HOT hatchbacks have enduring popularity and one of the strong contenders in the sector is the Suzuki Swift Sport which has charismatic styling and packs quite a performance punch.
Powered by a very responsive 138 hp 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine, the Swift Sport delivers a zesty 0-100 kph time of 8.1 seconds and has outstanding handling characteristics to keep it firmly planted on the corners. Top speed is 209 kph (130 mph), emissions 125 g/km and average fuel economy 16.6 kpl (47.1 mpg).
Priced at €22,359 (£18,999), the Swift Sport has a performance-style cabin with bolstered front seats and the dashboard dominated by twin hooded speedometer and rev-counter dials. There is also a neat display unit between them providing additional information including lateral acceleration and braking force!
The frontal styling gives the car a potent stance and twin exhausts emphasise the performance aspect so the Swift Sport can turn a few heads.
It is well equipped too – standard features include alloy wheels, LED headlights, rear parking camera, cruise control, digital radio, Bluetooth, sat-nav, climate control and smartphone links. Safety kit includes auto emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist and driver alert.
The Swift has a larger interior thanks to a wider platform and slightly lowered seats boosting headroom, and a longer wheelbase which creates more rear passenger space. Seating is comfortable and supportive and there is a good driving position with excellent visibility. Boot space of 265 litres is slightly smaller than that of some rivals, but is expandable to 579 litres by dropping the rear seats.
Underway, the Swift Sport is smooth and eagerly responsive, agile in the city and composed on the open road. The suspension is well balanced for grippy handling and the steering gives excellent feedback from the road surface for assured driving.
Despite firmer suspension, the overall ride comfort remains very good.
Rivals include the Ford Fiesta ST and Peugeot 208 GTI – both impressive cars – yet the Suzuki Swift seems to have a more distinctive and engaging character and can compete with the best of them.
Anyone taking a test drive is likely to be very impressed at just what the Swift Sport offers in terms of its joyful driving dynamics and generous equipment levels.
Facts at a glance
- Model: Suzuki Swift Sport
- Engine: 1.4 litre petrol
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- Performance: 0-100 kph 8.1 seconds, top speed 209 kph (130 mph)
- Economy: 16.6 kpl (47.1 mpg)
- Emissions: 125 g/km
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.