Introduced in 2000 as the Suzuki Ignis, the Swift was redesigned in 2004 and again in 2010 when the familiar third-generation model was launched. In 2017, the Swift passed into its fourth generation and received the company’s brand-new design language, which debuted on the Baleno hatchback. The redesigned Swift was launched in Japan in late December 2016 and made its European debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March.
For many years, Suzuki has been surviving on the European market with just four nameplates, the Swift hatchback and the Jimny, Vitara, and SX4 crossovers. In 2015, the Japanese added two more vehicles to its stable. The Ignis name was revived for a crossover similar to the Jimny, while the Baleno was conceived to compete in the subcompact market dominated by the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. Once it gained access to new niches, Suzuki turned its attention to the Swift, one of its best-selling models in Europe.
Much like the Baleno, the new Swift is a big step forward in terms of styling. Unlike the third-gen car, which was a mildly revised version of the second-gen model, the new Swift boasts a new design language. In short, Suzuki finally dropped the styling cues it introduced all the way back in 2004 and moved the hatchback into the 21st century design-wise.
The new Swift also rides on new underpinnings. Shared with the Baleno, the platform is about 15 percent lighter and increases body rigidity by about ten percent. The new platform should provide better driving dynamics and help the hatchback return improved fuel economy, a decisive factor in this highly contested niche.
As previewed by our spy shot-based rendering — which turned out to be pretty accurate — the new Swift retains the shape and size of the outgoing model, but brings fresh, modern details and a sportier stance to the table. The first detail that catches the eye is the new headlamp design. Not only smaller than the previous model, the new light units also have a more angular shape similar to the Baleno’s. The grille is also new, now featuring a hexagonal shape that is wider than the previous unit. As a result, the lower grille is much thinner, acting as transition between the redesigned foglamp housings, which are mounted in deeper openings in the bumper. Suzuki also redesigned the engine hood. While the previous element extended across the nose to the grille, the new panel ends a few inches above.
The new Swift retains the shape and size of the outgoing model, but brings fresh, modern details and a sportier stance to the table.
The photos also reveal two different grille designs. While some models have vertical slats, others have an upper honeycomb mesh section and a red stripe. This suggests that Suzuki offers a sportier looking trim.
Around back, Suzuki ditched the curved design of the previous taillights in favor of a more angular shape as seen on the Baleno. However, while the latter comes with a hockey stick-like pattern, the Swift has a C-shaped LED layout around the stop, reverse, and turn signal lights. The redesigned taillights also made way for a new tailgate, which is now wider at the bottom, thus allowing larger items to be loaded easier into the trunk. Another big change compared to the outgoing model is the bumper, which now includes the license plate recess, previously seen on the tailgate. The bumper also has a sportier design and a diffuser like element with a Formula One-style red light in the middle.
More changes are visible from the side. Although the overall shape and proportions are similar, the new Swift stands out by means of a slightly lower roofline, a more muscular beltline over the wheel arches (which are also beefier), a feature borrowed from the Baleno, and a revised character line above the side skirts. The previous Swift’s blacked-out pillars have been retained for a floating roof design, but the C-pillar now incorporates the rear door handle.
Overall, the new Swift is more modern, sportier, and I’d say cuter than the outgoing model.
One of the most popular offerings in this niche, the Volkswagen Polo (left) was redesigned most recently in 2009. This makes it pretty old compared to the Swift, but the styling is far from dated with the entire Volkswagen lineup still using the same corporate language. But, while it used to look far better and boast a solid premium feel compared to the outgoing Swift, the current Polo doesn’t shine that much compared to the redesigned Suzuki. Moving over to the Fiesta (right), Ford’s little hatchback is fresh off the drawing board, having been launched as a redesigned model for the 2017 model year. Although the differences aren’t exactly wild compared to the outgoing version, the new hatchback looks fresh and a bit exotic due to its redesigned grille, three-piece front bumper and squared off rear end. Unlike the previous model, the new Fiesta features horizontal taillights, which set it apart from the Focus and make it more similar to the larger Fusion (Mondeo in Europe).. All told, design is really a matter of taste, but in this niche it’s usually also a matter of badge. In the past, drivers had to make a compromise and go with the less appealing Swift in order to get a more affordable car, but this is no longer the case. The Swift looks modern and sporty and has everything it takes to give its rivals a run for their money styling-wise.
