Welter-weight knock out, the new Suzuki Swift

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South Africans love the Suzuki brand. In 2017 and again in 2018, the brand won several local awards. Some of these awards involved consumer votes. This speaks not only to media opinions but to customer experience as well.

The brand has introduced a range of new products that aim to cater to the budget conscious. They are happy to watch the competition load their cars with the latest “must-have” items. Arguably, some of these technologies and creature comforts are supercilious. Meanwhile, Suzuki ticks the “only-what-you-need” boxes and keeps a lid on escalating prices.

We’ve seen two generations of Swift in South Africa since its launch in 2008. A decade later sees the third generation slot into the brand’s already impressive line-up. Where competitors like the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo have upped their game and with it, so too their price-point, Suzuki has done the opposite. The new Swift is now focusing on the entry-level market; cars priced similarly being: the KIA Picanto, Hyundai Grand i10, Ford Figo and not forgetting the popular, VW Polo Vivo.

Cheap as chips, and light as a feather - the Swift packs a big punch in terms of its offering.

Slightly shorter, slightly wider and with a wider track both front and rear, it gives the illusion that the Swift is fuller than before. These size tweaks have increased the interior space and boot capacity by 72 litres. Styling highlights include the floating grille, darkened C-pillar and hidden rear door handles. The design is modern and distinctive. A winner from my aesthetic eyes’ perspective.

The new Swift shares the same (HEARTECT) platform that underpins its more premium Baleno, which now competes against the likes of the Polo and Fiesta. This platform is also shared with the quirky pseudo crossover, the Ignis. What’s so compelling about the platform is its weight. The Swift now weighs in at an impressive 872 kg. Its predecessor, the 1.4 GLS, topped the scales at just over a 1000 kg. Dropping over 100 kgs in a compact city car is remarkable – shedding the weight makes the new Swift quicker, more nimble and economical than ever before.

The cost-cutting can be seen in the car’s interior with the hard plastics and simple switchgear, but the Swift does have a comfortable cabin with all the necessities, like a neatly integrated audio system, electronic windows, manual air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and USB port. There is manual central locking, too.

On the safety front, you’ll find ABS (with EBD and BA), fitted throughout the range and ISOFIX seat anchors. Speaking of seats – a highlight of the cabin – they are very comfortable. They are sumptuous and very supportive. The seating position in the Swift is slightly elevated giving you a great view of the road. Unfortunately, the lightweight variable-ratio electronic power steering is only reach but not rack adjustable. All controls come easily to the hand and operation is very simple.

The engine is carried over from the previous model because of its frugality and reliability. This 1.2-litre motor delivers 61 kW at 6 000 rpm and 113 Nm at 4 200 rpm. Meagre figures but pinned to the Swift’s light body gives you ample acceleration that is pseudo-hot-hatch in its feel.

I mentioned that the engine is frugal. Suzuki claims a figure of 4.9 litres per 100 km in a combined cycle, giving it a real-world range of over 750 km on its 37-litre tank. I was able to achieve a figure of 5.4 litres using the car in an urban setting only.

The all-new Suzuki Swift is available in six colours, namely Premium Arctic White, Metallic Silky Silver, Metallic Magma Grey, Premium Midnight Blue, Solid Fire Red, and the return of the popular Metallic Lucent Orange.


Plus +

  • Nice looking
  • Nimble
  • Solid feeling
  • Reliable
  • Cheap to service

Minus -

  • Small selection of models
  • Only one engine


The competition

Ford Figo, Honda Brio, Hyundai Grand i10, KIA Picanto, Nissan Micra Active, Renault Sandero, Tata Bolt, Toyota Aygo/Etios, VW UP! And VW Polo Vivo.


Service and Warrenty

All models are sold with Suzuki’s acclaimed 5-year/200 000 km mechanical warranty and a 2-year/30 000 km service plan.



Swift 1.2 GA R159 900

Swift 1.2 GL R175 900

Swift 1.2 GL auto R189 900


My choice

Swift 1.2 GL R175 900




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