AN IMPROVED engine and a greater level of torque generated by hybrid technology have brought a new level of enjoyment to Suzuki’s very likeable Swift Sport.

But that’s only part of the story as Suzuki strives to make the Sport a viable alternative to hotter hatchbacks.

The 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Boosterjet unit will achieve more than 50mpg motoring if you are not too enthusiastic with your right foot, while CO2 emissions are also down when compared with the previous model.

There is more good news too when it comes to equipment levels. The Swift Sport now comes with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.

That’s on top of smartphone display audio, a rear view camera, front fog lamps, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear electric windows, automatic climate control, dual sensor brake support, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control.

In other words, it is more efficient, safer and equipped with the sort of technology that we now demand in all but the most basic of carriages.

But is it more fun to drive? The short answer is yes. It’s lighter, sharper and quicker, topping out at a phenomenal 130mph.

There’s a disappointing amount of feedback, but the Sport just loves to rev and is ably assisted by a revised short-throw gearbox that’s a perfect match.

Surprisingly, it is not quite as quick off the mark, registering a 0 to 62mph time of 9.1 seconds against the previous model’s time of 8.9 seconds, but the increased torque more than makes up for that… and it really does feel faster than the official figure.

The fourth Suzuki model to be built on the company’s lightweight Heartect platform, the Sport now has a highly rigid light frame and its torque-to-weight ratio is even a match for hot hatch rivals.

A smidgen longer than the regular Swift, the Sport is 15mm lower than the previous model, further accentuating its low and wide stance. That look is further enhanced by its two exhaust pipes, small rear spoiler, pillar-mounted rear door handles and LED lights front and rear.

A roof spoiler helps keep maximum tyre contact with the road by decreasing lift at high speeds. Wind resistance is reduced by 10 per cent overall compared with the previous Sport model.

The luggage capacity with rear seats raised is 265 litres, which is 25 per cent larger than the previous Swift Sport model, and there’s a decent amount of room for rear seat passengers.

For the interior, sporty and sophisticated red accent panels throughout the cockpit work with a basic black tone, while the tachometer features a red dial face and the speedometer is coloured silver.

Semi-bucket seats, a dimpled leather steering wheel and alloy pedals emphasise the sportiness.

The Sport utilises a 4.2 inch high-definition colour LCD display that shows a range of information including turbo boost, engine oil temperature, engine output and torque data, fuel consumption, average speed, acceleration and brake operation as well as driving G-force tracking.

For infotainment, the Sport has a 7.0in touchscreen that sits in the dashboard. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring is standard so you can use apps on your phone and bypass the system’s software if you choose. There is also a three-dimensional navigation map.

In summary, the Sport has been improved in virtually every area and remains a car you will love to drive but also one that also offers a comfortable ride.

All these improvements come at a price, of course. The new Swift Sport costs £22,070, and that tag might well deter customers still expecting to fork out less than £20,000.

Take it for a spin and you might still be tempted.


Suzuki Swift Sport Hybrid

Price: £22,070

Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol combined with 48V hybrid assistance, producing 129PS

Transmission: Six-speed manual

Performance: 0 to 62mph in 9.1 seconds; top speed 130mph

Economy: 50.1mpg combined

CO2 emissions: 127g/km


Performance: ****

Economy: ****

Ride/Handling: ****

Space/Practicality: ***

Equipment: ****

Security/Safety: ****

Value For Money: **