The third-generation Suzuki Swift Sport has arrived in Australia, priced at $25,490 before on-road costs — $2200 cheaper than the VW Polo GTI and $3500 less than the Renault Clio RS 200.
The new Japanese pocket rocket picks up a new turbocharged engine shared in large part with the Vitara SUV. The 1.4 ‘Boosterjet' unit makes 103kW of power and a much meatier 230Nm of torque between 2500 and 3000rpm. Fuel use is 6.1L/100km.
At the same time, this iteration weighs 80kg less than before despite being the same length and marginally wider, tipping the scales at only 970kg. So while rivals the Polo GTI, Clio RS 200 and the discontinued Ford Fiesta ST have many, many more horses under the bonnet, they’re also heavier.
Breaking down the weight savings more granularly, the body contributes 40 per cent to the overall mass reduction, while the doors, seats, engine and assorted exterior parts are all lighter than before as well.
Matched to the engine is a carried-over six-speed manual gearbox with a shorter shift and re-jigged clutch, or the $2000 more expensive automatic option. The old CVT is gone, replaced by a new six-speed unit with torque converter.
It’s worth noting here that the Polo and Clio get dual-clutch units — standard-fit on the French offering.
Showing its cheap-and-cheerful side, the Swift’s suspension comprises MacPherson struts up front and a humble torsion beam at the rear, with Monroe shocks fitted as well. The front brakes discs are vented but the rears are solid.
Service intervals are every six months, with minor services capped at $175 and every fourth visit pegged at $379.
Sporty design accoutrements include an angrier nose, twin pipes in an edgy black diffuser, black-and-silver alloy wheels and a spoiler. Inside the cabin is a new multi-information LCD display with a boost gauge and oil temp sensor, plus sportier dials. There are also well-bolstered bucket seats with red stitching, a flat-bottom wheel, and alloy pedals.
Fans of hot hatchery will well know that the Swift has a strong legacy in the Junior World Rally Championship, though the Swift Sport name itself carries back to 2005. The hero Champion yellow paint harks to this, but you can also opt to have your car painted in pearl white, pearl black, metallic grey or metallic blue.
Suzuki Australia has opted to fit a ton of standard equipment to the Swift Sport, similar to the Swift GLX. This includes:
It also just nailed a five-star ANCAP crash rating.