Since the engine is naturally aspirated, it offers its most rewarding performance higher up the rev-band. Power delivery is fairly linear, however, and the Swift is relatively light, so it doesn’t need its neck wringing unless every ounce of performance is wanted.
Mid-range torque is respectable enough to enable you to be fairly lazy with the gearlever, but find yourself up against any modern diesel repmobile (and its vast reserves of torque) and you’ll likely need to drop a cog or two to keep up.
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Effortless pace isn’t what the Swift Sport is about, though, and it’s refreshing – especially in a world of turbocharged engines that peak in the mid-range – to have to work an engine. Tickle the rev-counter’s red line and the four-cylinder unit sounds pretty good too – it actually stands out now that so many rivals are opting for three turbocharged cylinders.
The car only weighs 1045kg, which helps the Swift feel keen to react to throttle inputs. Admittedly, fairly short gearing also helps, but it’s easy to work the gearbox quickly once it’s up to temperature (our test car’s was notchy when cold, though this was probably thanks to endless abuse from other road testers).