Suzuki Swift Sport review – the back-to-basics drivers' hatch - Engine and gearbox

Honest, simple and mature, the Swift Sport remains an affordable evo favourite. More standard kit ups value for money

Evo rating
from £13,999
  • Old-school pocket rocket
  • Less efficient than turbo rivals

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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

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).


Most Popular


Maserati confirms future plans as FCA/PSA flagship

A new electric GranTurismo, Alfieri super sports car and revenue-grabbing SUV all detailed in Maserati’s grand plan
14 Feb 2020
Ford Mustang

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 given 986bhp twin-turbocharged V8

A pair of turbochargers and a modern Coyote V8 turn this ’69 Ford Mustang into a near four-figure quarter-mile hero 
13 Feb 2020
Toyota Corolla

250bhp Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch in the pipeline

Following in the footsteps of the GR Yaris homologation special, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division is to launch a hot Corolla
13 Feb 2020
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019