|Volkswagen Polo||Ford Fiesta||Suzuki Swift|
|Track front/rear (Inches)||57.48/57.32||57.7/57.0||59.84/60.03|
The interior was redesigned from the ground up, featuring a new dashboard with a V-shaped layout and revised A/C vents. Below we can spot the biggest change inside the cabin, with a seven-inch touchscreen replacing the radio unit and numerous buttons and knobs in the old model. The HVAC control area just above the center console is also new, now including modern buttons with new graphics.
The instrument cluster is a massive improvement, now featuring separate covers for the speedo and rev counter and a new digital display in the center. The steering wheel has a round center section with chrome detailing, controls on both side spokes, sporty grip areas, and a flat-bottom lower section. Granted, this steering wheel is likely offered with the performance-oriented version only and it’s an option on more expensive trims, but I have to give Suzuki credit for stepping into the 21st century.
We can spot the biggest change inside the cabin, with a seven-inch touchscreen replacing the radio unit and numerous buttons and knobs in the old model.
Standard equipment for all models in the range is comprehensive and the SZ3 model includes six airbags, air conditioning, leather steering wheel, DAB radio with Bluetooth and four speakers, and rear privacy glass. The SZ-T model adds a rear view camera and Smart phone link display audio, while the SZ5 version comes with auto air conditioning, satellite navigation, Advanced forward detection system, keyless entry and start, and rear electric windows.
The new Swift SZ5 is also Suzuki’s first car using an advanced forward detection system that combines a monocular camera and a laser sensor for advanced safety functions, including autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and high beam assist. It also uses millimeter-wave radar to enable adaptive cruise control. The advanced forward detection system monocular camera provides mid to long distance detection and also recognition of traffic elements including pedestrians and lane markers.
The new Swift SZ5 is also Suzuki’s first car using an advanced forward detection system that combines a monocular camera and a laser sensor for advanced safety functions, including autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and high beam assist.
The SZ5 model is also equipped with a 4.2-inch high-definition colour LCD display that shows a range of data including engine output and torque, fuel consumption, average speed, acceleration, and brake operation. For the SHVS model an energy flow diagram is also included. Additionally, the audio system for both SZ-T and SZ5 models has a Smartphone Linkage Display Audio that enables intuitive operation and can also be used when wearing gloves. A three dimensional navigation map makes landmarks easy to distinguish.
Equipment aside, Suzuki also repackaged most of the interior, lowering the seating positions to ensure sufficient head clearance and added 23mm (0.9 inches) vertical and lateral space for the rear seating positions. The front seats have been moved outwards by 10mm (0.4 inches), which has increased the centre-on-centre distance between them by 20mm (0.8 inches). The 20mm longer wheelbase also created more legroom for rear passengers, as well as 25-percent more luggage capacity. The new Swift can take up to 254 liters (nine cubic feet) of luggage room, which accounts for an additional 54 liters (1.9 cubic feet) compared to the outgoing model.
It’s rather difficult to draw a proper conclusion in the absence of actual information about roominess and tech, but we can at least have a closer look at what the competition has to offer. Although not as fresh as the Swift, the Polo (left) sports a familiar interior that’s often described as the most upscale in this segment. This may not apply with a new Swift under the radar, not to mention that the display in the center stack isn’t as large and advanced as the one you can get with the Japanese hatchback. Moving over to the Fiesta (right), it can brag about several improvements and a neat interior that can be ordered in a variety of colors and a solid technology package. It comes with a revised infotainment system, a new 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 50-percent fewer buttons for a cleaner look.
