New Suzuki Swift Sport 2018

Suzuki has just launched its new Swift Sport in Spain.

The Swift Sport might be the car of dreams for some of the younger generation, but can it cut the mustard with a more mature audience? Well, it’ll need to, now that it’s new price has been revealed. £17,999 is a lot of cash for anyone to come up with – let alone a fledgling driver. But at £249 per month with zero deposit, things start to look more manageable.
So, is the fresh Swift Sport worth this kind of expenditure? I’d say, ‘yes’ for the most part. It’s not perfect, but what is in life?
Having just returned from Marbella where we, the motoring media, were let loose on the Swift Sport, I remain positive about the warm hatch. I say ‘warm’ deliberately because the Suzuki is punchy - but not mind-blowing when it comes to performance.
Its weight certainly helps things, though. The Japanese supermini has shed some kgs for its latest incarnation – and now weighs below 1,000kg. That in itself is quite an amazing feat. Yes folks, the car is now only 975kg, which is 80kg lighter than the departing Swift Sport.
Suzuki has loaded a smaller powerplant into the model this time around as well. It’s a 1.4-litre petrol turbo, hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission. The engine has already proven its worth in the latest Vitara S and S-Cross models, so there should be no issues with it. The retiring Swift Sport had a non-turbo 1.6-litre unit, but the smaller lump gives a power hike of 4.1PS.

All this means the car will do 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds. Now you know what I mean about it being a ‘warm’ hatch. That kind of performance really can’t be called ‘hot’ by today’s standards. Yet, the Swift Sport is absolutely the car to have if you want fun. Yes, I’ll say it again – fun.
Because it’s diminutive, you feel you’re going much faster than you really are – and the car is supremely ‘chuckable’. On the twisty sections of asphalt I drove on in Spain, the Sport would fire out of corners, with the most amount of thump appearing to exist in third gear. The engine darts up to the red line and rapid cog changes can be made with the accurate manual gearbox.
The steering is excellent, too – it’s exact enough and weights up well when you get going. The only downside seems to be the thick A-pillars. These stopped me from seeing as well as I should have done in the tight corners I hammered in and out of.
As you’d expect, Suzuki has given the Sport a far racier image than the standard Swift. Most obvious are the faux carbon fibre skirts, honeycomb grille inserts, twin exhausts, 17-inch alloys and the rear spoiler. There’s also an exclusive colour for the Swift Sport – Champion Yellow. It works well against the black wheels and grille.
Inside the 2018 Swift Sport is just as athletic-looking, with semi-bucket seats, red trim, a sports steering wheel and alloy pedals. In addition, there’s a contemporary LCD colour screen amongst the dials that displays power and other data. The car is loaded with other equipment, too, including smartphone mirroring and a sat-nav.

Importantly, the Swift Sport is a very safe motor, boasting adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a forward detection and braking system. However, there are safer cars available – this one scores 4 out 5 stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.
So, the Swift Sport is expensive, but it’s £5,500 cheaper than Peugeot’s 208 GTi.  Okay, the French offering is more of a genuine hot hatch, but, the Suzuki is still a fun car – in terms of looks and when it’s on the move. Yes, it’s more mature in its third incarnation, but it’s an automobile with bags of character - and that might just be enough to shift lots of Swift Sport Mk3s!

Pros ‘n’ Cons
  • Fun √
  • Kit √
  • Character √
  • Looks √
  • Price X
Fast Facts
  • Max speed: 130 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 8.1 secs
  • Combined mpg: 47.1
  • Engine layout: 1373cc four-cylinder petrol turbo
  • Max. power (PS): 140
  • CO2: 135 g/km          
  • Price: £17,999
Written by motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.
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