Suzuki Swift Sports Turbo might not be a ‘hot’ hatch, but it’s certainly on the ‘hot’ side of ‘warm’.
Hi, Bob Aldons, “The Car Guy”, presenting for your edification, my thoughts on the 2018 Suzuki Swift Sports Turbo.
First impressions of anything are always important. Back in 2008, when I became a Volkswagen dealer, one of my first VW experiences was a trip to Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for the national Volkswagen dealer meeting. I was driving a brand new Passat CC diesel for the first time and it was nothing short of extraordinary. VW’s adaptive cruise control had just been launched in the Passat and I managed to drive from my showroom at Redcliffe all the way to Twin Waters hardly touching the accelerator or brake. The “adaptiveness” of the cruise control system accelerated when needed, braked when necessary and with the lane departure system even kept me centered in the lane.
It’s amazing how technology like this filters down to everyday cars. I’ve just picked up the Suzuki Swift Sport from Suzuki Auto Co at Eagle Farm and used the cars adaptive cruise control for the trip back to Redcliffe. So after one set of lights on Kingsford Smith Drive, I was able to drive back to Redcliffe with the adaptive cruise control set for the various speeds I encountered. 60kph, 90kph, 80kph, 100kph, 90 kph and then 60kph after coming off the Houghton Highway into suburbia.
And another amazing fact is that I was able to achieve 4.9 litres per 100klm for 29.7 kilometres using the adaptive cruise, which is EVEN BETTER than the Green Vehicle Guide published economy figure of 5.0 litres per 100 kilometres. Truth be known, my reading was 4.7 litres per 100k before I turned into my driveway to take a picture. How good is this Suzuki Swift Sport?
So let’s do my walk around on the always amazing Suzuki Swift Sports Turbo.
What is it? Suzuki Swift Sports Turbo is the hot hatch in the Suzuki passenger range. Whilst only producing 103kw in engine power, the low weight of the car, coupled with outstanding torque (230Nm at 2500- 3,500RPM) for a small engine, makes the Suzuki Swift Sports a much-vaunted vehicle. The only quirks, in my opinion in the Suzuki Swift Sport is that it comes aluminium coloured brake callipers rather than being painted in a ‘sports’ colour, a grey push button start button, instead of a contrasting colour and the biggest oversight, again from my viewpoint is that it’s not available in red.
Colours in the current range are Champion Yellow, Pure White Pearl, Super Black Pearl, Mineral Grey, and Speedy Blue. Perhaps Suzuki is holding back Red to introduce it in a limited edition model down the track.
And just before I published this article, I became aware of a limited edition Sport due for launch overseas shortly.
“The special edition model features a two-tone paintwork in Champion Yellow and Dubai Black Metallic. Racing stripes in contrasting colour complement this exclusive colour scheme. Familiar exterior details from regular Suzuki Swift Sport include large-opening honeycomb grille in a unique “staggered” design, carbon fibre-style embossing for the front grille, front-lip spoiler, side skirts and rear diffuser, 17-inch thin-spoke, two-tone alloy wheels and dual exhaust tips in a tapered shape.
Semi-bucket shape seats with integrated headrests, sports pedals, Lava Red inserts and red stitching are among the interior highlights.
The Suzuki Swift Sport BeeRacing is mechanically no different from the 2018 Suzuki Swift Sport. It employs the 1.4L Boosterjet turbocharged petrol engine that produces 103 kW (140 PS) and 230 Nm of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission sends power to the front wheels. A 0-100 km/h sprint takes 8.1 seconds, while the claimed top speed is 210 km/h.”
The Suzuki Swift Sports Turbo continues on the heritage of other performance Suzuki vehicles. Starting with the original Suzuki Swift GTI in 1986, Suzuki Motor Corporation has prided themselves on extracting good useable power from their ‘small by design’ mechanical ethos.
It’s a pity that Suzuki hasn’t retained the GTI moniker and let other manufacturers hijack it.
Suzuki Swift GTI just has that ring of authority – doesn’t it?
Key Competitors: Volkswagen Polo, Renault Clio, Fiat Abarth, Mazda 2, Skoda Fabia, Peugeot 208
Base Price: RRP price is $26990 plus dealer delivery and government charges. That will equate to around $30990 drive away in Queensland (non-metallic) and a bit more or less in other states.
At the Front
Without being over the top, the front of the Suzuki Swift Sports is aggressive – jet aircraft engine intake looking. LED auto levelling projector headlamps aid the design as well as being near ‘top of the class’ as it relates to visibility. High beam assist allows the high beam to ‘switch down’ for oncoming traffic and then resume once that traffic has passed.
