S-Cross petrol mild hybrid and many of its rivals. With that sort of sticker price, it's definitely worth some attention but can it compete with the best in class?

Inside the S-Cross Hybrid
The cabin of the S-Cross Hybrid

Inside the S-Cross

The S-Cross sports a hard-wearing and durable feeling cabin. It's not the most stylish but it is very well-built. It does feel a little bit old-fashioned already compared to a Qashqai or a Sportage with quite dated graphics on the instrument panel and touchscreen. But there's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto so you can bypass the native system.

The new S-Cross Full Hybrid is also the first Suzuki to feature the new Suzuki Connect app, which you can use to remotely lock the car, review the driving history, and find its location when parked.

The Suzuki is strong on standard equipment with heated front seats, keyless entry and start, dual zone climate control, reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and lots of safety features included for €32,495.

It is a compact vehicle but there are good sized footwells in the back so two adults or a couple of children should feel comfortable there.

The mild hybrid is best for boot space at 430 litres. Go for the full hybrid and that goes down to 293 litres. That's a good way off the best in class but of course may still be just fine for some buyers and there is a handy flat loading sill.

The S-Cross Full Hybrid is one of the most affordable compact SUVs on sale
The S-Cross Full Hybrid is one of the most efficient and affordable compact SUVs on sale

Driving the S-Cross Full Hybrid

Suzuki's S-Cross Full Hybrid uses a Suzuki-developed, 1.5-litre hybrid powertrain. It has less power and torque than the mild hybrid and has been designed to be more efficient.

It also comes with Auto Gear Shift (AGS), which is an automated manual transmission that saves weight compared to a conventional automatic.

The S-Cross Full Hybrid loses a little in driver appeal compared to the S-Cross mild hybrid. It's not the most sophisticated or refined hybrid powertrain. It can be slow to respond when you press the accelerator, with quite a lot of noise from the transmission. But once it gets going, it feels nippy enough and is also comfortable for the most part too.

The S-Cross is lighter than rivals so the Suzuki S-Cross mild hybrid did return good fuel economy when I drove it last year. The S-Cross Full Hybrid does even a little better, averaging about 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres during my time with the car.

Boot space in the Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid
Boot space in the Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid

Did you like it?

The Suzuki S-Cross offers remarkable good value for a compact family SUV in today's market.

The S-Cross is not without its foibles. Rivals come across as more modern and polished overall. The mild hybrid feels like a better value proposition as it's nicer to drive and makes no compromise to boot space - while also being reliably efficient.

With high levels of standard equipment, trendy SUV looks and good efficiency whether you go full hybrid or mild hybrid, the Suzuki S-Cross is a great option to fight inflation and rising living costs.

Model tested: Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid Motion
Price: 
€32,495
Engine: 
1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid
Power: 115hp
Torque: 138Nm
Top speed:  175km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 12.7 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
118g/km
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid is on sale from €32,495
The Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid is on sale from €32,495

The new Suzuki Swace on test for Changing Lanes!

Suzuki Swace Review

Read Caroline's Suzuki Swace review for everything you need to know about buying Suzuki's new estate car in Ireland.

Suzuki has launched a series of new models in Ireland this year, expanding into new segments and building their hybrid portfolio.

The Suzuki Swace has just gone on sale in Ireland this summer and is the Japanese brand's first ever estate car. Built as the result of a collaboration with Toyota, the new Swace shares a lot with the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports.

Priced from €30,995, there's just one version of the Swace on sale in Ireland and it comes very well-equipped.

So the Swace is shaping up to be a practical and stylish alternative to an SUV at a great price. In this review we're going to take a closer look at Suzuki's new car.

The new Suzuki Swace on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Suzuki Swace on test for Changing Lanes!

What's so special about the Suzuki Swace?

Suzuki has some great cars in their line-up like the Swift and the Vitara. The Swace feels like an entirely different prospect because it shares so much with the Toyota Corolla, which has already been a big hit in Ireland.

On the outside the Swace is a sleek and good-looking estate. The car received many admiring glances during my time with it. In fact the position of the Suzuki badge on the bonnet gives the Swace an ever so slightly more appealing look when viewed head-on compared to the Corolla. LED headlights come as standard as do LED daytime running lights. There's also a big glossy black mesh grille.

