Suzuki Swift 1.2 Mild Hybrid Motion 5dr

  • Manual
  • Petrol
  • 64.2 mpg
  • 5 door hatchback
  • 99 g/km CO2
  • 99 g/km CO2 emissions
  • 64.2 mpg Fuel efficiency
  • 12.5 secs 0 to 62 mph
  • 82 bhp Engine power

Ten Second Review

With the fourth generation version of their Swift supermini, Suzuki have stayed true to the design principles that have long served them in the small car sector, low running costs, high quality and a spacious cabin being the highlights. The car is now smarter and more sophisticated, plus there's frugal mild hybrid technology included.

Background

We've had 40 years of the Suzuki Swift model line and some varied designs throughout that time. They've done quite well for the brand though, the Swift offered in 169 countries and regions, with accumulated sales of over 9 million units at the time of this fourth generation model's announcement in late 2023. This version has a crisp design with greater sophistication but the company has aimed to keep what it calls the 'fun to drive playfulness' which has always marked this car's predecessors apart from a lot of other superminis. The other thing that's generally marked a Swift apart from a lot of other superminis has usually been its relatively low price. To try and keep that, Suzuki hasn't gone for huge engineering changes with this MK4 model; just an upgraded version of the old car's 1.2-litre three cylinder mild hybrid petrol engine. Even the exterior design is only mildly evolved. But do a lot of small changes add up to big improvement? Let's take a closer look.

Driving Experience

Suzuki says that this car's 82hp 1.2-litre three cylinder mild hybrid engine is 'new', but (as with the rest of the car), it's actually merely a thorough update of what went before. The brand claims it offers higher low-speed torque for greater responsiveness. As before, the engine's paired with a 12V mild hybrid system to improve efficiency. There's a choice of manual or CVT auto transmission and at the top of the range, unusually in this class, an AWD ALL GRIP system continues to be offered (only with a manual gearbox). Whatever model you choose, expect a more eager driving feel than you get with most budget superminis. And improved refinement thanks to sleeker aerodynamics and more attention on reducing road noise. For the first time on a Suzuki vehicle, sound and vibration adhesive has been applied to the under body to reduce transmission of noise and vibration into the cabin, particularly on bumpy roads. Suzuki calls its mild hybrid system 'SHVS' or 'Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki' technology and it's based around the use of what's called an 'Integrated Starter Generator' powered by a tiny 0.2 kWh lithium-ion battery that sits under the driver's seat. This set-up harvests kinetic energy when you brake and converts it into electrical energy. Not the kind that could take you short distances on electric power alone - the battery isn't big enough to allow for that. Instead, the regenerated energy is used to power the standard engine stop/start system and also to provide a mild extra power boost as you accelerate - around 50Nm of extra torque for up to 30 seconds. Thanks to a slight increase in engine torque over the old K12D engine (to 112Nm), the 62mph from rest sprint now takes 12.5s (5% faster than before) en route to 103mph with manual transmission - or 11.9s and 106mph with the auto. For the heavier 4WD ALL GRIP version, the figures are 13.6s and 99mph.

Design and Build

Well you'd recognise this as a Swift, were you to be familiar with this fourth generation model's predecessor. The 'dramatic redesign' promised by the marketing doesn't materialise here; it's more of a smartly completed and very thorough repackaging of what went before. At the front, there's a piano black grille and C-shaped signature lights that flow into rounded shoulder lines, highlighted by flared fenders. Side-on, the 'floating style' roof (which can be contrast-coloured) is familiar, but the profile contours are now more muscular and the rear door handles have been moved from the C-pillars to sit more conventionally. At the back, there are three-dimensional combination lamps and a wide rear bumper. It's evolution, not revolution inside too. As before, it's quite driver-orientated, featuring a centre cluster dial and controls subtly angled for ease of use. Sitting on top of the wrap-around, dual-tone black-and-light-grey dashboard is now-much smarter-looking 9-inch HD touchscreen with wireless 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto', plus voice recognition. The cabin finishing seems of better quality than before too, with satin plating and satin dark silver paint accents giving a smarter look. Cost-effective analogue instruments and a small screen continues to feature in the driver's binnacle, the climate panel no longer has chunky rotary dials and around the fascia there are notably fewer physical buttons. As before in the rear, two fully-sized adults will be quite happy, as will three kids. The boot capacity isn't much different from the 265-litre trunk that featured previously. That's easily enough for a couple of carry-on bags. Push forward the rear bench and you can extend the space to 980-litres.

