Publication date: 23 March 2024
Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift

Rich in simplicity

Review - Suzuki faced a challenge. In its long existence, the brand has specialised itself in making compact, fuel-efficient and affordable cars. It has therefore invested little in advanced technology such as electric propulsion. That is why even the all-new Swift is not an electric car, which means Suzuki is following a very different path from its competitors. How promising is the new Swift?

When it comes to design, Suzuki is also following its own course. It looks as if the new Swift consists of two cars stacked on top of each other. According to Suzuki, it is as if the upper part is floating above the lower one, which would visualize the lightweight construction. To emphasise the width of the car, the headlights are not just on the extreme corners, but even wrap slightly around them. However, along with the dark lenses, this makes the new Swift look something like an insect, which is in stark contrast to the cuddly generations before it. The yellow-green colour of the test car is said to make for a friendly and energetic look and our photographer can totally relate to that!

Suzuki Swift


The dashboard consists of a dark core on a light background, with which Suzuki again wants to reinforce the feeling that this is a lightweight car. However, the front seats have very short seats, giving the feeling that this is a small car. In contrast, the backrest is high (unfortunately with no storage compartments at the back) and headroom is excellent.

For a compact car, the Swift also offers above-average space on the back seat. In this area, the Swift even beats several compact SUVs!

Suzuki Swift
Suzuki Swift


At least as good is the rich standard equipment. Even in its simplest version, the Swift is a modern and complete car with air conditioning, keyless entry and even its own app.

At the same time, it is noticeable that Suzuki is not at the forefront of technical development. Contrary to what Suzuki promises, the audio, communication and navigation system boots slowly and is slow to respond to commands. The menus seem to have been designed by a programmer rather than a designer. Moreover, the display of the home screen is cluttered. However, everything works as it should and, alternatively, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available (also wirelessly).

Suzuki Swift

As required by the European Union, the Swift is equipped with a veritable arsenal of safety features that "assist" the driver. However, Suzuki has implemented EU rules too strictly, making the Swift even more critical of driver carelessness than other cars. Switching off the systems is cumbersome and can only be done when the car is stationary. So anyone who forgets to do this should immediately seek the first parking space after leaving. Otherwise, the beeps, bells and buzzers are enough to drive a sane person crazy within minutes. Again: this is a requirement that all other car manufacturers must also comply with.

The adaptive cruise-control has also become more European, which has actually been experienced as an improvement. The Swift better follows the centre of the lane (doesn't "bounce" between the lines) and automatically brakes for corners, allowing the cruise control to be used for longer and more often.

Suzuki Swift

Performance and consumption

As mentioned earlier, the Swift is not an electric car. However, this seventh generation of the Swift does have an entirely new engine. This one has three cylinders because that is more economical to buy and use. Moreover, this is a "mild hybrid", which means that energy is recovered during braking and coasting. A small electric motor uses that energy to assist the petrol engine when it has to work hard.

A manual gearbox is standard, which is now a rarity with the advent of full hybrids (i.e. not "mild") and electric drive. Fortunately, the gearbox shifts well and the clutch is easy to operate.

Suzuki Swift

In practice, it is clearly noticeable that the engine and gearbox ratios are geared towards economical driving. Performance is modest. However, thanks to the assistance of the electric motor, plenty of torque is available at low revs and therefore the Swift feels powerful despite this. This combination almost forces an economical driving style. On an undemanding route (little city traffic, little motorway, mainly country roads), test consumption therefore was 4 litres per 100 km.

Driving behaviour

The engine's tame character is compensated by its lively handling. Thanks to its simple design, the Swift is relatively light. While the engine is not playful, the chassis certainly is. Sporty driving is rewarded with a lively character and lots of grip. Just as easily, the Swift allows itself to be driven easily and comfortably.

Suzuki Swift


How promising is the seventh generation of the Suzuki Swift? Despite the lack of electric drive, surprisingly promising! In fact, Suzuki has turned this disadvantage into an advantage!

By consistently opting for simplicity, the Swift is everything an electric car is not. The Swift is not sophisticated, heavy or expensive. Thanks to lightweight construction, consumption is as low as that of a full hybrid, while the Swift is a much cheaper mild hybrid. Performance may be modest, but thanks to electric assistance, the Swift is always powerful, which is why the car does not feel sluggish.

The subdued nature of the engine is compensated by a fine chassis that, together with the aforementioned lightweight build, makes for lively handling. On paper, the Swift is simple and cheap. However, its clever concept, good sound insulation and good suspension ensure that this is experienced quite differently: the new Suzuki Swift is best described as rich in simplicity.

  • Excellent roadholding
  • Simple, effective engineering
  • Above-average space in the rear
  • No storage compartments at rear of front seats
  • Sometimes poor interior finishing and cheap materials
  • Many and patronising safety systems that are difficult to deactivate