Other standard features includes five-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, body-coloured door handles, and rear privacy glass. The Swace has the classic elongated shape of an estate car with quite a sporty rear end. At the back, the rear bumper gets a glossy black tip.

Estate cars like the Swace are a great alternative to an SUV. The Swace offers a great sized boot at 596 litres. It's only about 40 litres less than the boot in the Skoda Octavia Combi.

Swace is also fuel-sipping hybrid. And that means a lot these days. During my time with the car, I saw consumption as low as 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres, without trying very hard.

The interior of the new Swace
The interior of the new Swace

Inside the Swace

As we've discussed, the exterior of the new Suzuki Swace lacks originality. Inside it's pretty much the same story. Everything from the steering wheel to the dashboard, switchgear and infotainment comes from the Corolla. That's no bad thing as the design and quality of the Swace's interior does feel a step up from other cars in the Suzuki range.

The touchscreen and digital instrument cluster are borrowed from the Corolla too. The touchscreen comes as standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which means you can avoid the dull interface of the native system.

The Swace is only sold in one trim level and the good news is that it comes loaded with comfort features including dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, driver’s seat electric lumbar support, radar cruise control, reversing camera and push button start.

The Swace has a lot to offer anyone looking for a practical family car. The cabin is a bright and spacious with good headroom and legroom in the rear for a compact estate car. The rear bench can even seat three in reasonable comfort with enough legroom for all three passengers. There’s also separate ventilation controls in the back and Isofix anchors on the two outer seats.

The boot offers a lot of flexibility with a low sill, two position floor with reversible waterproof side. You can use the two position floor to create a flat loading sill or place it in the bottom of the boot to maximise the space available. Another handy feature are the switches in the boot to let down the rear seats, expanding the load carrying abilities to over 1600 litres.

The boot in the Suzuki Swace estate
The boot in the Suzuki Swace estate

What kind of hybrid is the Swace?

The Suzuki Swace has the advantage of being a fuel-sipping hybrid - but it's not a plug-in hybrid. It's a petrol-electric hybrid that doesn't require you to plug it in and charge it to return excellent economy. There's a low capacity battery on board that helps the car to run more efficiently, particularly in low speed town driving.

The Swace uses the same 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain as the Toyota Corolla and can return some impressive economy figures. There's a modest 122hp sent to the front wheels through a CVT automatic gearbox.

Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 4.6 litres per 100 kilometres, and that included some motorway runs. It's one of the most efficient cars I've driven in a while.

On the road the Swace is a steady and reliable drive. The automatic transmission makes it all rather effortless, though the CVT gearbox can get noisy under hard acceleration.

Instead, the Swace hybrid is more suited to a gentler pace, where you can enjoy this car for being a comfortable cruiser.

The Swace is on sale now priced from €30,995
The Swace is on sale now priced from €30,995

Did you like it?

In 2022, Suzuki has added a new S-Cross and Vitara Hybrid to the Suzuki range. The Swace is a brand new model and very accomplished.

While the brand hasn't done much to make the Swace stand out from the Corolla, they've taken a good car into the Suzuki stable and not done anything design-wise that would impact what a fabulous efficient car this is.

Suzuki in Ireland is selling the Swace in just one trim level and it's packed with equipment. It's just a few hundred euro less than a similarly specced Corolla estate.

Still, it's arguably got a slightly more appealing, high-tech appearance and will never be quite as ubiquitous as the equivalent Toyota.

And if you love Suzukis, you'll definitely enjoy this new addition to the range because it really has some of the best quality and design wearing a Suzuki badge.

The Swace has broad appeal and certainly offers a good value alternative to an SUV in a sleek and stylish estate car with a big boot.

Practical; efficient; stylish - it's the new Suzuki Swace!
Practical; efficient; stylish - it's the new Suzuki Swace!

Model tested: Suzuki Swace SZ-T
Price: 
€30,995
Engine: 
1.8-litre petrol electric hybrid
Power: 122hp
CO2 emissions:
103g/km
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year


The Suzuki S-Cross on test for Changing Lanes

Suzuki S-Cross Review (2022)

Read Caroline's Suzuki S-Cross review for everything you need to know about buying Suzuki's new crossover in Ireland.

The Suzuki S-Cross is back for a new generation with a rugged new look and attractive entry price of just €29,365 on the road.

The S-Cross does the honours of family SUV in the Suzuki line-up offering five seats and a spacious interior.

