Suzuki Swift review

Suzuki Swift review

We take our first drive in the all-new 2024 Suzuki Swift small hatchback…

The Suzuki Swift is one of the world’s great automotive survivors. More than nine million have been sold in 40 years and the popular supermini is now into its fourth generation.

Even though SUVs of all sizes are dominating vehicle sales, Suzuki still thinks there’s a place for the five-door Swift.

In fact, as stalwarts such as the Ford Fiesta, Nissan Micra and Kia Rio disappear from the sector, there may even be an opportunity. After all, what are long-time Fiesta owners going to buy next time round – especially if they aren’t ready to go electric?

Suzuki Swift review

As ever, Suzuki’s answer is to offer a reasonably-priced, practical car that drives well and does what it says on the tin.

Starting at £18,699, the next-gen Swift doesn’t look unlike its predecessor at first sight.

Get a little closer and you’ll see that it’s bolder with a swathe of subtle design tweaks. It’s also fractionally longer and higher.

Evolutionary styling highlights include a sharp shoulder line that runs along the side of the car, L-shaped signature LED headlights, a piano black grille and sporty rear roof spoiler.

Suzuki Swift review

The back door handles are now conventionally mounted, instead of on the C-pillar, while the distinctive clamshell bonnet is shallower than before.

The new look works well and gives the Swift a more muscular stance. What’s more, it’s available in eight paint colours and four dual-tone colours, which utilises the car’s “floating roof”.

Inside, the cabin represents a big step-up for the Swift in terms of design and technology – two areas where the outgoing car was starting to show its age.

The centrepiece is the 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen display with shortcuts below and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, complemented by a redesigned dashboard. It’s not cutting edge, but miles better than before.

Suzuki Swift review

Thankfully, Suzuki has also stuck with physical switches and buttons for the climate control and other necessities such as heated seats.

Sadly, one feature remains, and that’s the mass of scratchy black surfaces in the cabin.

There are just two trim levels – Motion and Ultra – and the impressive standard equipment list includes adaptive cruise control, sat nav, keyless entry and start, rear parking sensors, a rear camera, lane departure warning, rear-cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring.

For launch, there is just one petrol engine available – a three-cylinder 1.2-litre mild hybrid (12V) producing 81bhp.

Suzuki Swift review

It’s about as powerful as the unit in the old car, but it’s now 8% more fuel efficient and produces less CO2 (as low as 99g/km).

On the road, it’s clear that the latest Swift is all about economy. It feels less peppy (0-62mph in 12.5 seconds) than the previous generation 1.0-litre petrol turbo and the manual gearbox has to be worked fairly hard to extract any meaningful performance.

That said, even though it only a five-speed, you don’t find yourself reaching for sixth because the ratios are well judged.

For the record, an automatic transmission will also be offered, along with a 4×4 option.

Suzuki Swift review

The new Swift rides well. It’s not the most sophisticated system out there, but does the job, while body lean is nicely controlled. There’s even some fun to be had.

And because it’s such a lightweight car, it feels nimble and responsive.

Overall, the cabin is more refined than its predecessor and the engine only makes itself known under heavy acceleration.

Economy of around 50mpg is easily achievable in mixed driving, so the claimed 64.2mpg could well be a possibility on a long run.

Suzuki Swift review

Inside, there’s just enough room for adults front and rear, while the boot is a respectable 265 litres (589 litres with the backs seats flat) and there are plenty of small storage spaces dotted around the cabin.

My only slight gripe is that the driving position is on the high side for my liking, but you do soon get used to it.

So, the all-new Suzuki Swift is better than ever, which is just as well because its rivals in the small hatchback sector include the big-selling Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Polo, Dacia Sandero and Skoda Fabia.

And if all that isn’t enough, there’s now another good reason to choose a Swift.

Suzuki Swift review

Customer service has always been a Suzuki strength. Now there’s extra peace of mind too, courtesy of the new extended warranty plan.

On top of the basic three-year/60,000 miles warranty, this is now extended to seven years/100,000 miles (whichever comes first), as long as scheduled services are booked within the Suzuki dealer network.

Verdict: The all-new Suzuki Swift is a real step-up from its predecessor and well worth a test drive. Honest, competitively priced, stylish, comfortable, easy to drive and economical, it now also offers more peace of mind.

Suzuki Cars UK

New research reveals the pain of paying for parking

Gareth Herincx

2 weeks ago
Auto News

Skoda Fabia - parking

A study by Škoda UK has revealed how stressful paying for parking is for drivers, with 40% finding it as stress-inducing as being late for work.

With so many different parking payment methods used across the UK – from ticket machines to apps – 20% of drivers compared it to having an argument, 16% said it was stressful as opening a bill and 9% as bad as going to the dentist.

Almost half (47%) of motorists have given up paying for parking altogether because the process was too difficult, while 18% have said they’d spent more than 10 minutes trying to pay for a space. In addition, 33% have failed to pay for parking at least once, and later received a fine as a result.

The British public’s least favourite payment method is an automated phone call (38%), followed by a parking app (26%) and then a ticket machine (18%), according to the research.

Škoda is aiming to make the public’s parking woes less troublesome, as it trials a new and innovative service to ease parking pain. Pay to Park enables cashless payments for parking directly via the Škoda infotainment system.

The Pay to Park service automatically identifies the car park or parking zone you’ve entered using the car’s navigation and handles payments automatically. This leaves the driver without the trip-to-the-dentist-rivalling anxiety levels, while sessions can be extended using the MyŠkoda app.