Market and Model

Affordability has always been a Swift strength and like so much else, that hasn't changed with the latest car. Prices start from just under £19,000, but most models will be sold around the £20,000 bracket. There's a choice of two trim levels, 'Motion' and 'Ultra' and in most cases, you'll be adding between £600-£850 for your choice of paint colour. It's £1,250 more if you want to upgrade from manual to CVT auto transmission. If you want the ALL GRIP 4WD variant (which costs just over £21,000), you have to have top 'Ultra' trim and manual transmission. Even 'Motion' spec gets you 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, Adaptive Cruise Control, rear parking sensors, a rear view camera, navigation, heated front seats, keyless entry and Suzuki's latest 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto'. Plusher 'Ultra' spec adds features like polished wheel rims, automatic air conditioning and power-folding mirrors. Suzuki has improved its Dual Sensor Brake Support autonomous braking system. Here, a millimetre-wave radar and monocular camera are employed to detect vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians in front of the vehicle and help mitigate frontal, diagonal and lateral collisions. There's also Lane Keep Assist set-up which works in concert with the vehicle's Adaptive Cruise Control system and helps maintain the Swift's position in the centre of its lane. Suzuki has additionally included a Driver Monitoring system based around camera built into the instrument panel that monitors the driver's eyes and face and can detect drowsiness, at which point a warning alarm will be sounded. Other camera safety features include Lane Departure Prevention, Traffic Sign Recognition, a Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Plus there's an eCall system that alerts the emergency services when the airbags go off.

Cost of Ownership

While the Swift has always been cheap to buy and reliable, in the past its fuel economy and CO2 emissions sometimes tended to let the overall cost of ownership down a little. The previous generation model improved things in that regard when a mild hybrid system was introduced and this MK4 design delivers much the same kinds of efficiency figures as its predecessor; expect 64.2mpg on the combined cycle and 99g/km of CO2. BiK is rated at between 24-27%, depending on variant. What about other costs? Well, every version comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty to match most rivals. There's also a year's breakdown cover that extends across the whole of Europe and includes roadside recovery. A 12-year anti-rust guarantee comes with the car too. Service stops are needed every year. Once your Swift has been registered for three years, it will become eligible for Suzuki's fixed price service package which will enable you to get servicing carried out for a single fixed price that will include parts, labour and VAT. There are around 180 Suzuki dealers in the UK and they're noted for excellent customer service. You can also even out the cost of regular maintenance with a 'Service Payment Plan' that covers you for anything between one and three garage visits.

Summary

The Swift has always been known as the thinking person's supermini selection - and very little has changed in that regard with this fourth generation version. You come away from looking at one thinking that Suzuki deserves a higher profile than it currently enjoys in the UK - but maybe that's the way Swift owners like it. This isn't a supermini that most of those who'll settle for a Polo or a Corsa will ever consider. But it's an alternative they should have tried before signing on the dotted line. Here's an affordable car that doesn't feel like one. And a well kept secret that doesn't deserve to remain that way.

  • Automatic start/stop system
  • Remote fuel cap release
  • Tailgate
  • 4 speakers + 2 tweeters
  • 9-inch infotainment display
  • Auxiliary input socket
  • Bluetooth audio streaming
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • USB Type A and C
  • Black coloured A & B pillars
  • Black Upper and lower front grille
  • Body colour door mirrors and handles
  • C pillar trim moulding
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Rear spoiler
  • Side spoiler
  • 1 cup holder in rear
  • 12V Accessory socket in front console
  • 2 cup holders in front
  • 3 spoke leather covered steering wheel
  • Accessory socket
  • Centre console storage
  • Centre lower box
  • Chrome handbrake release button
  • Chrome interior door handles
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Door pockets with bottle holder
  • Front passenger side assist grip
  • Glovebox
  • Material door trim ornament
  • Parcel shelf
  • Tilt adjustable steering wheel
  • Tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel
  • 3 point ELR seatbelts for centre seat
  • 3 point ELR seatbelts front and rear
  • Curtain airbags
  • Driver airbag
  • Front and rear seatbelt reminder
  • Front passenger airbag
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters
  • Rear child proof door locks
  • Rear seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters
  • Side airbags with incorporated into front seats
  • Tyre pressure indicator
  • Deadlocks
  • Freewheeling key cylinders
  • Immobiliser
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Light - on and Key in reminder
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Remote central locking
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 99
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1197
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 3
  • Engine Code: Z12E
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
  • Gears: 5 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 12
  • Transmission: MANUAL
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 4.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High: 5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High: 3.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low: 4.6
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium: 4
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 64.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High: 56.4
  • WLTP - MPG - High: 74.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Low: 61.4
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium: 70.6
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 1.2
  • Badge Power: 83
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: Mild Hybrid
  • Coin Series: Motion
  • Generation Mark: 5
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 27D
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 67
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 65
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 3
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 76
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 62
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Service Interval Mileage: 12500
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: 999999
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 12.5
  • Engine Power - BHP: 82
  • Engine Power - KW: 60
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5700
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 83
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 11.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 112
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 4500
  • Top Speed: 103
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 185/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 185/55 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: N
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Height: 1495
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 3860
  • Wheelbase: 2450
  • Width: 1735
  • Width (including mirrors): N
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 37
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1365
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 589
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 265
  • Max. Loading Weight: 416
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 1000
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 400
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 949
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 9.6