It's well-priced in today's market where family SUVs just keep going up in price but is it any good? In this review we're going to take a closer look to find out.

The Suzuki S-Cross on test for Changing Lanes
The Suzuki S-Cross on test for Changing Lanes

What's new for the Suzuki S-Cross?

The S-Cross has been a dependable part of the Suzuki range for some years now and has matured well. This latest version of the car has a lot more character than the car it replaces.

The styling is smart and boxy, and the S-Cross sits further off the ground than your average hatchback. That's what buyers love right now, so the S-Cross is one for the fashionable crossover set with its muscular design, angular wheel arches, skid plates and roof rails.

The S-Cross is not quite as glamourous or impressive in the metal than say the latest Kia Sportage or Nissan Qashqai but it's considerably cheaper to buy and well-equipped. So it's an accessible route into a trendy compact SUV that still has reasonable space inside for five people and their things.

Within the Suzuki line-up, the S-Cross offers more interior space than a Suzuki Vitara and feels more practical and mature. But the new Suzuki Swace will make an attractive alternative for some, with its sleek looks, big boot and super efficient hybrid powertrain.

The interior of the latest S-Cross
The interior of the latest S-Cross

Inside the S-Cross

The Suzuki S-Cross has a new interior design that fits pretty well with this car's rugged SUV character. There are lots of hard plastics but some nicer soft-touch materials too. The cabin is more modern than what has come before from the brand. But it's still far from the high-tech experience in some of the best of the segment.

Granted all versions come with a touchscreen and an impressive suite of safety equipment as standard including lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise control.

The infotainment system syncs easily with smartphones for access to Apple Car Play and Android Auto, which means you can bypass the native system's quite basic and dull graphics.

Other standard features on the entry level 'Motion' include 17-inch alloy wheels, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, push button start, keyless entry, dual zone air conditioning and heated front seats.

The Ultra model will arrive before the end of the year and will be four wheel drive only. It will add 17-inch polished alloy wheels, leather seat upholstery, integrated on-board navigation, panoramic sliding sunroof and a 360-degree view camera.

The interior is a bit more spacious and versatile than the car it replaces with seating for five and reasonable legroom and headroom in the rear, though it will be tight for three across the rear bench. The boot offers 430 litres of space, which is very practical in every day terms though some rivals do offer a larger boot.

The S-Cross has grown up with a trendy new look
The S-Cross has grown up with a trendy new look

Driving the Suzuki S-Cross

There's just one engine on offer in the S-Cross range. It's a 1.4-litre 'Boosterjet' turbo petrol engine with 48V mild hybrid technology to boost efficiency. It comes with the choice of a manual or automatic gearbox.

A full hybrid will join the range before the end of the year. So if you're looking for diesel, there is none. But this car is lightweight so it is pretty efficient by class standards. The mild hybrid components add less than 15kg to the overall weight of the vehicle.

Weight savings during development help the new S-Cross remain one of the lightest SUVs in its class at just 1,235kg for front wheel drive models.

Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.9 litres per 100 km. So no nasty surprises from a petrol-driven SUV capable of carrying five people.

On the road the S-Cross is straightforward to drive. It's hardly fun to drive like some Suzukis like the Swift and Vitara, but there's good grip, light steering and agile handling. So it doesn't stray too far from standards for the segment.

Boot space in the S-Cross

Did you like it?

The Suzuki S-Cross is a simple and honest way to travel, and has matured well for this new generation of the car. The S-Cross now has quite a distinctive look with all the rugged design cues that are so fashionable right now.

While it's not as impressive as an overall package as some other, more expensive family SUVs, the S-Cross does offer a simple range with just one petrol mild hybrid engine on offer that is efficient and cheap to run. These days that accounts for a lot. There's no nasty surprises when it comes to efficiency so the S-Cross will be a reliable motoring companion.

Let's not forget, the Suzuki S-Cross is one of the last family SUVs on the market to start at just under €30,000. That's a triumph in itself these days and that car is exceptionally well-equipped with lots of comfort and safety features that will keep life good behind the wheel of the latest S-Cross.

