Suzuki Swift (2024) review

Published: 24 March 2024 Updated: 24 March 2024
Suzuki Swift (2024) driving front
  • At a glance
  • 3 out of 5
  • 2 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5
  • 4 out of 5

By Seth Walton

Staff writer at CAR and our sister website Parkers, specialising in ownership and car advice

By Seth Walton

Staff writer at CAR and our sister website Parkers, specialising in ownership and car advice

2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid review
Back in its fourth generation
A revised supermini tested

It’s no secret that small cars are falling out of favour with manufacturers, as a few long-standing small car production runs have come to an end to make way for bigger, more fashionable SUVs. For a self-proclaimed supermini specialist like Suzuki, it could be a time to lament, but instead it’s looking to seize the moment as an opportunity with a new Suzuki Swift.

A raft of established supermini models like the Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio and Nissan Micra have all either been axed or gone electric. In their wake, Suzuki estimates 250,000 Britons will be left without a direct replacement to the supermini they bought within the last three years.

Enter the fourth-generation Suzuki Swift hybrid. An evolution rather than a revolution of the familiar name, Suzuki has set its sights on grasping what will soon become an enticing gap in the market with a new model, resplendent in modern tech but still conventionally powered to suffice the public’s needs.

Read on for our full review of the new Suzuki Swift, as we reveal how it drives, what the interior is like and how it stacks up to competitors.

At a glance

Pros: Great economy, slick manual gearbox as standard, fun to drive

Cons: Cheap and scratchy interior, not very powerful, more comfortable alternatives

What’s new?

Quite a bit, but let’s start with the engine. Rather than outsourcing the hybrid technology to Toyota like Mazda did with the 2 Hybrid, Suzuki kept things in-house. The four-pot of the old car has been given the chop to make way for an all-new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder mild hybrid engine. It’s about as powerful as the unit in the old car, but it’s now 8% more fuel efficient, produces less CO2 and can push the car to 62mph in better time.

Suzuki Swift (2024) driving front

Both inside and out, the new Swift has been re-styled. The car is still based on Suzuki’s lightweight HEARTECT vehicle platform and so the dimensions haven’t changed, but the headlights and front grille have been revised to give the car a more high-tech look while the rear tailgate has been refreshed with an integrated rear hatch spoiler, among other changes.

Suzuki has worked hard to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the car with a series of exterior amendments, while a new adhesive has been introduced to the under body to reduce noise, vibration and harshness.

Several adjustments have also been made to the Swift’s suspension setup. The front stabiliser bar has been adjusted to improve roll rigidity while at the rear, the suspension has been fettled with to allow the back wheels to glide over changing road surfaces more comfortably.

What about the interior?

Just as the exterior has been re-styled, so too has the car’s cabin. The Swift starts from £18,699, so it’s no surprise that the interior isn’t resplendent in high-quality materials. Hard, scratchy plastics are abundant and soft surfaces rare, but it does little to put you off on the road.

In fact, the interior feels no less luxurious than a bottom-spec Vauxhall Corsa, despite the considerably cheaper price tag. Suzuki has focused on sustainability in its choice of materials while opting for a series of funky surface design textures to liven the cabin up. Do they work? Yes. The cabin isn’t exactly plush nor does it scream artistic flair but it’s a nice enough place to be and feels up to date,

Suzuki Swift (2024) interior

There’s a case to be made that what the Swift falls short on in material quality, it makes up for in interior tech, as a nine-inch infotainment display, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity and heated front seats are all included as standard.

The seats themselves are supportive and comfortable enough with decent mechanical adjustability, though it does feel like you sit rather high up. Owing to the Swift’s relatively straight roofline and square shape, head and shoulder room are decent both in the front and the rear. There isn’t much legroom in the back, but then, you know… supermini…

How does it drive?

The last Swift was lauded for its cheap date driving pleasures, and the newest offering follows suit. Owing to the aforementioned suspension updates and its light kerbweight, the Swift feels nimble on the road, capable of controlling its body well through corners for an all-round gratifying driving experience.

