With its cute and curvy looks, Steve reviews whether the second generation Suzuki Swift makes a good used car purchase in a very competitive market sector by driving a 1.5 petrol GLX model
The Mk2 Swift was released in 2005 after being shown at the Paris Motorshow the year before and was poles apart from its predecessor which neither had the look, nor the go to live up to the Swift name. The second generation Swift did away with a lot of the angles as found on the Mk1 and adopted a more rounded, yet sporty appearance. The MK2 Swift became a worldwide success for Suzuki and exceed sales figures in all markets, notably in Japan where it sold more than double its predicted sales figures.
The Swift is available in both 3 and 5 door form with a choice of either a 1.3 92bhp petrol giving an average of 45mpg, 1.5 101bhp petrol with an average of 45mpg or a 1.3 69bhp diesel giving a 61mpg average. Both petrol engines are derived from Toyota and are chain driven and give plenty of torque low down which suits the Swift well. Two gearboxes are offered in the way of a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed automatic, the former is ideal for the Swift on city streets or for country roads and makes the Swift an enjoyable drive. However, the manual gearbox is let down on motorway driving whereby you can experience engine noise within the cabin and ideally the car could have benefitted from a 6th gear. But let’s be honest the Swift is naturally going to be geared for city driving rather than motorway driving of which the gears are set perfectly. I found the Swift fun to drive as the steering was light but precise and the car felt agile, as well as having plenty of grip thanks to the wheels being set right at each corner.
Two key models are available for the Swift which are GL or GLX, the latter being the top spec model and has features such as a leather steering wheel, front foglights, air conditioning, alloy wheels, electric windows, electric mirrors, keyless entry and keyless ignition as standard. The GL is the entry model and is fitted with windup windows and wheel trims. There is also a limited edition attitude model which is fitted with 17" alloys and a body kit and only available in three door form. At the end of 2009 Suzuki changed the model structure to SZ3 and SZ4 to bring the Swift in line with the rest of the brands modelling structure but this did not affect the level of equipment in each model. For 2009 there was also the SZ-L limited edition model which was equipped with lavishes of chrome on the door handles, front grill and boot edge but more importantly had side indicators built into the wing mirrors.
Despite the Swift being designed to be one of the cheaper superminis on the market, don’t think that this has led to a cheap interior, it’s far from it. All models are fitted with a CD player and steering wheel controls, space saver spare wheel and fit five people at a push (5 door models). The grey dash and door cards are broken up by silver inlays which give the interior a sportier touch and I found the seats very comfortable. Suzuki haven’t skimped on safety either, giving the Swift front and side airbags, ABS and Equal Brake Distribution all of which helped the Swift achieve a four star euro NCAP safety rating.
Another great feature of the Swift, is the ability to personalise is to your specific taste with a great selection of Suzuki Swift accessories. My test car was a good example of this by having optional extra wheels, spoiler, stripe kit, central armrest, headlight protectors, bonnet protector, front and rear bumper diffusers, mud flaps and door rubbing strips which complimented this Swift very well and made it stand out from the crowd.
The Motorists Guide View
In my opinion the second generation Suzuki Swift makes a great used car purchase, ideally suited as a first time car or city car. I feel combined with the fun driving characteristics, cute looks and cheap motoring honours the ethos of the original Austin Mini more so than the BMW Mini. My only criticism is the small boot which you can only just fit a pushchair in but despite this I feel the MK2 Swift still feels fresh and current which is remarkable as the oldest ones are now 13 years old and definitely worth considering if you are looking for a cheap city car.
Curb weight: 1050kg