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Supermini superhero: The Suzuki Swift keeps on giving

The Suzuki Swift has been a mainstay of the supermini segment for almost two decades. Here's why...

Sometimes you can't get enough of a good thing, and the Suzuki Swift is a lesson in how that is true, but only if you keep focused on innovation and changes in demand.

The Swift has been a tried and tested supermini choice for 18 years, aided by an extensive new generation revamp for 2017.

The Swift has been around since the year 2000, and has been constantly difficult to topple from its pedestal of being pound for pound one of the best superminis around, even if it's not the best-known.

It has made 5.4 million sales globally in the past 12 years alone which is more than any other Suzuki model.

That's despite Suzuki not having the giant inbuilt advantage of being one of the truly major global manufacturers.

The flagship model, the Swift Sport hot hatch, has in particular been a joy, leading the way in hot supermini hatches long before such a thing was as common a concept as it is today. The good news is that a brand new Sport is on its way (more of this later).

What's new?

The good news is the all-new generation of the Swift landed late in the second half of 2017. This third generation car was extensively made over in the best traditions of Suzuki craftsmanship.

The essence of its design has been retained, although flowing edges differentiate it from the previous generation.

There are strong shoulders and vertically arranged front and rear lamps. The body is shorter, lower and wider, and the new front grille is more in your face.

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 used in the headlamps and optionally in rear combination lamps.

The platform

The latest model rests on a new-generation light and rigid platform which, with other innovations, means the new Swift is some 120kg lighter than its predecessor.

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 254-litres - around 20% greater than the outgoing model. It's also 15mm lower and 40mm wider.

Both the changes in weight and dimensions reflect in the Swift's road-going abilities.

Under the bonnet

Lift the lid and you'll find some decent powerplants, including a 90hp 1.2-litre four cylinder Dualjet engine with manual transmission that offers CO2 emissions of 98g/km and officially claims 65.7mpg.

Or you might choose the 111PS 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet turbo manual claiming CO2 emissions of 104g/km and 61.4mpg.

Suzuki's ALLGRIP 'AUTO' four-wheel drive system is available as an option on higher models.

Inside the cabin

The interior has changed quite a bit from the second generation Swift; seating positions have been lowered to ensured the same head clearance as the outgoing model, and changed to give more room between seats front and rear.

The centre console has been turned five degrees towards the driver, to help with ergonomics, and the front seats gave been refashioned and made more comfortable.

Safety and tech

Standard equipment for all trim levels is good but the SZ3 model looks particularly good value to us with 1.2-litre Dualjet engine and manual transmission, six airbags, air con, 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.

Shifting up the range, SZ-T trim comes with 1.0-litre Boosterjet engine and manual transmission plus rear view camera, Smartphone link display audio, 16-inch alloys wheels and front fog lamps glass.

SZ5 adds auto air con, 16-inch polished alloy wheels, sat nav, a 4.2 inch high-definition colour LCD display and a bunch of other stuff including a forward detection system that combines a monocular camera and a laser sensor for advanced safety functions.

Full details of the Swift Sport are being kept back for its own launch, but the gossip has it to expect some great driver assists and screen technology.

Prices for the new Swift range start at £11,9999 for SZ3 models, £13,999 for SZ-T trim and £15,499 for the SZ5 range.

New Swift Sport

The good news is an all-new Swift Sport is now landing in showrooms - and the even better news is that Suzuki has slashed up to £1.5k off the price from now until the end of June.

It goes on sale at an initial launch of £16,499 - a £1,500 saving.

The price applies to both new and existing customers; the normal price after the end of June will likely be £17,995.

The car, the third generation of the popular sporty supermini, is quicker and lighter than the outgoing model, and even tastier both outside and in. Plus there's a new engine line-up.

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