Down the Side
SRS Air Bags – 6 including front, side, and curtain
ABS with Electronic Brake Force Function
Electronic Stability Program
Dual Sensor Brake Support
Hill Hold Control
Lane Departure System
High Beam Assist
Adaptive Cruise Control with Speed Limiter Function
Daytime Running Lights
Apple Car Play / Android Auto
3 Spoke Leather Steering wheel with Audio Controls, Cruise Control, Speed Limiter Control, Hands-Free Phone Controls, Paddle Shift,
4.2” Colour LCD Infotainment Panel
3 Cup Holders
The Rear End
With the second row seat in position, there’s a useable 265 litres of luggage and a massive 965 litres when the second-row seat is folded. Seats can be split in a 60/40 combination to increase the standard load capacity whilst still taking rear seat passenger. The standard reversing camera gives a wide angle of view, but it doesn’t have the ‘predictive’ lines of some other brands
In most small cars, there should be a sign which says children only. With the front seats back to provide maximum legroom for those in the front, there really isn’t too much space in the rear for long-limbed people. There are ISOFIX tethers for child capsules and seats, and even though the rear doors open pretty wide, only your young children will fit or granny and grandad at a push.
Take your time and get comfortable – and you’ll be as snug as a bug in a rug. The sports seats (Recaro like) grip and hold the front seat passengers into position. You’d almost expect 4 point harnesses rather than a lap sash. Rake and Reach steering wheel along with the multi adjustable seat for the driver, provides a perfect set up. Ideal for track days or hooning around Norwell Motorplex.
The dash, in Suzuki speak, looks like a ‘Tag Heuer Chronometer’ – lots of information visible and more at the push of a button. I like the fuel used read out. Helps me drive to get the best fuel usage and I’m always trying to get that number down by using the accelerator sparingly. Pity you don’t get the aforementioned TAG with every car.
On the Road
When I first came across Suzuki Swift in 2004, I was very impressed with the style, engine, transmission and everything to do with this new model. My wife Suzi drove a Swift for a few years and had always loved the little Suzuki.
This new model and particularly the Suzuki Swift Sport have done nothing to change my mind. It’s exceptional in its fuel economy driven ‘normally’, has plenty of buzz when your foot gets heavy on the throttle and brake. It handles remarkably for a small car and I agree with Suzuki Auto Co that it’s a ‘warm’ rather than ‘hot’ hatch.
The route on every car I test goes from my office on the Redcliffe Peninsula, up the highway turning off on Steve Irwin Way and then up the range behind Beerwah to our place at Peachester. From Peachester, I take Bald Knob Road coming out on the climb into Maleny and then out of Maleny back down the range heading back towards Peachester.
In all, these 157 kilometres of highway and winding range roads gives every car I drive a great test and an enjoyable one at that. The B grade road from Peachester to Maleny gives me the opportunity to throw the Suzuki Swift Sports around, testing its handling and suspension. It’s just an outstanding car for city, highway and rural road driving.
I had the pleasure to spend some time in the Swift Sport at the Norwell Motorplex at the press launch. The car was super impressive on the skid pan, on the track and the slalom. If you have an opportunity to get this car in a similar situation, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the experience.
Green Vehicle Guide
The Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide website uses politically correct terminology to determine fuel economy. urban, extra urban and combined. I’ll call it the way it is – City and suburbs, Highway and still use their definition of combined.
You might recall that these tests are conducted in a laboratory to Australian Standards so don’t expect to achieve City and Suburb results the same as these. In my experience, I’ve found that the highway test is closest to the actual economy you’ll get, but the city results can be undercooked by about 20%. Hopefully, real-world tests and results will be provided this year.
Combined Cycles (Highway and City) 6.1 litres per 100klm
City Cycle 7.6 litres per 100klm
Highway Cycle 5.0 litres per 100klm
Air Pollution Standard Euro 5
Tail Pipe Co2 141 Grams per kilometre – combined
In the introduction to this article, I suggested that the Swift Sport achieved better than the published figures on the trip from Eagle Farm to Redcliffe.
Now, I’ve driven over 500 kilometres in the Suzuki Swift Sport in the week I’ve had it. As you can see from the picture, the fuel economy has been outstanding. The Green Vehicle Guide indicates that I should achieve 6.1 litres per 100 klm and I achieved 6.2 litres per 100 klm.
The surprise here is that typically the published figures are 10-20% lower than you’ll generally achieve in real life, but the Suzuki Swift Sport has done the job and given me what’s published. Well done Suzuki!
These ANCAP safety tests were conducted in September 2017, so a few months before the new standards were introduced. I’d be comfortable in saying that if tested under the new regime, it would still achieve 5 stars.
I’ve stated before in these articles, that there really isn’t a bad car being sold in Australia. That being said, if the vehicle you’re looking at doesn’t have a 5-star ANCAP rating, move on to something else.
If you’d like to download the complete technical report, click on this link ANCAP – Suzuki Swift and then burrow further into the report by clicking on the “Technical Report” on the bottom LHS of the first page.
Warranty and Service
Suzuki Swift Sport comes standard with a 3 year or 100,000-kilometre warranty, which can be extended to 5 years/140,000k by utilizing the Suzuki Capped Price Service Program.
The capped price program covers scheduled maintenance costs and is in place for 5 years or 100,000k’s. Whilst Suzuki previously had a 15,000k service interval, with the capped price program and extended warranty, that interval is now 6 months or 10,000 kilometres
Expect to pay around $2770 for the 10 services or an average of $277 for each service. And, in my opinion, that’s a pretty competitive price particularly as it gives you a 5-year warranty coverage.