Pay to Park is currently being trialled in Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, and will soon be available in the Czech Republic, Spain, France, Netherlands, Slovenia, Hungary, with plans for the system to be trialled in the UK in the future.

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Least depreciating cars for first-time drivers

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3 days ago
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Hyundai Kona review

New research has revealed the best cars for new drivers when it comes to retaining their value.

According to Uswitch.com car insurance experts, the 2017 Hyundai Kona is the car with the highest value retention, with the vehicle retaining 64% of its original purchase price after use.

The Ford Puma comes in second, with 59% of its original value still intact, while Skoda is the car manufacturer that retains the majority of its original value.

Buying a car is one of the most significant purchases a new driver can make, but on average, new cars depreciate in value by 15-35% in their first years on the road, so new drivers should carefully consider how much of their car’s price tag they expect to get back after selling.

Uswitch.com compared the prices of the most popular cars for first time buyers when bought new, against the average price when it had driven 40,000 to 60,000 miles, to determine which car retained the most of its original value.

Best cars for retaining value for first-time drivers

Rank Make Model Year New price (£) Average used price £ (40k-60k miles) Retained price percentage
1. Hyundai Kona 2017 £22,766 £14,537 64%
2. Ford Puma 2019 £24,660 £14,659 59%
3. Citroen C3 2017 £12,995 £7,702 59%
4. Skoda Octavia 2019 £22,795 £13,231 58%
5. Toyota Corolla 2019 £29,289 £15,994 55%
6 Skoda Citigo 2019 £11,910 £6,024 51%
7. VW Golf 2019 £24,835 £12,122 49%
8. Kia Cee’d 2019 £21,605 £9,933 46%
9. SEAT Ibiza 2017 £17,710 £7,929 45%
10. Skoda Fabia 2014 £17,135 £7,224 42%

Source: Uswitch.com

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Skoda Fabia review

Skoda Fabia

We road test the all-new Skoda Fabia hatchback – a impressive car that’s shaking up the supermini sector…

The latest Skoda Fabia is quite simply one of the best small hatchbacks on the market. An alternative to the ubiquitous Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, it’s a fantastic all-round package.

Of course, no car is perfect, and the fourth-generation Fabia is no exception. For instance, it’s a petrol-only range, with no hybrid choice. In this day and age, it seems odd to be coasting and braking and NOT harvesting energy otherwise lost.

Skoda Fabia

However, not everyone is ready to go hybrid or fully electric, and many can’t afford the extra upfront cost or fit a home charger, so for now conventional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) cars are still the most popular new car option.

Only offered as a five-door hatchback (there’s no estate version this time round), it comes in cool colours (Phoenix Orange and Race Blue especially) and there’s a sporty Monte Carlo version topping the range.

The Fabia is longer than its predecessor, and the boot (up by 50 litres to 380 litres) is claimed to be the largest of any supermini on sale today.

Skoda Fabia

Its more grown-up, aerodynamic design brings it more closely into line with other newer Skodas, including the Octavia and Scala,

Priced from £17,800, there’s a choice of either a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a choice of three outputs (64, 94 or 108bhp), or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder (148bhp) unit available in the flagship Monte Carlo.

The two entry-level 1.0-litres get a five-speed manual gearbox, while the more powerful version gets a six-speed, though a seven-speed DSG automatic can also be specified.

Skoda Fabia

We tested the 1.0-litre with the biggest output paired with the twin-clutch auto gearbox. Capable of up to 50.7mpg, CO2 emissions are as low as 126g/km, while 0-62mph takes 9.8 seconds and top speed is 126mph.

Inside, it’s attractive, well-built and offers lots of space. Up front there’s a large central floating touchscreen (there are three sizes, depending on how much you spend) with clear graphics. It’s well equipped too, though again, you get what you pay for.

It’s also packed with safety and driver assistance systems, helping it earn a maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests (there are three separate ISOFIX mounting points in the rear, plus the option for top and bottom mountings for the front passenger seat).

Skoda Fabia

It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, and while there is extra room in the back, taller passengers might still struggle for legroom. However, overall, it’s excellently packaged. with plenty of smaller storage spaces too.

As we’ve already mentioned, the boot is huge for a car of this size. In fact, it’s comparable to some vehicles in the Ford Focus class above.

On the road it’s a surprisingly refined experience, and it’s clearly been designed more for comfort than performance.

Skoda Fabia

That said, it’s a punchy little engine and feels quicker than the official figures suggest. Spirited drivers can still have some fun in the Fabia because it handles well with ample front-end grip, while body roll is kept well in check.

The steering is light and it’s a doddle to drive in town, but it’s also a fine cruiser. The DSG works well enough, but it can be a little hesitant to change through the gears if you’re in a hurry. Skoda expects most buyers to opt for the six-speed manual anyway.

We achieved the magic 50mpg on a long run with mixed roads, so driven sensibly, the Fabia will reward you with lower running costs.

Skoda Fabia

Add Skoda’s hard-won reputation for reliability and the new Fabia is right up there with the best of them, even if there isn’t a hint of electrification.

Verdict: The all-new Skoda Fabia is a cracking little car. Attractive, affordable and delivering plenty of space, comfort and on-board technology, it’s pleasant, easy to drive and well worth a test drive.

Skoda UK

Skoda Fabia