Suzuki Swift Sport is a small hot hatch that makes a big impression
The Suzuki Swift has proved itself as a handsome, well made and fun to drive small hatch to us and the Australian motoring public, who have bought the little hatch in droves. The Suzuki Swift Sport builds upon this accomplished recipe and is aimed at buyers who want a more engaging and driver focused warm hatch with sharper handling, more aggressive looks and more power.
What we like:
- Accurate and engaging handling
- Eager engine
- Bucket seats
- Sports styling
Not so much:
- Strange speedometer intervals
- No parking sensors or reversing camera
- CVT can be a little slurred
- Should be a couple of grand cheaper
Price and Equipment
The Suzuki Swift Sport is available in a single specification level and buyers have the choice of two transmissions: a six-speed manual and a CVT automatic with seven steps and steering wheel mounted paddles. The manual version is priced from $24,490 plus on roads and the CVT version as tested here is priced from $26,490 plus associated government charges.
Swift Sport highlights include a 1.6 litre engine from the Suzuki S-Cross (ordinary Swift models utilise a 1.4), sports seats, single zone climate control, smart key with push button start, satellite navigation, 17inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, sports suspension, distinctive head and tail lights, bespoke front and rear bumpers and sports seats.
The Swift Sport’s interior is dominated by the two front sports bucket seats. The seats themselves are firm but comfortable and certainly fulfil their role of holding occupants tightly in position when the car is devouring bends-more on this later.
Red stitching on the seats and steering wheel contrast against the black and grey plastics and cloth trimming. The steering wheel itself is chunky, attractive and Suzuki has cleverly mounted the shift paddles on the back of the steering wheel and they illuminate at night, allowing the driver to quickly identify that the paddle on the right is for upshifts and the paddle on the left is for down changes.
One gripe we had with the Swift Sport’s speedometer was that the numbers were in unusual intervals that weren’t relative to Australian speed limits. For example, the numbers 80 and 100 were not labelled, rather they were replaced with linear markers. This arrangement can take some adjustment and it can be difficult to obtain speed information at a glance.
Still, head and should room up front is decent for a car of this size and two passengers will squeeze into that back, however they won’t enjoy the same head and legroom as their counterparts up front.
The cabin also lacks oddment storage, with the glovebox being the only covered compartment to store keys, wallets and other paraphernalia. A USB and power outlet are provided at the base of the centre stack to charge smart phones and other electronic devices, with a special recess to keep things neat and tidy.
The Swift Sport’s pert little rump conceals a pert little boot of 210 litres.
Engine and Transmission
The Swift Sport is powered by a 1.6 litre four-cylinder that produces [email protected] and [email protected] The CVT can be left to its own devices or drivers can take a more immersive role in the Swift Sport experience by manually selecting seven ratios with the paddles.
The drivetrain is eager and willing to please. Performance isn’t what you’d call electrifying, but it is lively and the engine ensures the Swift Sport zips along well, swiftly. The engine also has a gruff, throaty and gravelly note that plays a significant part of the Swift Sport’s personality.
The CVT transmission can be a little temperamental at times, with power delivery occasionally delayed and lumpy under spirited acceleration. This can be alleviated by changing gears manually with the paddles.
Suzuki claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres, however we achieved a little over this as our test car had just over a mere 500 kilometres on the odometer on collection. It is also worth noting that the Swift Sport has an appetite for more expensive premium unleaded.
On The Road
Tight, twisty and challenging roads are the Swift Sport’s playground. The chassis is brilliantly balanced, the suspension is firm-hard on poor surfaces-but offers sublime grip in the wet and dry. The steering is a touch heavy for a car this size, but it is wonderfully communicative and lets you know exactly where the front wheels are pointing allowing the driver to tackle the tightest of corners with confidence and enthusiasm.
As aforementioned, the ride is very firm. So much so that on some surfaces you can almost feel the type of stones that have been used to form the road surface. Alas, there is method to Suzuki’s madness the suspension set up and stiffer body make for bundles of grip, making use of those heavily bolstered bucket seats and serving as a suitable playmate to that steering system.
Hit the highway though and there is quite a lot of tyre roar and road noise. Additionally, rear visibility is obstructed by the rear window design and the absence of parking sensors and a reversing camera can make parking a little difficult.
The Suzuki Swift Sport has been awarded a five star ANCAP safety rating and is fitted with dual front, side, curtain airbags along with a driver’s knee airbag. Anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and electronic brakeforce distribution are also featured as standard.
The new Swift Sport is covered by Suzuki’s three year 100,000 kilometre warranty.
Suzuki Swift Sport Specs
Make and model: Suzuki Swift Sport
Engine type: 1586cc inline four cylinder with DOHC, four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing
Power: 100kW @ 6900rpm
Torque: 160Nm @ 4400rpm
Transmission: Seven step constantly variable (CVT) transmission with front-wheel drive
Fuel consumption: 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres
Dimensions: 3850mm long, 1695mm wide, 1510mm high and 2430mm wheelbase
Suspension: Front: Macpherson strut Rear: Torsion beam
Steering: Rack and pinion
Country of Origin: Japan