SUZUKI SWIFT HYBRID: evolving for its loyal followers

SWIFT by name and swift enough by nature, Suzuki’s compact supermini has a loyal following – and it’s evident that’s not likely to change much in the near future.

Despite the fact there’s still a perceived demand for small petrol cars, the best selling Ford Fiesta is no more, and other rivals to the Swift are heading down the electric only road.So, a clear road ahead to boost sales of their newly launched Swift hybrid, with its new 1.2 litre three cylinder mild hybrid, which offers around eight per cent better fuel efficiency.

That’s not the only thing that will attract customers, as the new model is an evolution of the existing – they don’t risk alienating existing customers by throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

It retains the same dimensions and overall looks – with a nip and tuck here and there – in a two trim line-up : Motion and Ultra. And for less than 20k, it’s a very well equipped car indeed.
Blacked out pillars give the roof a floating effect, all the more evident on dual tone coloured models, and there’s a piano black front grille and L-shaped headlights. The rear is tweaked with a new tailgate and wider bumper.

It sits on the road looking stable and balanced, which is the impression you get behind the wheel, where there’s plenty of room for such a compact car. The seats offer good support and the central controls, including a nine inch infotainment display as standard, are now angled towards the driver.

Suzuki have a relatively small UK market share at 1.4 per cent but are confident that the new Swift will attract around 12,000 customer sales a year, up for the current 9.400.

Swift is both light and rigid – its kerbweight is just 949kgs – yet it has a solid enough feel on the road.They’ve done a good job supressing extraneous noise so the ride comfort is more than acceptable.

Its HEARTECT lightweight platform is a very firm and rigid base on which to build a small car. And it ticks all the boxes on the safety front so no need to fret there. It handles changes of direction in a confident way.

Fuel efficiency – a claimed 64.2mpg – is boosted by the self charging hybrid system powered by a 10Ah lithium-ion battery, and has an ISG which generates electricity through regenerative braking.

A car equals freedom so ownership is a big step to take and for those on a budget that might be less than others, the fact you can put an Ultra level Swift on the road for under £20,000 is a bonus.Standard fare on the Motion grade includes alloys, sat nav, rear view camera, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and start and a host of safety features.

Ultra adds automatic air conditioning, electric folding door mirrors with side turn indicators, polished alloys and a rear passenger heating outlet. Prices start at £18,699.


Suzuki Swift Hybrid Ultra

Price: £19,799 (as tested £20,549)
Engine: 1197cc, three cylinder, petrol
Power: 81bhp
Torque: 83lb/ft
Transmission: five speed manual
Top speed: 103mph
0-62mph: 12.5seconds
Economy: 64.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 99g/km

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