Model tested: Suzuki S-Cross Motion
Price: 
€29,365 OTR
Engine: 
1.4-litre turbo petrol
Power: 129hp
Torque: 235Nm
Top speed:  195km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.5 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
120g/km
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes


The new Suzuki Vitara Hybrid

Suzuki Vitara Full Hybrid Debuts

The new Suzuki Vitara Hybrid
The new Suzuki Vitara Hybrid arrives in Ireland

Suzuki has enhanced their Vitara range with the addition of a new hybrid. The new Suzuki Vitara Full Hybrid goes on sale in Ireland priced from €28,995.

The current generation of the Vitara was updated in early 2019, with higher specification and 48V mild hybrid technology added in 2020.

Suzuki Vitara Hybrid in Ireland

The new Vitara Hybrid uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine, 140V lithium-ion battery and inverter, Motor Generator Unit (known as MGU), a 12V lithium-ion battery as well as a conventional 12V lead-acid battery to power components requiring lower voltage such as lights, instruments and heating / air conditioning. The power output is 115 hp, while CO2 emissions are rated at 121g/km.

The new Hybrid system has two switchable modes- Eco and Standard. The Vitara Hybrid is equipped as standard with Auto Gear Shift (AGS) that automatically shifts the manual transmission and gear ratios that are optimised to help provide a good combination of performance and fuel economy. The transmission also has a manual mode with steering wheel mounted shift paddles.

The interior of the Vitara Hybrid
The interior of the Vitara Hybrid

Anything else?

The SZ-T model features a strong specification including 17-inch silver painted alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, white stitching for seat trim fabric, smartphone connectivity, rear parking camera, keyless entry/start, navigation, climate control, Dual Sensor Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, and Adaptive Cruise Control.

The new Vitara Full Hybrid is also available in SZ5 trim, priced from €30,995. Moving up to SZ5 adds 17-inch polished alloy wheels, suede seat upholstery, Panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors and availability of ALLGRIP 4WD as an option.

The new Suzuki Vitara Full Hybrid joins the Vitara Mild Hybrid, already on sale here priced from €26,535.

The Vitara is produced at the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary.

Suzuki has recently launched new models in Ireland - the S-Cross and Swace.

The Vitara Hybrid is available with four wheel drive
The Vitara Hybrid is available with four wheel drive

The Suzuki Swift Hybrid is on sale now

Suzuki Swift Hybrid Review

Read Caroline's Suzuki Swift review for everything you need to know about buying Suzuki's classic supermini in Ireland.

The Suzuki Swift is a perennial of the supermini class. It's been around for years, offering a simple and efficient way of getting around. With some considerable style.

And it's not even trying to be a crossover or SUV, leaving that remit to the likes of the Suzuki Vitara, Ignis and S-Cross.

Now in its third generation, the Swift has been updated with revised front-end styling, more standard equipment, and even further emphasis on safety equipment levels across the range.

All models are now also fitted with Suzuki’s enhanced 12V Hybrid system for improved efficiency.

It goes on sale in Ireland from €17,775, making it now one of Ireland's most affordable small cars.

The Suzuki Swift Hybrid is on sale now
The Suzuki Swift Hybrid is on sale now

What's new for the Suzuki Swift?

Not much has changed in terms of design. The Swift still looks great, with a squat and sporty look to it. While most of the rivals appear to be getting bigger, the Swift is not trying to masquerade as anything other than a small car.

The front grille and headlamps have been gently restyled for the latest version. There's also a new colour - Flame Orange Pearl Metallic - which can be combined with a Super Black roof on SZ-T and SZ5 models. All models now have LED headlamps and rear combination lamps as standard equipment.

Suzuki expects the new high specification SZ-L grade to become the volume selling model for the Swift range. That's good news; it's the entry into the range at €17,775.

For that you get Radar Brake Support (automated emergency braking), Adaptive Cruise Control, LED headlights, air conditioning, DAB radio, privacy glass, 16-inch polished alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone link fitted as standard. Under the bonnet there's a 1.2-litre petrol engine, matched to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

There's also the SZ-T from €19,180, and the SZ5 from €21,320.

The new Swift goes on sale from €17,775
The new Swift goes on sale from €17,775

Inside the latest Swift

Inside, the Swift has a straightforward interior that hasn't changed much over the years. For this reason it is starting to look a little old-fashioned in its design.

But all the key equipment is here, including a touchscreen that connects easily to smartphones, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

There's lots of hard plastic but it's a solidly built car interior, still with robust Suzuki character.