Suzuki Swift (2024) driving front three quarters

With 81bhp, the Swift doesn’t have the power to thrill you, but its slick manual gearbox is one to savour. Couple its short throw and precise action with the car’s well-weighted steering and it becomes a joyous thing to hang through the bends. It won’t get up to any great speeds, but you’ll have a good time trying.

The new Swift is also available with an optional CVT gearbox. We didn’t get a chance to try it, but we suspect it won’t be a box worth ticking for those in search of an engaging experience. For the less speed-conscious Swift drivers , it probably won’t make much of a difference. We’ll report back our findings when we’ve tested it.

It’s probably also worth noting that our test route was almost entirely flat. The Swift’s new power unit felt effective and competent along the level, even roads of Western France, but we suspect the little engine will suffer up some of England’s steeper green and pleasant topography. Again, we’ll report back when we’ve given it a go.  

Suzuki Swift (2024) static front

As for comfort, the Swift rides well. Unlike its hybrid supermini rival the Toyota Yaris, its suspension and 16-inch alloy wheels are soft enough to soak up most imperfections in the road without launching about, all while still having a nimble feel.

What about the specs

With so many updates, many of the Swift’s data figures have also been refreshed. The mild hybrid three-cylinder engine produces the same 81bhp as the old four-pot model, but it now has a quicker 0-62mph time of 12.5 seconds – 5% faster than before. Its torque rating is 83lbft at 4,500 rpm, and flat out it’ll do 103mph in Motion spec or 106mph in Ultra. The Swift’s ALLGRIP four-wheel drive variant can’t quite match that, with a top speed of 99mph.

With its electric assistance, this engine is kinder to the planet, too. The new Swift has a combined WLTP fuel consumption rating of 64mpg and produces 99g/km of CO2 (106 in Ultra spec, 110 with ALLGRIP). Being a mild hybrid, the Swift can’t be charged up from the plug like a full EV, but instead uses energy regenerated when braking to help power the vehicle and improve efficiency.

It has a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 10Ah that can deploy electricity to assist the engine during acceleration then claim a bit of energy back when the car slows down.

Before you buy (trims and rivals)

In line with the Swift’s minimalist ethos, Suzuki has kept the trim range short. There are only two grades to choose from, Motion and Ultra, but even in base-spec you get plenty included in the list price.

Suzuki Swift (2024) side profile

Motion trim includes adaptive cruise control, a nine-inch infotainment display and many driving assistance features as standard, among a long list of other technological supplements. On top of Motion’s tech list, Ultra line cars receive automatic air con, electrically folding door mirrors and a handful of other extras.

Manual Motion cars start from £18,699, while a manual Ultra will set you back £19,799 – are the add-ons worth the extra £1,100? Probably not – it strikes us that with so much included in base-spec, Motion cars really are the bargain choice and likely the models to go for.

Verdict

Since it arrived in 2004 – the name has been used for 40 years but this model can trace its lineage back 20 – Suzuki has sold over nine million Swifts. It’s been one of the great success stories of Japan’s automotive industry, relying on back-to-basics functionality with few frills for a great price. It’s unlikely this new Swift will upset the wasabi cart, as it carries much of the same ethos over while bringing the model up to date in 2024 with all the requisite tech.

Suzuki Swift (2024) interior detail

Yes, the interior is a little harsh to the touch and there’s not an abundance of space, but the new Swift remains cheap, well-equipped and good fun to drive. Result.

Specs

Price when new: £18,699
On sale in the UK: April 2024
Engine: 1.2-litre, three-cylinder mild hybrid petrol
Transmission: Five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission
Performance: 12.5 seconds 0-62mph, 103mph, 83lbft of torque, 64.2 WLTPmpg
Weight / material: 949kg
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 3,869/1,735/1,495mm

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki Swift (2024) driving front
  • Suzuki Swift (2024) driving front
  • Suzuki Swift (2024) driving front three quarters
  • Suzuki Swift (2024) driving rear
  • Suzuki Swift (2024) static front
  • Suzuki Swift (2024) interior
  • Suzuki Swift (2024) side profile
  • Suzuki Swift (2024) interior detail

By Seth Walton

Staff writer at CAR and our sister website Parkers, specialising in ownership and car advice

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