|Volkswagen Polo||Ford Fiesta||Suzuki Swift|
|Headroom front/rear (inches)||38.34/37.12||39.1/37.2 (est.)||TBA|
|Legroom front/rear (inches)||41.02/32.44||43.6/31.2 (est.)||TBA|
|Shoulder room front/rear (inches)||54.56/54.48||52.7/49 (est.)||TBA|
The outgoing Swift was available with two gasoline engines in most European markets and this didn’t change with the new-generation hatchback. The compact now uses a revised version of the 1.2-liter Dualjet four-cylinder engine, which cranks out 89 horsepower and 120 Nm (89 pound-feet) of torque, just like in the Baleno. That’s slightly less than the previous engine, but performance should remain similar given the lighter, sportier platform. The mild hybrid SHVS system based on the same powerplant is offered too.
If you’re not familiar with the system, it incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG) which acts as both a generator and starter motor. The ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking. The energy assistance provided during acceleration enables the SHVS to work as a mild hybrid system.
The second engine choice is the recently launched 1.0-liter Boosterjet. The turbocharged three-cylinder unit is rated at 109 horsepower and 170 Nm (125 pound-feet) of twist and comes standard in the more expensive trims. For the first time, the Boosterjet can be had with the SHVS hybrid system.
Transmission-wise, look for a standard five-speed for the 1.2-liter, an optional CVT, and a new six-speed automatic for the 1.0-liter turbo.
The new Swift also adopts Suzuki’s ALLGRIP AUTO four-wheel drive system, which is available as an option on the SZ5 model with the 1.2-litre engine. First introduced in the previous generation Swift in 2014, the permanent four-wheel drive layout transfers additional torque to the rear wheels when required via a viscous coupling.
|Suzuki Swift 1.2||Suzuki Swift 1.0|
|Engine||1.2-litre four cylinder Dualjet||1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet turbo|
|Horsepower||89 HP||109 HP|
|Torque||89 LB-FT||125 LB-FT|
|Transmission||five-speed manual||six-speed automatic|
Drivetrain-wise, both the Polo and Fiesta come with plenty of options to choose from. The Polo range begins with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder rated at either 59 or 74 horsepower. The larger 1.4-liter four-pot delivers 84 horses, while the 1.2-liter turbo cranks out 104 horsepower. Volkswagen also offers a higher-performance GTi model with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 189 horses. On the diesel front, there’s a 1.2-liter TDI with 74 horsepower, a 1.4-liter TDi with 89 horsepower, and a 1.6-liter TDi with 104 horses. A similar diversity comes with the Fiesta, even though the hatchback was recently redesigned and some of the engines updated. The lineup starts off with a 1.0-liter three-pot good for either 98, 123, or 138 horsepower. Previously not available with a diesel rated at more than 100 horses, the new Fiesta benefits from a redesigned 1.5-liter four-cylinder that delivers 118 horsepower. Naturally, Ford also offers an 82-horsepower version of the same engine, while the brand-new 1.1-liter gasoline mill can be had with either 69 or 83 horses. The 1.0-liter can be had with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. The diesel is only available with the six-speed manual, and the 1.1-liter engine gets a new five-speed manual gearbox.