The car feels roomier inside than what you might expect in the front and the rear. By lowering the seat positions in the original, the Suzuki Swift has a surprising amount of headroom.

Rear legroom is also good for a compact car, though two will be more comfortable than three.

While the cabin is roomier than what you might expect from the Swift's compact stance, the boot is not. It's on the small side at 265 litres, though still practical in everyday use.

The cabin of the 2022 Suzuki Swift
The cabin of the 2022 Suzuki Swift

Is the Suzuki Swift Hybrid good?

Suzuki first introduced its 1.2-litre Dualjet technology (K12C) in 2014. Initially in the Swift, and then in the Baleno and Ignis.

This engine is now replaced by the new K12D Dualjet unit which offers greater fuel economy and even lower CO2 emissions.

The maximum power output for this engine is 83 hp with a torque figure of 107 Nm at 2,800 rpm. The engine has a new dual injection system for more responsiveness and more fuel efficiency.

The self-charging hybrid system is powered by a new lithium-ion battery with capacity upgraded from 3Ah to 10Ah to improve energy recovery efficiency. The upgraded 12V Hybrid system incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG), which acts as both a generator and starter motor. The ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking.

The Swift is built on a platform that is light and highly rigid. In fact, this car weighs just 911 kg in front wheel drive manual versions, contributing to lower fuel consumption.

The Suzuki Swift Hybrid uses a 1.2-litre petrol engine
The Suzuki Swift Hybrid uses a 1.2-litre petrol engine

Did you like it?

In combination with the latest K12D 1.2-litre Dualjet Hybrid four-cylinder engine, the Swift is one of the most efficient small cars on the road.  Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was just 5.3 litres per 100 km, with plenty of high speed motorway driving included.

Performance is fine, with the Swift feeling nippier than what the 83 hp might suggest. It's ideal in urban environments, and the five speed manual makes it fun to drive, though revs run high in motorway driving. The Swift rides the road well and is comfortable by small car standards too. A new CVT automatic gearbox is also available on SZ-T and SZ5 models.

The Suzuki Swift is one of Ireland's most affordable small cars. It offers a simple and straightforward package, with a genuinely efficient petrol engine that is still responsive and fun to drive. Swift offers value for money as well as high levels of standard equipment.

In a world where cars are getting increasingly complex, the Swift stays refreshingly simple.

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Suzuki Swift 1.2 Dualjet Hybrid SZL
Price:
€17,775
Engine: 1.2-litre petrol
Power: 
83 hp
Torque: 107 Nm
0-100km/h:
13.1 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 
106 g/km
Motor tax: 
€180 per year


The latest Suzuki Vitara on test for Changing Lanes!

Suzuki Vitara Hybrid Review

The latest Suzuki Vitara on test for Changing Lanes!
The latest Suzuki Vitara on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 Suzuki Vitara!

The Vitara is an icon of the Suzuki range that has managed to stay relevant throughout its 33 year career in the automotive industry. That means that over the years it's been repositioned and softened to appeal to the compact SUV market that has emerged. Now the Vitara evolves again with the addition of some mild hybrid technology to the mix.

To backtrack a little, Suzuki has been dabbling in 12 volt mild hybrid technology for some years now before it was even fashionable to lend a little electrical support to reduce emissions and eke out better fuel consumption. In fact at Changing Lanes we've always been impressed with the real world economy of Suzuki vehicles like the latest Swift, Ignis and S-Cross. No fibbing from Suzuki. The cars always deliver what matters.

What's new for the 2021 Suzuki Vitara?

Now the Japanese brand is excited to tell us about the 48 volt mild hybrid technology that now feature across the Vitara and S-Cross ranges. Well frankly everyone is excited about hybrid these days.

The Vitara has stayed relevant since it was first launched back in 1988
The Vitara has stayed relevant since it was first launched back in 1988

In Ireland the Vitara now comes exclusively with a new 'K14D' Boosterjet petrol engine with 1.4-litre capacity and 48 volt mild hybrid technology, which replaces the old 1.4-litre Boosterjet derivative. The new hybrid powertrain is said to offer up to 20% lower CO2 emissions, a greater level of torque and 15% overall improvement in WLTP combined fuel consumption.

