RE: Suzuki Swift Sport: PH Fleet

RE: Suzuki Swift Sport: PH Fleet

Thursday 13th October 2016

Suzuki Swift Sport: PH Fleet

It's the last naturally aspirated hot hatch on sale, of course we had to run one!



Now truly is a great time for the hot hatch buyer. There are cars to suit all tastes, demands and budgets, with everything from traditional pocket rockets to 400hp hyper hatches all available. Many are damn good too, making the buying decision even trickier.

But something has been lost in recent developments: the naturally aspirated engine. Indeed the Suzuki Swift Sport you see here is the last hot (ish) hatch on sale without a turbo. It makes its 136hp peak at 6,900rpm and needs 4,400rpm before it will muster its full 118lb ft. Figures from an older hot hatch then, but also the promise of a traditional driving experience. Because aren't hot hatches all about revs and last minute shifts?

No turbo to be found here!
No turbo to be found here!
In addition, the Swift boasts a refreshingly old fashioned kerbweight of just 1,045kg. Even a Fiesta ST is 100kg more, a Focus RS half a tonne (!) heavier. There are no modes either, simply a well sorted passive suspension set up, three pedals and a six-speed gearbox. All this time we've been bleating on about the detrimental effect of turbos and the unnecessary complexity of modern cars; the Swift would appear to be the answer to those concerns.

First impressions - it's only been with us for a week - are very good indeed. KY66 OVA doesn't have a single option fitted to it; there are a few extras listed on the Suzuki site, but none appealed especially. And if we're using this car as an example of simple being best, completely standard seemed appropriate. For Β£14,399, you get plenty of equipment too: Bluetooth, DAB, sat-nav, keyless entry and curtain airbags are all standard.

Enough of the worthy stuff though; what's it like to drive? As you can probably tell from the ridiculous look on my face, rather good fun. Suzuki had already covered 300 miles in the car, their parting advice being that "it loves revs" and meaning we could get on with driving in a, er, traditional hot hatch style.

Three-door too, like a proper hot hatch
Three-door too, like a proper hot hatch
It does love revs! As mentioned in our five-door review, the Swift perhaps doesn't quite zing like the best Japanese engines, but it feels really keen between 4,500 and 6,500rpm. With fairly modest performance you can use those revs too, and drive the Swift so much harder than most modern performance cars. If the engine loosens up just a fraction over the coming miles, it promises to be really good fun.

It's a simple car too: you start the engine, switch the ESP off if you really want to, select a gear (yourself) and drive away. There's nothing to configure, no adjustable steering weights and not a paddle in sight. Jolly good!

The Swift is with us for six months, during which time we're hoping to get it out on track, explore its rallying success and pitch against a few other classic hatches too. Eager would be an understatement!


FACT SHEET
Car
: Suzuki Swift Sport
Run by: Matt
On fleet since: October 2016
Mileage: 422 (delivered on 300)
List price new: Β£14,399
Last month at a glance: From one of the most expensive hot hatches to the most affordable!

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Photos: Dan Trent

Author
Discussion

Mike1990

Original Poster:

720 posts

77 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
Looking forward to seeing how it performs against some 'older' Hot Hatches, always good to see! car still looks fresh even after all these years, 2010 the the Mk2 came out wasn't it?

W124

1,335 posts

84 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
Excellent cars. I recall driving one at a press event some years back. Put more of a smile on my face than any of the much more exotic fare on offer. Given the awful nature of driving and cars in general these days, perhaps this is a fine antidote to the ghastly, DRL bedecked, over tired nonsense.

patmahe

5,265 posts

150 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
A car I can realistically aspire to own. I really like these so will follow reviews with interest.

We had a boggo mk1, not the sport and we loved it.

Edited by patmahe on Thursday 13th October 16:53

Redwest

11 posts

120 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
There is a lot of love out there for these little pocket rockets - we have two in our family, a year old 1.2 four door and a 7 year old 3 door 1.3 Attitude - both are great fun to drive, reward the driver for pushing on and are cheap to run. When I drive them they always remind me of the old Mini - lightweight, quick steering, revvy little engine and happy to be driven quick.

s m

17,936 posts

149 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
Little write-up in Autocar this week about the Swift Sport and a couple of other n/a hatches

dunnoreally

309 posts

54 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
Love the idea of these. I could easily see myself in (a second hand) one if/when dailying the MR2 stops being feasible.

V10Ace

283 posts

39 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
patmahe said:
A car I can realistically aspire to own. I really like these so will follow reviews with interest.

We had a boggo mk1, not the sport and we loved it.

Edited by patmahe on Thursday 13th October 16:53
Always thought the mark 1 was fun, gti that is, but what a depressing post.

You get what you aim for......

patmahe

5,265 posts

150 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
V10Ace said:
patmahe said:
A car I can realistically aspire to own. I really like these so will follow reviews with interest.

We had a boggo mk1, not the sport and we loved it.

Edited by patmahe on Thursday 13th October 16:53
Always thought the mark 1 was fun, gti that is, but what a depressing post.

You get what you aim for......
What's depressing about it, I just have different priorities, I put house, family, holidays etc ahead of cars these days and am happier because of it.

One of these would be a lot of fun, what should I be aiming for in your book.




Edited by patmahe on Thursday 13th October 18:48

EddyBee

150 posts

114 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
My missus had a preface lift Sport and we loved it. First child came and it had to go because the boot is tiny.