|Volkswagen Polo S||Volkswagen Polo Match||Volkswagen Polo Match||Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion||Volkswagen Polo R-Line||Volkswagen Polo BlueGT|
|Engine||1.0-liter Bluemotion||1.4 TDI BlueMotion||1.2 TSI BlueMotion||1.0-liter Bluemotion||1.0-liter Bluemotion||1.4 TSI BlueMotion|
|Horsepower||59 HP @ 5,000 RPM||73 HP @ 3,000 RPM||88 HP @ 4,800 RPM||93 HP @ 5,000 RPM||108 HP @ 5,500 RPM||147 HP @ 5,000 RPM|
|Torque||70 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM||155 LB-FT @ 1,500 RPM||118 LB-FT @ 1,400 RPM||118 LB-FT @ 1,500 RPM||147 LB-FT @ 3,500 RPM||185 LB-FT @ 1,500 RPM|
|Transmission||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||6-speed manual||6-speed manual|
|0 to 100 km/h (62 mph)||15.5 seconds||12.9 seconds||10.8 seconds||10.5 seconds||9.3 seconds||7.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||100 mph||107 mph||114 mph||119 mph||122 mph||137 mph|
|Curb Weight||2,325 Lbs||2,539 Lbs||2,440 Lbs||2,449 Lbs||2,502 Lbs||2,698 Lbs|
|Ford Fiesta 1.1||Ford Fiesta 1.1||Ford Fiesta 1.0||Ford Fiesta 1.0||Ford Fiesta 1.0||Ford Fiesta 1.5||Ford Fiesta 1.5|
|Engine||1.1 liter three-cylinder||1.1 liter three-cylinder||1.0-litreEcoBoost||1.0-litreEcoBoost||1.0-litreEcoBoost||1.5-litre TDCi||1.5-litre TDCi|
|Horsepower||69 HP||83 HP||98 HP||123 HP||138 HP||83 HP||118 HP|
|Transmission||5-speed manual||5-speed manual||6-speed manual||6-speed manual||6-speed manual||6-speed manual||6-speed manual|
|0 to 100 km/h (62 mph)||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Pricing for the upcoming fourth-gen Swift is still a mystery, but given that the current model retails from £8,999 (around $11,000 as of December 2016), Suzuki will want to keep the sticker below the £10K (about $12,230) mark in the United Kingdom. However, expect the better equipped trims to cost more than £11,000 (about $13,450) and the more powerful Sport model to fetch in excess of £14,000 (around $17,120).
Up until now, the Suzuki Swift was among the most affordable vehicles in its class, being significantly less expensive than the Polo and the Ford . The German hatchback, for instance, retails from £11,830 (around $14,440) in base trim and can fetch £18,440 ($22,500) in its most expensive version. The GTi tops the lineup at £19,430 ($23,720). The Fiesta has a pricier starting point, retailing from £13,545 (around $16,530). The range-topping ST200 comes in at £22,895 ($27,940) before options.
Also known as the Fit in North America and Japan, the Jazz is a relatively new nameplate on the market, being launched in 2001. The third-generation model was introduced in 2013 with heavily revised styling, a new interior with Honda ’s Magic Seats, and various four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. In Europe, however, most markets only get the 1.3-liter gasoline four-banger that cranks out 101 horsepower 91 pound-feet of torque. It mates to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed semi-automatic and returns up to 61.4 mpg on the British cycle. Pricing starts from £13,495 (about $16,470), which makes it one of the most expensive superiminis on the market, but the Jazz comes with numerous standard features, including Idle Stop, cruise control with speed limiter, Magic Seats, front and rear parking sensors, and a rear-view camera.
While it may seem ludicrous to compare two cars from the same automaker, the Baleno is actually very similar to the Swift as far as dimensions go. The hatchback was actually specifically designed to go against the Polo and the Fiesta, with the Swift to sit above it with a bit more room inside, but the differences between them — apart from styling of course — aren’t that big. A brand-new nameplate that debuted in late 2015, the Baleno was previewed by the IK-2 concept and wears a new take on the Suzuki grille as well as a sportier profile with a coupe-like roof. The interior design is entirely different from the Swift, but the technology is almost identical. Under the hood, the Baleno comes with either the 1.2-liter Dualijet rated at 89 horsepower and 89 pound-feet or the 1.0-liter turbo Boosterjet with 109 horses and 125 pound-feet. Pricing for the Baleno starts from £13,249 (about $16,170), which should make it more expensive than the Swift.
The Suzuki Swift has always been one of the underdogs of the supermini segment and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. But, despite not being a massive success compared to the Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta, the Japanese hatch has been praised for its excellent value for the buck, sharp handling, and peppy performance of the Sport model. Ditching the hard interior plastics and enhancing cabin and trunk practicality is a good new start for the Swift in this highly competitive niche, not to mention that the exterior design looks way better and it’s sportier that the outgoing car and in some cases even the competition.