The new system is similar in basic principle to the 12V Hybrid SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) system that Suzuki debuted in 2016 on the Swift. The newly developed 48V hybrid powertrain remains very lightweight in design and the components add less than 15k g to the overall weight of the vehicle. Could it be magic? You will have to read on to find out!

What's on offer?

The Vitara itself had a minor facelift back in the beginning of 2019. It remains the most popular Suzuki on sale in Ireland. With pricing starting from €23,230, it is also competitively priced to compete in its segment. The range kicks off with the SZ4, followed by the SZ-T from €25,750, and the SZ5 from €27,760.

The interior of the 2021 Suzuki Vitara Hybrid
The interior of the 2021 Suzuki Vitara Hybrid

Standard equipment on the new Vitara for 2021 includes automatic climate control, 16" alloys, and LED headlamps. There is also a standard safety equipment including Dual Sensor Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition and Adaptive Cruise Control.

In our eyes, the SZ-T remains a sweet spot of the range with touchscreen with Apple Car Play and Android Auto, rear parking camera and 17" alloys.

All models are front wheel drive as standard though 4x4 is available from €29,745.

Inside the Suzuki Vitara

In the last revamp, Suzuki gave the Vitara's cabin a little upgrade in quality, with the upper instrument panel now finished in a soft touch material. The interior is basic but cheerful enough, just like the rest of the car. There is a plucky spirit to the Vitara that remains after all these years. Buyers will love the authentic small SUV feeling from behind the wheel thanks to a genuinely elevated driving position. And of course it looks different from the outside too, with a boxy charm that hasn't really changed much. It's definitely a tad dated, but Vitara's loyal customers don't seem to care.

Interior space also remains good for this class of vehicle. It may be compact but it's not cramped, like some rivals. There is decent enough legroom in the back, and it feels roomy up front. The boot is 375 litres and well capable of most tasks, with split folding rear seats.

New Vitara Hybrid range on sale from €23,230 in Ireland
New Vitara Hybrid range on sale from €23,230 in Ireland

Driving the Vitara Hybrid

The 1.0-litre turbo petrol is now gone from the Vitara line-up in Ireland, leaving the more powerful new 1.4-litre with 129 bhp, paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox. It's a lively companion for the Vitara, feeling nippy and capable whether in town or on the motorway. The added electrical assistance adds smoothness to take off and low speed manouvres.

And what about that fuel consumption? Over a few days driving the Vitara Hybrid, my average fuel consumption was 6.6 litres per 100 km.  I found this a little disappointing considering the high billing of the mild hybrid technology, but otherwise I would probably say it was acceptable for a petrol powered compact crossover.

On the road, once again the Vitara proves to be more fun than you might expect from the little Japanese compact. Steering is light making it agile around town, but out on the open road it is entertaining to drive. I took it the long way home through the Wicklow Mountains and I was suitably impressed with the smiles per mile!

It's no hot hatch or even hot SUV, but it brings some rudimentary joy. Well up for a jaunt down a twisty road. Not that Vitara owners are interested in such frivolous fun(!). Are maybe they are? You tell me. But it's nice to know it can. Again Vitara punches above its weight in this department. Always full of surprises. There are a few refinement issues, like road noise at high speeds, but it's comfortable for the most part.

Suzuki adds mild hybrid technology to the Vitara
Suzuki adds mild hybrid technology to the Vitaranology to the Vitara

Did you like it?

Do we like the Suzuki Vitara? Yes we do! It's an honest little compact SUV with big attitude. It performs well on practicality, offering better space inside than many rivals. It's not the most luxurious inside, but it's not trying to be either. Pricing remains competitive for the segment with a decent level of standard equipment.

Suzuki continually impresses us with its engine technology and real world fuel consumption. Again the Vitara gets their most modern mild hybrid technology. Is it a success? Perhaps expectations were too high but we did anticipate a better return on economy than what we got, which seemed about average for a petrol powered compact of this size.

It is roaring fun to drive. You certainly wouldn't think it to look at it, but some rivals are sheer boring beside it.

The Vitara is showing its age though it remains a subtle but solid buy with plenty of fans out there.

There's still lots more to discover in the Suzuki range in 2021, with a newly facelifted Ignis that we will be driving soon, along with a refreshed version of the fabulous Suzuki Swift supermini.

