Suzuki Swift Sport08 | 05 | 2018Scotcars rating

    Suzuki gives its Swift Sport supermini the turbo treatment ... and offers a tempting price drop

    THERE’S ALWAYS BEEN a market for fun-packed, put-a-smile-on-your-face superminis, and the previous generation Suzuki Swift Sport was certainly one of those. Drivers who loved it, really loved it. It has something akin to a cult following, having established its own niche in the marketplace. (Related: Roadtest — Suzuki Swift)

    So now the new version is here, and ready to go head-to-head with the likes of the VW up! GTI. On-sale from June 1, the Suzuki’s priced at £17,999. But if you order yours from your local Scottish dealer in June, they’ll slash 1500 quid off the price. In anyone’s language, that’s a bargain.

    So what exactly do you get for your £16,499? For the first time the Swift Sport has gone all turbo, moving away from the free-breathing engines used in the previous two generations.

    The newcomer uses a 1.4-litre ‘Boosterjet’ turbo four-cylinder engine — already found in the Vitara S and chunky S-Cross crossovers — which delivers 138bhp. In the Swift Sport it’s good for 0-62mph in 8.1-seconds and, where legal, will carry on to 130mph.

    Suzuki-Swift-Sport-2.jpg

    Performance is further enhanced by a new twin sports exhaust system, which bulges out of the rear bumper, plus an enhanced six-speed manual gearbox. Significantly, Suzuki has also fitted the new model with a stiffer sports suspension system, including Monroe shock absorbers front and rear and ventilated 285mm front brake discs.

    Suzuki has also put the Swift Sport on something of a diet. This latest version tips the scales at just 975kg, which makes it lighter than the rival up! GTI. The Suzuki is also more powerful.

    Suzuki-Swift-Sport-4.jpg

    There’s also no denying the Japanese carmaker has given its new supermini a more aggressive look; one which is at its best when mated to the Sport’s exclusive ‘Champion Yellow’ paintwork. In addition to attractive 17-inch honeycomb-like alloys — and that new, sporty exhaust — there’s also a chunkier front bumper and meshed grille.

    Suzuki-Swift-Sport-5.jpg

    The sportiness continues inside with bespoke thickly-bolstered sports seats, plus flashes of red on the dashboard, instrument binnacle and door inlays.

    Elsewhere, Suzuki has made sure the Swift Sport is well-specced, with infotainment navigation, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus lane departure warning with active lane steering assist, and adaptive cruise all standard.

    Suzuki-Swift-Sport-9d.jpg

    But all the kit’s all well and good. The main question is, how does it drive? There’s no denying the new powerplant is more versatile, thanks to a much-increased availability of torque. The Boosterjet engine is attractively flexible, allowing the driver to accelerate with a smooth surge at the lower end of the rev range. Even in higher gears, the result is similar.

    To maximise the fun factor, keep the car in the mid-range gears and utilise the flexibility surrounding the 3000rpm-ish torque band. I promise, you’ll be smiling before too long. Hurl the new Swift Sport into a corner — we were fortunate to max the car out at Mondello Park race circuit near Dublin — and you’ll enjoy the fact the new suspension ensures the car has the double benefit of plenty of grip and minimal body roll.

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    Worth highlighting the suspension doesn’t just shine on-track. It’s equally at home on uneven surfaces, and even rutted roads, where it manages to soften most of the irregularities to the point of irrelevancy when you’re on the move.

    Oh, and the ventilated sports discs fitted to the Swift Sport certainly do their job with minimum fuss.

    Inside the cabin you can see where cost-cutting has been carried out, with some of the materials feeling a little on the cheap side. But hey, act quick and it’s only £16,499!

    Suzuki-Swift-Sport-9c.jpg

    The infotainment system is easy to use, and allows you to utilise your phone via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink.

    The sports seats in the front are excellent, though rear legroom is a tad tight, especially if you find yourself sat behind a 6ft driver. And those rear seats don’t fold flat, impacting on storage space. With the seats in place, you can stash 265 litres of detritus, which is 14 litres more capacious than a Volkswagen up!

    Suzuki-Swift-Sport-9b.jpg

    Suzuki has clearly got a whole lot right with the new Swift Sport. The new engine is much more flexible; the car feels quick; and the engineers have developed a well-damped suspension compromise which ensures the car is sporty when you want it to be, but doesn’t rattle your fillings out when you’re driving it sedately in town.

    It’s a car which is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face … especially if you snap it up in June, and save yourself 1500 quid.

    Related: Suzuki drops diesel from UK line-up

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news by following us on twitter.com/Scotcars

    Jim McGill

     

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £17,999 / £16,499 (until June 30)
    Engine / Power: 1373cc 4cyl turbo, petrol with 6-spd manual / 138bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 8.1sec / Max 130mph
    How big/heavy?: L3890mm W1735mm H1495mm / 975kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: 47.1mpg combined / 135g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / n/a
    Alternatives: VW up! GTI, Ford Fiesta ST

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