- Fresh styling and modern cabin
- New technology
- Powerful, efficient three-cylinder engine
- Lacks the brand cachet of the competition
Following on from its launch in the Japanese domestic market late last year, Suzuki Motor Corporation now unveils the new European Swift at the Geneva Motor Show as its all-new global supermini. It carries forward the Swift DNA while adopting completely new styling and a performance-enhancing extremely light body with advanced safety technologies. The result is exterior European flair complemented by a sporty and functional interior, nimble and agile driving, and enhanced peace of mind.
In addition to its stylish exterior design in a compact size of just 3,840mm long, the new Swift features excellent visibility, a spacious cabin and ample luggage space. The development goal was to create an all new hatchback styling that is undoubtedly Suzuki. Swift is a very popular and important car in the range and has reached 5.4 million sales globally in less than 12 years, faster than any other Suzuki model.
New-generation platform ‘HEARTECT’
Under the ‘SUZUKI NEXT 100’ plan announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015, Suzuki developed a new platform strategy for its future models and the Swift is now the third model (following Baleno and IGNIS) to adopt this new generation platform and be introduced in Europe.
The new Swift rests on a new-generation platform “HEARTECT” that delivers enhanced fundamental vehicle performance due to being light and highly rigid. A comprehensive overhaul of the underbody’s structure and component layout resulted in the adoption of a highly rigid frame that enhances collision safety.
This new platform or underbody of new Swift is now 30kg lighter than before which has contributed to the car registering a kerb weight of just 890kg (SZ3 model) – 120kg lighter overall for the whole car.
The new Swift is 10mm shorter than the outgoing model, while its wheelbase is 20mm longer, creating more interior room including 25 per cent more luggage capacity at 254L, or 54 litres more than the outgoing model. It is also 15mm lower and 40mm wider, further accentuating its low and wide stance. Additionally, the European Swift has a wider front and rear track than the Japanese Domestic model.
Height: 1,495mm (2WD) 1,520mm (4WD)
Track: front/rear: 1,520 – 1,530mm/1,520 – 1,525mm
(Dependent on Grade / Tyre Size)
Behind the New Swift: Aspects of Styling Innovation
Development of the new Swift’s exterior design was based on the concept of a “bold evolution of Swift’s DNA”. While resolute efforts were made so that the new Swift would inherit the model’s characteristic styling, elements that needed refreshing were boldly transformed to innovatively evolve the new car.
Enhanced carry-over elements include strong shoulders, blacked-out A-pillars and vertically arranged front and rear lamps. Swift now offers a more emotional appearance together with a muscular and well-grounded look. The body is shorter, lower and wider, while a wide and aggressive front grille, supporting bumper grille character lines all express strength.
The look of a low centre of gravity is further established by blacked-out pillars that create the appearance of a floating roof. Pillar-mounted door handles add both style and a sporty flair while a high-tech look comes in the form of LED signature illumination usedin the headlamps and rear-combination lamps (SZ5 model).
During interior design, lowering the seating positions has ensured sufficient head clearance (the same as for outgoing Swift for the front seats) and added 23mm vertical and lateral space for the rear seating positions. The front seats have been moved outwards by 10mm which has increased the centre-on-centre distance between them by 20mm.
Other interior features include a centre console turned five degrees towards the driver, front seats with optimised shape and spring position with heightened side bolsters. The steering wheel is of new design ‘D’-shape section and an LED auto air conditioning panel is also fitted (SZ5 models):
Adopting Suzuki’s new generation platform strategy minimised the size of the engine compartment which has enabled maximising the space available for cabin occupants and luggage.
Development of New Swift – Put Through Its Paces in Europe
In order to suit the needs of European customers, Suzuki knew that simply designing and developing the new Swift in Japan would not be sufficient. So it turned to the roads of Europe, where teams of local evaluation drivers helped to hone the new car.
Testing of the chassis, which is the centrepiece of the new Swift’s evolution, commenced in January 2016 in the United Kingdom and Germany. Covering a total of more than 6,000 miles, the teams tested as many as 90 different suspension prototypes in an effort to meet the need for optimum steering feel together with providing supple and agile suspension for British roads.
