2022 Suzuki Swift Sport review

Chris Atkinson gets behind the wheel of the Swift Sport for his first on-road review. Can the little hot hatch impress our rally champion?

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Chris Atkinson
Chris Atkinson
Performance Editor
Published
PROS
  • Lightweight and nimble chassis
  • Great driver feedback and engagement
  • Good balance of performance and practicality
CONS
  • Interior quality is lacking
  • Storage and boot space not as good as rivals
  • Not the fastest in the segment
Manufacturer Links

The Suzuki Swift Sport is a great car to start my on-road reviews! Suzuki is the company with which I started my professional motorsport career back in 2003, with the Suzuki Ignis Super 1600 rally car.

On the rally stages the Suzuki was a real over-achiever and with a small but responsive engine, it used its light and nimble chassis to carry incredible speed through the corners. Nearly 20 years later, Suzuki has continued with this winning formula in the Suzuki Swift Sport Series II.

But like on the rally stages, competition in this segment is fierce. The Swift Sport going up against the Ford Fiesta ST, the VW Polo GTI and much-anticipated Hyundai i20 N – which we have already tested on the CarExpert test track. 

With the price advantage narrowing and on-paper performance lagging behind the opposition, it may be easy to look elsewhere, but dig a little deeper and look at the package as a whole and there’s a lot to love.

Watch Paul’s video review of the Swift Sport Series II

How much does the Suzuki Swift Sport cost?

The Suzuki Swift Sport starts off at $27,990 plus on-roads for the six-speed manual, and $29,990 plus on-roads for the six-speed automatic with paddle-shift. This is a $1000 increase over MY20 for both the auto and manual.

There are seven colour options and the premium metallic paint is $595 extra with the two-tone orange and black costing $1095 over the base colour of Pure White.

Suzuki Australia is currently advertising drive-away prices from $30,990 for the manual and $32,990 for the automatic.

The vehicle we tested here with the automatic transmission and two-tone paint, costs $34,085 drive-away ($35,180 drive-away in Queensland).

Key rivals include:

  • Ford Fiesta ST: $32,290
  • Hyundai i20 N: $32,490
  • Volkswagen Polo GTI: $32,890

Prices exclude on-road costs

If you’re looking to get a more accurate idea of pricing, you can use the official Suzuki Swift configurator to build and price one in your own specifications. If you’re looking for a more accurate idea of pricing, you can use the Suzuki Swift drive-away price calculator.

What do you get?

Swift Sport highlights:

  • 7.0-inch infotainment system
  • Satellite navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Keyless entry and start
  • LED headlights
  • Front fog lights 
  • Sports seats with ‘Sport’ embossed logo
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Boot spoiler

With a good level of base features, there aren’t too many options choose from. The aforementioned paint colour and transmission are really your only two big decisions.

You can find more details on all the options and inclusions across the Suzuki Swift variants on the official website. Or download the official brochure to see a side by side comparison of all the differences.

Is the Suzuki Swift Sport safe?

The 2021 Suzuki Swift wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on testing conducted in 2017.

It received 14.39 out of 16 points in the frontal offset test, 15.74 out of 16 in the side impact test, and 2 out of 2 in the pole test. Whiplash and pedestrian protection were both rated Good, with an overall score of 35.13 out of 37.

All Suzuki Swift models come standard with front, front-side and curtain airbags.

GL Navigator Plus variants and above add:

  • AEB
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rear parking sensors

There’s further information on all the safety features within the official Suzuki Swift website, as well as further details in the official brochure.

What is the Suzuki Swift Sport like on the inside?

The interior of the Swift Sport is neat and practical but misses the refinement and finishes of some of its rivals.

The sports seats hold you in place very well, with a good level of lateral support while also maintaining some comfort for longer drives. The seating position is very good and visibility is excellent. The steering wheel is an ideal shape and size, with a touch of sportiness as well.

The Suzuki Swift Sport’s headroom is excellent, which is no surprise given its tall, boxy dimensions. I also had no problem sitting in the rear seats, although leg room may be an issue for taller passengers.

The lack of a centre console storage or armrest is very noticeable, although you get feeling a lot of interior decisions were made for either cost or weight saving, or a mixture of the two.

Storage in the front is ok at best, with two centre cupholders and a centre storage area. You also get indoor cupholders front and rear.  

The rear seat occupants are offered little, with no fold down arm rest or vents, only a map pocket behind the front passenger seat.

With the second row seats in place the Suzuki Swift Sport offers 265L of cargo volume, which is still a bit off the 300L+ offered by Ford and Volkswagen. There’s 579L with the rear seats down.

The dash layout is simple and clear, as well as having the option to display, power, torque, G-forces, braking, throttle and turbo boost gauges. The infotainment system is a 7.0-inch touchscreen, with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto.