The Vitara is a subtle but solid buy in its class
The Vitara is a subtle but solid buy in its class

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Suzuki Vitara 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid SZ-T
Price:
€25,745
Engine: 1.4-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
129 hp
Torque: 235 Nm
0-100km/h:
9.5 seconds
Top speed: 190 km/h
Fuel economy: 
5.7 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
128g/km
Motor tax: 
€200 per year


The 2020 Suzuki Ignis on sale in Ireland now!

Suzuki Ignis (2020) Arrives In Ireland

The 2020 Suzuki Ignis on sale in Ireland now!
The 2020 Suzuki Ignis on sale in Ireland now!

Suzuki Ireland has confirmed that the updated 2020 Suzuki Ignis is now on sale in Ireland, priced from €15,665.

The Ignis has undergone a facelift for 2020, with refreshed styling and engine technology. The current generation of the car debuted in Ireland in 2017. It retains its distinct small SUV character with new front grille and bumpers with silver garnishes, new interior accent colours, and a more efficient engine with expanded mild hybrid system capacity.

Inside there are new interior accent colours - Lazuli Medium Blue Pearl and Medium Grey Metallic – matched to grey or blue seat upholstery. The instrument panel, featuring a newly designed meter cluster, has been updated with a contrast of black and white.

The 2020 Suzuki Ignis is available in eleven single-tone and seven two-tone colours, including three new shades – Caravan Ivory Pearl Metallic, Rush Yellow Metallic and Tough Khaki Pearl Metallic.

Under the bonnet there is a new 'K12D' 1.2-litre petrol engine (83 hp) and mild hybrid system with significantly enlarged 10Ah lithium-ion battery capacity (up from 3Ah). The brand says it offers enhanced fuel efficiency and is now also available with a CVT automatic option, alongside the 5-speed manual. The engine features a new dual injection system, promising both powerful response and high fuel efficiency. This balance is made possible through advances that include an electric intake VVT (variable valve timing), a variable displacement oil pump and electric piston cooling jets.

The interior of the Ignis
The interior of the Ignis

The mild hybrid system converts kinetic energy generated during deceleration into electric energy which is charged to the lithium-ion battery and used by an electric motor function to assist the engine when accelerating for higher fuel efficiency.

The new Suzuki Ignis is available in three trim levels - SZ3, SZ-T and SZ5. Standard equipment includes LED headlights, 5 seats with fixed rear bench, air con and Bluetooth. SZ-T adds 16" alloys, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, roof rails, wheel arch extensions and side mouldings. The seat arrangement is 4 seats with individual sliding rear seats.

The CVT automatic is available from €18, 215 from the SZ-T trim.

Have a read about what Changing Lanes though of the Suzuki Ignis ultra compact SUV when we reviewed it in 2017!

Suzuki is the small car specialist with other popular models on sale in Ireland namely the Suzuki Swift supermini and the Vitara small SUV.


The new Suzuki Swift Attitude!

Suzuki Swift Attitude Arrives In Ireland!

The new Suzuki Swift Attitude!
The new Suzuki Swift Attitude!

Suzuki Ireland has introduced a new special edition of the popular Swift. The new Suzuki Swift Attitude has a sporty look inspired by the Swift Sport and comes with a cheap to run 1.2-litre petrol engine with 90hp.

The Attitude is now available on the road from €17,245 in Ireland and comes with a good standard specification. Unique styling features include a mesh front grille with chrome trim, polished 16" wheels, rear upper spoiler and front, side and rear carbon effect skirts.

The Swift is available from €15,445 in Ireland and is Suzuki's most well-known model around the world. A new model debuted in 2017 with more technology and improved design.

A 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is also available in the Swift range. The Attitude model is sold solely with the 1.2-litre engine and five speed manual gearbox.

It has a CO2 emissions figure of 108g/km (NEDC tested) and combined fuel consumption when tested under WLTP regulation is 5.5l /100km.

The Swift Attitude is available in Fervent Red, Pure White, Premium Silver, Super Black, Mineral Grey and Burning Red. Metallic colours are available as a €370 cost option.

According to Suzuki, the Attitude offers a stand out sporting design and is an ideal model for younger buyers who may perhaps look to aspire
to the 1.4-litre Boosterjet Sport model in the future.


The 2019 Suzuki Vitara

Suzuki Vitara Review (2019)

The 2019 Suzuki Vitara
The 2019 Suzuki Vitara

Caroline drives the 2019 Suzuki Vitara!