Standard equipment for all models in the range is comprehensive and the SZ3 model with 1.2-litre Dualjet engine and manual transmission will include six airbags, air conditioning, leather steering wheel, DAB radio with Bluetooth and four speakers, rear privacy glass, LED daytime running lights, 15-inch wheels, body coloured door mirrors and front electric windows.
The SZ-T model available with 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine and manual transmission adds rear view camera, Smartphone link display audio, 16-inch alloy wheels and front fog lamps glass. SZ5 adds auto air conditioning, 16-inch polished alloy wheels, satellite navigation, Advanced forward detection system, keyless entry and start and rear electric windows,
After the debut of the 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet in Baleno in June 2016 and S-Cross in October 2016, this engine technology is now extended to the new Swift. Offering the same level of power and torque of a much larger capacity normally aspirated engine (1.7-1.8-litre), it delivers an effortless drive and genuine driving pleasure. This unit has an output of 111PS and is Direct Injection turbocharged (DITC). It is a very compact engine and offers 170Nm of torque available from 2,000rpm through to 3,500rpm for manual transmission.
Suzuki first introduced its 1.2-litre (K12C) Dualjet technlogy in 2014, initially in the Swift and then in Baleno in June 2016. In summary, Dualjet incorporates Suzuki’s renowned engine technology and uses twin fuel injectors for improved fuel economy. Utilising Dualjet design that positions the fuel injectors very close to the engine inlet valves allows for a finer fuel atomisation. The maximum power output is 90PS with a torque figure of 120Nm at 4,400rpm. Acceleration time to 62mph is 11.9 seconds for the SZ3 2WD and 12.6 seconds for the SHVS ALLGRIP equipped model.
The SHVS mild hybrid system is a compact and lightweight system that incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG) which acts as both a generator and starter motor, the ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking. In new Swift, SHVS is available together with Boosterjet for the first time and results in CO2 emissions as low as 97gkm.
The energy assistance provided during acceleration enables the SHVS to be known as a mild hybrid system which is ideally suited to a compact car and adds just 6.2 kg to the overall weight.
4WD (ALLGRIP AUTO)
The new Swift adopts Suzuki’s ALLGRIP ‘AUTO’ four-wheel drive system and is available as an option on the SZ5 model with 1.2-litre engine. First introduced in the previous generation Swift in 2014 this is a well proven and simple fully automatic and permanent four-wheel drive layout which transfers additional torque to the rear wheels when required via a viscous coupling.
Advanced Forward Detection System
The new Swift SZ5 features Suzuki’s first use of an advanced forward detection system that combines a monocular camera and a laser sensor for advanced safety functions, including autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning and high beam assist. It also uses millimetre-wave radar to enable adaptive cruise control.
The advanced forward detection system monocular camera excels at mid to long distance detection and also recognition of traffic elements including pedestrians and lane markers. The laser sensor excels at monitoring shorter distance hazards and also night vision detection.
Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS) – SZ5 Grade.
The advanced forward detection system supports numerous safety technologies, among which is collision-mitigating Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS). With DSBS, at vehicle speeds from approximately 3mph to 62mph and if the system determines a risk of collision with a forward obstacle, it issues both an audio and visual warning. If there is a high risk of collision with a forward obstacle and the driver panic brakes, the system deploys brake assist, increasing braking force. If the risk of a collision increases even more the system applies full automatic braking in an effort to avoid the collision or reduce damage.
Advanced Multi-information display.
The SZ5 model is equipped with a 4.2 inch high-definition colour LCD display that shows a range of information including engine output and torque data, fuel consumption, average speed, acceleration and brake operation as well as driving G-force tracking. For the SHVS model an energy flow diagram is also included.
Display audio system with navigation and smartphone connectivity
The audio system for both SZ-T and SZ5 models has a Smartphone Linkage Display Audio (SLDA) with a large seven inch touch panel display that enables intuitive operation and can also be used when wearing gloves. A three dimensional navigation map makes landmarks easy to distinguish and the system also allows the driver to use certain smartphone applications with MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connection.
The all new Swift goes on sale in the UK on June 1st 2017 and further media information will be published closer to the launch date.