The Suzuki Swift Sport is a car you actually want to buyMaybe

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I’ve showed you Brazilian utes that you won’t buy and a Volkswagen pickup truck that…you won’t buy either. I’ve decided that I’ll try to show you something that you would actually buy for a change.
But what could it be?
It has to be something fun and reasonably cheap. Something that would really pique your interest. Something that will have absolutely no chance of showing up stateside and ruining this article. What better then a hot hatchback from a brand that just got the boot from the U.S then?

Yes, I’m devoting an entire article to Suzuki today. The brand that nobody seemed to notice until 2012 when they announced they’d retire from the U.S market. And suddenly every car guy in the nation who had read reviews praising the Kizashi as one of the best mid-sized sedans on the market was receiving mockery from every car guy in the nation that had seen it coming. The other 98% population continued unfazed.
There’s the Jimmy, the car they would’ve been selling to off-road enthusiasts in the United States as the “Samurai” had Consumer Reports not implied it would tip over if you so much as tried to turn the steering wheel. For fans of wagons, there’s the new SX-4 that leaves the void created by Toyota when they stopped making the Corolla All-Trac. Finally there’s the car that I want to bring to your attention, the Swift.
This is Suzuki’s entry in the compact segment. Something to take on the likes of the Fiat 500 and the Ford Fiesta. It’s a car that’s normally designed and built to be reasonably fun to drive around town or for a short blast down a back road to a nice restaurant. However, Suzuki wasn’t happy with this and decided they’d make a hot version.
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Here it is as the Suzuki Swift Sport. And on paper things aren’t looking particularly promising for the poor thing. It’s more ‘lukewarm’ than ‘hot’. Unlike the Fiesta ST and the Clio RS, which have 200 horsepower to move them about, the Swift has to make due with only 136 horses from its naturally aspirated engine.
“Ah”, you say, “maybe it’s light?” Well, yes, but the 43kg difference between them will hardly offset the 64 horsepower difference. As such 0-60 takes 8.7 seconds, which pales when compared to the 6.7 that the Fiesta ST manages. Top speed also suffers, at 121 miles per hour versus 136 for the Fiesta. Clearly then, the Fiesta is best right? Well, that’s until you take into account the price. Depending where you bought it you can save as much as $5,500 by choosing the Swift. If this trend could be kept it means you could have it for around $15,000 stateside, or about the same as a moderately equipped Fiesta.
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This then is the budget alternative for the Hot hatchback crowd. For the person that wants to have a hot hatch but really can’t stomach the payments or isn’t willing to take a 5-plus year loan to make himself believe he can. You still get a reasonably peppy engine, 17” alloys wrapped in Conti Sport Contacts, a nifty little spoiler, and sport-tuned suspension.
It may not be as sharp or responsive as the more focused Hot Hatches on the road, but for that price I’m betting a lot of folks would forgive it for that. Wouldn’t you?

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  1. Brendan A. MacWade Avatar
    Brendan A. MacWade

    I really prefer the Suzuki Wagon R. I have a thing for kei cars.

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    Granny’s car around these parts, the common Swift.

  3. Vavon Avatar

    I would love to have a go in this little Suzuki… Sounds like fun!

    1. Tiller188 Avatar

      4-door Cappuccino wearing platforms? Looks like fun to me.

  4. Drives Dead Marques Avatar
    Drives Dead Marques

    This would probably also be a cheaper alternative in insurance and fuel. Who needs all that extra horsepower when you can have the money to order a pizza? Well, on second thought, with all that extra weight you’ll be putting on, maybe you’d better go for the horsepower after all.

  5. Maymar Avatar

    Suzuki was teasing sending the Swift over since at least 2008, never did happen. It’s a shame, but given how Suzuki had a reasonably interesting lineup in the SX4/Kizashi/Grand Vitara that went largely ignored, I don’t see the Swift faring much better. Except in Quebec probably.
    That said, it would’ve made my test drive list last fall if it was an option.

  6. crank_case Avatar

    The Swift sports is a great little car by all accounts, sure it lacks Fiesta ST shove, but that’s the trade-off in being one of the last naturally aspirated hot(ish) hatches you could buy. If you look at its power and stats and road tests, it’s not far off being a modern 205GTi both in performance and terrier like character, it’s just that seems get lost in the era of the 200bhp hatchback. No matter, you can have fun at license friendly speeds while everyone else just sees a shopping car. It’s predecessor the lighter Ignis Sport would probably be even more fun and has proper JWRC championship winning rally pedigree too.