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The Suzuki Swift is now powered by a greener mild-hybrid powertrain, promising even more smiles per gallon with the same charismatic driving experience.

21 Jan 2021


Suzuki's Swift nameplate has been around for quite a while. Mention it to any veteran car enthusiast and they'll tell you all about the prowess of the Swift GTi from the 90s, a hot hatch that could easily take on larger, more powerful cars. The more recent Swift Sport from 2005 also remains highly desirable among budding car enthusiasts.

Today's Suzuki Swift Mild Hybrid brings a whole new proposition to the table. It is the first mild-hybrid Suzuki to be sold by authorised agent Champion Motors, promising improved fuel economy while offering the fun-to-drive character that enthusiasts know and love.

Hey, I've seen that somewhere…

The new diamond grille gives the familiar shape a breath of fresh air
Finding the shape and design familiar? Your eyes aren't playing any tricks on you. The new Swift does look similar to the previous 1.0-litre turbocharged Swift that you often see on the road.

In fact, in the looks department, there are two main differences that set the car apart from its turbocharged counterpart - a three-dimensional diamond grille with a horizontal silver line now graces the front end, and a new set of 16-inch alloy rims.

The changes, while subtle, allow the new Swift to exude a fresh air of refinement. It sure is more than pleasant to look at, especially when dressed in this gorgeous shade of red, highlighting its muscular shoulder lines while the roofline is tucked out of sight in black. The keen-eyed observer will also notice yet another addition - a rectangular sensor to the left of the chrome Suzuki badge up front.

Hmm, so what's new inside?

Inside, you'll get the familiar, well-built interior with a fresh new 7.0-inch infotainment system
The subtle improvements carry on into the cabin. Set yourself onto the comfortable leather seat and the first thing you'll notice is how everything looks almost the same as before.

Nestled in the centre of the familiar dashboard is a new 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Getting a smartphone connected is a simple affair - it just takes pluging your phone into the USB port and a few taps on the screen. Google Maps navigation can now be displayed on the adequately-sized screen - no need to squint at the phone while driving ever again.

Look to the bottom right corner of the dash and you'll notice a slew of switches that toggle the various safety features - something that wasn't found on the previous Swift.

The new Swift is equipped with the Suzuki Safety Support Suite
You see, the rectangular sensor on the revised front grille is part of the Suzuki Safety Support Suite, an active safety system that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Dual Sensor Brake Support - a forward collision avoidance system with pre-emptive braking when a potential collision is detected.

But it's small, right? 

However, if your last experience with a Suzuki Swift was with one of the earlier models, the biggest surprise is how spacious the interior has grown since.

Reasonably sized adults will find no fault with the rear bench, which can easily fit two with space to spare. In fact, I'm pretty sure you can easily fit three lean adults if there's a need to.

The spacious interior allows passengers to travel in comfort with sufficient wiggle room
While the 265 litres of boot capacity isn't anything to shout about, it will suffice for the regular grocery run.

Is it still the same fun hatch to drive?

So far, we have established that the new Swift is smarter looking and safer, but the biggest distinction has to be the powertrain. It's lost a turbocharger, but gained an extra cylinder and a 12V mild-hybrid system, offering improved efficiency, lower emissions and it now idles with almost no noticeable vibrations in the cabin.

Under the bonnet is a four-cylinder 1.2-litre DualJet engine producing 82bhp and 107Nm of torque, assisted by an electric motor. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a CVT gearbox.

The 1.2-litre engine and mild-hybrid system feels perkier than its official figures suggests
Despite the lacklustre on-paper power figures, the Swift manages to get off the line and up to highway speeds with quite a bit of verve. The electric motor also works to ease the engine load when accelerating, with the result being a surprisingly sprightly power delivery.

As expected of a hatchback of sporty lineage, the Swift handles corners with minimal body roll. Couple these favourable characteristics with its communicative steering and agile chassis, and I dare say the Swift is in a class of its own, offering a distinct character that you'd struggle to find in other cars in this segment.

You said something about efficiency?

The Swift Mild Hybrid manages to offer a great balance of efficiency, practicality and driving enjoyment
While the Swift Mild Hybrid isn't hotter than before, it promises efficiency with the new powertrain, and efficient it undeniably is. After around 100km of highway, city, and some spirited driving, the car still returned a fuel consumption figure of 18km/L. 

The Swift's exceptional efficiency is a trait welcomed by all drivers. Combined with its sharper looks, improved interior and engaging drive, the Suzuki Swift Mild Hybrid is the compact hatchback for drivers searching for a car that's more than a boring, grey appliance. Its low emissions also entitle it to a VES rebate of $15,000, making it an even more attractive proposition!

Car Information

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Suzuki Swift Mild Hybrid 1.2 Standard Two-Tone (A)
Rate it

Price

: $86,900

Engine Type

:

unknown

Engine Cap

:

1197cc

Horsepower

:

-

Torque

:

107 Nm / 6000 rpm

Transmission

:

CVT (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

12.2sec

Top Speed

:

175km/h

Fuel consumption

:

24.2 km/L

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