The Suzuki Swift Sport also gets blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control with Suzuki’s Advanced Forward Detection system.

You can find official pictures and additional commentary of all the interior features and options on the official brochure, or on the Suzuki Swift website.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Suzuki Swift Sport has a 1.4-litre ‘BoosterJet’ four-cylinder turbo charged petrol engine, with 103kW of power at 5500rpm and 230Nm of torque from 2500 to 3000rpm.

While on paper these numbers are well below that of its main rivals – all within the vicinity of 150kW – the Swift Sport achieves much of its performance due to its light weight. Weighing in at only 970kg (kerb) for the manual and 990kg (kerb) for the auto, it’s over 200kg lighter than the Ford Fiesta ST and 300kg less than a VW Polo GTI. 

The weight advantage closes the straight line performance gap massively and also translates to improved dynamics and economy. The engine is much more potent than you would expect and has a lively responsive nature, even from low in the rev range.

The car we tested had the optional six speed automatic with paddle shifters, although the standard six speed manual is a great proposition for a vehicle like this.

Even though it doesn’t have a limited slip differential, its light weight and well-tuned suspension mean it is not overly missed, given you have some level of throttle control.

If you’re seeking more information on the engine, you can find more detailed specifications within the official Suzuki Swift brochure.

How does the Suzuki Swift Sport drive?

Driving is definitely the highlight of the Suzuki Swift Sport, offering a fun and dynamic chassis that is both comfortable and responsive.

Due to the lightweight chassis the responsiveness exceeds your expectations when you pick up the pace. The level of grip is impressive, with the front end reacting to your every input, without even flinching as a corner tightens unexpectedly.

Suzuki has not fallen into the trap that so many manufactures have, thinking that sportiness is directly linked to harshness. Allowing the wheels to move and absorb bumps while maintaining body control is the key, and the company has done well here.

Despite the soft nature of the suspension, feedback to the driver is excellent and it allows you to push the Swift Sport right to the limit.

Because they have also not just chased outright power, the engine is in balance with the chassis and encourages the driver to explore the potential of the car without the constant threat of exceeding the boundaries of grip.

Brake pedal feel and feedback is really spot on and performance is very impressive thanks to the light weight of the car.

Suzuki have struck a great balance between usability and engagement, meaning it’s a car you can enjoy on the odd weekend drive on a twisty road, and a zippy and comfortable city runabout you can live with every day.

It runs on Continental Contisport 195/45 R17 tyres, front and rear. Though that doesn’t sound like much rubber on the road, because the Suzuki Swift Sport is so light and the engine very driveable, it doesn’t feel under-tyred at all.

The fuel tank capacity is 37 litres and it has a claimed fuel consumption is 6.1L/100km, but it does requires a minimum of 95 RON petrol. We managed to average 6.8L/100km with a mixture of city driving and some twisty back roads, which is pretty impressive.

If you’re interested in driving one of these yourself, you can organise a test drive via the Suzuki website. Alternatively you can head down to your local Suzuki dealer to organise one.

How much does the Suzuki Swift Sport cost to run?

The Suzuki Swift Sport is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Scheduled maintenance is required every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first. Suzuki’s capped-price servicing is available for up to 60 months or 100,000 kilometres.

Swift Sport servicing pricing:

  • 12 months/10,000km: $239
  • 24 months/20,000km: $329
  • 36 months/30,000km: $239
  • 48 months/40,000km: $429
  • 60 months/50,000km: $239
  • 60,000km**: $529
  • 70,000km**: $259
  • 80,000km**: $599
  • 90,000km**: $259
  • 100,000km**: $299

** if the vehicle is less than 60 months old

CarExpert’s Take on the Suzuki Swift Sport

Although it’s not quite the sharp value proposition it once was, the Suzuki Swift Sport still offers a great balance of performance and everyday practicality.

Suzuki has remained true to its heritage as well as my experience of them as a brand with the Swift Sport. The fundamentals of the design make for an extremely engaging driving experience, delivering solid performance and engagement over and above what most would expect.

If you’re not focused on wanting the loudest or fastest hot hatch in the market, but a reliable and enjoyable performance package you can live with every day, the Suzuki Swift Sport is a great option.

Click the images for the full gallery

MORE: Everything Suzuki Swift

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Chris Atkinson
Chris Atkinson
Chris Atkinson is the Performance Editor at CarExpert.
Learn about CarExpert or contact CarExpert.
Ratings
Overall7.8
Show Breakdown
Cost of Ownership 8
Ride Comfort 8
Safety 7
Fit for Purpose 8
Handling Dynamics 8.5
Interior Practicality and Space 7.5
Fuel Efficiency 9
Value for Money 7
Performance 7.5
Technology Infotainment 7.5
Pricing
A$32,990 MRLP
Top Line Specs
6.1L
103kW
141g
5 ★
View all specifications

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