Replaced it with a Fabia VRS Estate (1.4tsi) she cried when we px'd it at the dealership.

Our lad is 2 now meaning we haven't got to cart at much stuff about so I can see us returning to the swift sport.
They're such good fun, you can drive the wheels off them and not be doing stupid speeds.
Fabia is boring in comparison I can't wait to get rid of it!(never really got on with it)

Only annoyances were;
very occasionally you'd struggle to get 1st from stand still and have to select it via 2nd (they all do that sir, apparently) and when you folded the front seat to get in the back. The seat reset to a bolt upright position too far forward meaning it had to be re adjusted. However all was forgiven for how good the rest of it was!

ELUSIVEJIM

7,270 posts

97 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
Looks like the new Swift Sport will have the 1.4 turbo engine out of the new Vitara.

Great for car tax but will lose the high revving engine frown


gweaver

594 posts

104 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
Matt said:
If the engine loosens up just a fraction over the coming miles, it promises to be really good fun.
It's been suggested that they loosen up a lot around 2.5k miles - the suspicion being that there's a running in map. I have no idea if this is true. I also find that the engine is really flat until it's started to warm up a little, about a mile down the road.

court

1,456 posts

162 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
patmahe said:
What's depressing about it, I just have different priorities, I put house, family, holidays etc ahead of cars these days and am happier because of it.

One of these would be a lot of fun, what should I be aiming for in your book.
I'm the same as you now - new priorities for this stage of my life. This is definitely a car on my list since nice house and new family. The daily commute is all traffic or B-roads so wringing out one of these at mostly legal speeds really appeals. The 5-door option makes it very tempting. 3 year old ones look to be about 8k, might even have a nearly new one at 12k.

Klippie

1,593 posts

91 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
My daily is one of these little gem's...it's crap on fuel form canning the arse of it all the time, the brakes have burned out in 27k miles from all the hard late braking, tyre's don''t last very long either from blasting around corners way too fast.

It's a bloody riot to drive I love it...oh and it's never missed a beat.

gweaver

594 posts

104 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
patmahe said:
We had a boggo mk1, not the sport and we loved it.
I've read that the current 1.2 (both 90 and 94 bhp) is still pretty good fun. Apparently it likes to be revved too. Probably more comfortable than the Sport, but a little lacking when it comes to oomph for overtaking. My local dealer currently has some pre-registered Swift SZ2s up for £7989 - a real bargain IMHO.

DJC

57 posts

56 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
I currently own one of these pocket rockets at the age of 18. I absolutely love it, all the power you really need and it handles like its on rails. Excellent value for money considering what kit you get with it. I honestly can't think of a better first hot hatch for the money.

Wacky Racer

31,647 posts

193 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
V10Ace said:
patmahe said:
A car I can realistically aspire to own. I really like these so will follow reviews with interest.

We had a boggo mk1, not the sport and we loved it.

Edited by patmahe on Thursday 13th October 16:53
Always thought the mark 1 was fun, gti that is, but what a depressing post.

You get what you aim for......
What a strange post.

Some people might aspire to own a brand new Mondeo, others a Ferrari.

Everyone is different.

People that aspire to own something that is realistic to own in the future are generally much happier.

That's not to say I'm knocking ambition.....far from it.

Vroom101

804 posts

79 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
Redwest said:
There is a lot of love out there for these little pocket rockets - we have two in our family, a year old 1.2 four door and a 7 year old 3 door 1.3 Attitude - both are great fun to drive, reward the driver for pushing on and are cheap to run. When I drive them they always remind me of the old Mini - lightweight, quick steering, revvy little engine and happy to be driven quick.
Spot on Redwest. My first ever car nearly twenty years ago was a £400 1985 Mini Mayfair, and now Mrs Vroom drives a 56 plate 1.5 Swift. They are very similar in feel and character. I do enjoy driving the Swift (usually when it needs a service!) and for a vanilla engine the motor really likes to rev its little socks off. A workmate had one of these Sports and it was just all the great qualities turned up to 11.

VeeFource

940 posts

123 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
Klippie said:
My daily is one of these little gem's...it's crap on fuel form canning the arse of it all the time, the brakes have burned out in 27k miles from all the hard late braking, tyre's don''t last very long either from blasting around corners way too fast.

It's a bloody riot to drive I love it...oh and it's never missed a beat.
I average nearly 40mpg in mine despite using all the revs whenever I can. Absolutely love it too, even more fun than cars I've owned with nearly 3 times the power. It's just so much more suited to to having fun on English roads than all these over-tyred, super stable mega hatches. All that power's really only needed for overtaking ability and how often does that realistically get to happen on 4 wheels these days?

Looking forward to the updates very much!

Leejay-B

89 posts

129 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
These are used for rental at the nurburgring, for good reason too.

Very strong and reliable, especially the engine.

mnx42

211 posts

109 months

Thursday 13th October 2016
quotequote all
I have a 2013 Model and have had it since last December. I have had hot hatchbacks virtually all my driving life and I absolutely love my Swift Sport. It goes well enough, is very economical (for what it is), handles really well,is surprisingly comfortable and insurance is reasonable for me too (mind you I AM 51!).
I use it daily and will do around 25000 miles a year A,B, and MWay driving. My only 2 minor niggles are seat related.. 1) If you move the drivers seat to let someone in the back it returns to a default position (so everyone has to enter my car via the passenger door!) and the drivers seat is set a little too high for my liking.