► New Suzuki Swift shown in Japan
► 2017 makeover comes to Europe in spring
► More than 5.3m sold since 2004
Suzuki has shown its new Swift supermini for the first time in Japan, ahead of its European debut at the Geneva motor show.
The two are essentially the same model, though with regional differences in engines, tune and homologation details.
The Japanese Swift goes on sale on 4 January 2017; we’ll have to wait until the Geneva motor show to see the European Swift, with UK sales not expected until late summer.
So what’s new for 2017?
The new 3840mm-long Swift ditches the three-door option, in line with modern manufacturing trends. It’s five doors only, reflecting customer behaviour in recent years.
Note how the rear door handles are hidden in the blacked-out C-pillar (above). It’s a neat visual trick and retains the signature Swift glasshouse.
Underpinning the newcomer is a fresh architecture dubbed Heartect. Its wheelbase is 20mm longer than before and it’s available with 1.0- and 1.2-litre Dualjet downsized turbo engines, a six-speed automatic transmission and the brand’s Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki system to trim fuel consumption.
Naturally, there’s a slew of gadgetry available on the new Swift. It features cameras and laser sensors to predict a collision, braking accordingly.
And the same sensors can control the headlamps and cruise control to maintain a set distance to the car in front (depending on trim level, obviously).
The Swift has been a success story for Suzuki, selling 5.3m units worldwide since launch in 2004. A year later, we named it our Car of the Year.
Click here for more Suzuki reviews by CAR magazine