The Suzuki
Vitara has status as a bit of a legend. Debuting in 1988, early iterations of
the Vitara had boxy, utilitarian attitude by the bucketloads. In fact it’s not
uncommon to see some late 80s and early 90s models still on the road.

Over the years, the Suzuki Vitara has morphed to suit the rise in popularity of the ‘soft-roader’ and SUV. Softer around the edges, it’s probably reached its meekest form in the current generation of the car. That’s not an insult, and it’s great to see Suzuki adapting their Vitara to suit market trends. With pricing starting from €20,995, the Vitara is now scrapping it out with the other compact crossover. But while most of its competitors have been spawned from superminis, I was delighted to find that the Vitara still has a whiff of its tough early roots about it.

The Suzuki Vitara is available from €20,995
The Suzuki Vitara is available from €20,995

The 2019 Suzuki Vitara

In early 2019, Suzuki refreshed the Vitara range with styling upgrades, new engines and more technology and safety features. That’s good for Vitara fans.

On the
outside the 2019 Suzuki Vitara has a more elegant front face with redesigned
grille and lower bumper, and the rear lamps have now been redesigned with a
distinctive LED display. There is something charming about the Vitara’s
presence, and while the back of the car is a little too generic for my liking,
you can’t deny that there is a plucky toughness to this car that is missing
from many rivals.

There are also two new colours for 2019, including Solar Yellow Pearl and Ice Greyish Blue, the latter of which is particularly fashionable!

The interior of the 2019 Suzuki Vitara
The interior of the 2019 Suzuki Vitara

Inside the 2019 Suzuki Vitara

In Ireland the Suzuki Vitara is sold in three trim levels: SZ4 (from €20,995), SZT (from €22,995) and SZ5 (from €26,495).

Inside
there is new seat trim design and suede seat fabric fitted on SZ5 models. The
upper instrument panel is upgraded to a soft touch material and the instrument
cluster now features a central colour information display. There are still
plenty of hard plastics about the cabin but it’s simple and inoffensive with
good levels of standard equipment. Bluetooth, alloy wheels, electric windows,
cruise control and climate control are fitted as standard on all models, while
smartphone link audio and navigation is fitted as standard on SZ-T and SZ5
grade.

SZ5 also adds Dual Sensor Brake Support (also on SZ-T ALLGRIP models), Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Interior space is good for this class of vehicle. There is good room to stretch out in the back and there is also a practical 375 litre boot, comparative to any hatchback. Lots of headroom all round too.

Rear seating in the Suzuki Vitara
Rear seating in the Suzuki Vitara

What are my engine options?

Engines for the Vitara range now include the excellent 1.0-litre (111hp) and 1.4-litre (140hp) turbocharged petrol engines with Boosterjet technology, seen already on other models in the Suzuki range like the Swift and S-Cross. The 1.0-litre petrol comes with a 5 speed manual or automatic gearbox, while the 1.4 litre petrol is available with a 6 speed manual or automatic gearbox. ALLGRIP ‘Select’ four wheel drive is also available from €28,495.

My test car was the Suzuki Vitara 1.0 SZT with a list price of €22,995. This 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine suits the car well and has adequate power and performance. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at 6.2l/100km.

Driving the Suzuki Vitara

You sit higher in the Vitara than in some of the more low slung hatchback-based crossovers. The little Vitara is fun to drive and grips the tarmac willingly with light but precise steering and not too much body roll. There is some road noise at high speeds and the suspension picks up some disturbances over uneven tarmac but overall the Vitara is a surprisingly good compact crossover.

The Suzuki Vitara is perhaps a slightly offbeat choice in the compact crossover segment. Yet it’s very enjoyable to drive and has its own charm. It’s good value with the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine and comes well equipped with plenty of space. If you are in the market for a small SUV, the Vitara is definitely worth a test drive – it could win you over very quickly!

The Suzuki Vitara is a fun little crossover for the compact class
The Suzuki Vitara is a fun little crossover for the compact class

Caroline Kidd

Model
tested: 
Suzuki
Vitara 1.0 SZT
Price:
€22,995 (from €20,995)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power: 
111 hp
Torque: 160 Nm
0-100km/h: 
12.5 seconds
Top speed: 180 km/h
Fuel economy:
5.7 l/100km
CO2 emissions: 
121g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year