It’s important to note that to be eligible for the extended warranty that all services must be done by an authorized Suzuki dealer
I generally use RACQ Insurance to give you a guide as to what you’ll pay for your annual comprehensive car insurance. Conditions precedent for this cover are:
- Male driver over 60 years of age, having held a license for over 10 years
- Bronze member of RACQ with 2 other insurance policies
- Has paid cash for the car for private use with the car parked in a garage overnight
- The driver resides in postcode 4019
- The car is fitted with an engine immobilizer
- No at fault claims in the last 3 years, with no license suspensions
- Rating 1 currently having held that rating 1 between 5 and 9 years
- No driver under 25 will use the vehicle.
The premium quoted online by RACQ Insurance is: $354.25 with a $750 excess
Variations from the information above may result in different outcomes. Check online with RACQ Insurance for your own particular quote.
My Wife’s Opinion
Suzi had Suzuki Swifts from the time they became available in 2004 for few years. She loved her Suzuki to bits. She even had her own special number plates – “SUZI” which suited her name and the car. So it was very interesting to listen to her comments on the Suzuki Swift Sport when we went for a drive recently.
Wow – it’s so big inside. I have to move my seat forward and that leaves a lot of room in the back. And look at the headroom. It’s so spacious inside. And it’s smooth on the road. This is a wonderful car. I might even look at one of these when the Vitara is due for a change. Oh and I really like the steering wheel too.
What I Like
Great turbo engine
Excellent non-CVT gearbox
Strong Sports Seats
Excellent infotainment system
Excellent Lane Departure Warning System
What I Don’t Like
No automatic windscreen wipers
No auto-up driver’s window
An aspect of this car which caused me a bit of consternation was the low fuel warning indicator. The range or distance to empty indicator in the instrument cluster warned that I had only some 36 kilometres to travel. Later, the low fuel warning light came on and also displayed an orange warning light on the speedometer cluster. Puzzling thing was, when this happened, the range/distance to empty warning disappeared leaving only a dotted line.
I would have thought that range anxiety would have provided a distance to empty even if it was very, very, low.
Where to Buy
Vehicle provided by Suzuki Auto Co. If you’re in the market to buy a Suzuki Swift Sport, pick your dealer carefully. When I want to check out the ‘worthiness’ of a dealer, I Google ‘Suzuki Dealers Brisbane” where the city is the one that you live in or around and the brand is that particular one you’re interested in.
From a South East Queensland perspective here’s the dealers I’d visit
Northside Aspley Suzuki 4.0 Stars
Eastside Moreton Bay Suzuki 4.2 Stars
Southside Keema Suzuki 4.0 Stars
Westside Moorooka Suzuki 4.5 Stars
Sunshine Coast Cricks Maroochydore 4.0 Stars
Gold Coast von Bibra Suzuki 4.5 Stars
Bob Aldons is the owner and founder of The Car Guy, reviewing cars, reporting on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech and the world at large. He’s spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership. Bob knows cars.
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My car reviews aren’t based on power performance or high-speed handling capacity. They’re not based on 0-100 Kim/hr times either, and they’re certainly not super luxury vehicles that many other “old timers” are feted on by the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin.
Back when I started in the motor industry salespeople were schooled and skilled in a process called the road to the sale. Part of that process was a presentation of the car that the customer was ultimately considering the six position presentation showed the features, advantages, and benefits as it related to that specific car in the eyes and thought-process of that particular customer.
Those days of a true car sales professional seem to have gone.
Nowadays it seems that all salespeople want to do is accept that the customer knows everything about the car they’re interested in, crunch the customer as quickly as possible and get onto the next sale
In my opinion, this is one of the reasons that there’s such a high turnover in salespeople in this industry of ours. Now I think that I’m a car industry expert, not because I sell lots of cars, but, as I was taught over 40 years ago, time sells motor cars.
The more time you spend with a customer, the more information you provide them and the more you’re there for them. Even AFTER they take delivery of their new car, the more repeat and referral business you’ll get.
Typically second and subsequent sales only provide 10% of a car salespersons business. Referral business, where an existing customer refers a friend, relation or work colleague back to the selling salesperson as someone to trust and buy a car from, is even less – probably 5%
So, if you’re a young salesperson reading this article, let me tell you that you should be getting 40-50% of your business from repeat and referral business. And how do you get that much? Well, that’s a story for another article or an opportunity to join me in a training course.
For your interest, my motoring reviews are my opinion of the vehicle I’m testing. The manufacturer or distributor, in this case Suzuki Queensland, doesn’t tell me what to write or ask for a ‘nice’ review. Nor am I paid for these reviews – I simply call it as I see it.
I often wonder about the ‘truth’ that I see from other motoring journalists. And I’m particularly referring to newspapers, online forums, and magazines where the company that owns the publication, receives substantial advertising support from the various manufacturers.
Do the owners or editors tell their journalists to go easy on the review? I’m not sure, never having been in that position. Would I turn to softer reviews if my company was being paid for good reviews? Not likely. My independence as a writer is not for sale. I’d rather say no than be bought.
In any case, If that ever happens, rest assured that I’ll be telling that story with interest.