Suzuki’s little hottie is a delight, and terrific value.
The Suzuki Swift Sport has returned to our shores, with the all-new flagship of the fifth-generation Swift family rolling into Suzuki showrooms powered by a turbocharged powerplant for the first time.
Priced from $25,490 for the six-speed manual variant and $27,490 for the six-speed auto, the Swift Sport easily hangs onto its title of Australia’s cheapest hot hatch. Its nearest rival, the Volkswagen Polo GTI, retails for $27,690, while the Renault Clio RS 200 Sport breaches the $30K barrier with its $30,990 price tag.
Compared to the previous-generation Swift Sport the third-gen car costs $1000 more. However, Suzuki says that’s compensated not only by the 1.4-litre turbo’s better performance over the old car’s 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine, but also the 2018 Swift Sport’s lengthy list of standard equipment.
The 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is borrowed from the Suzuki Vitara Turbo, and puts out 103kW and 230Nm in the Swift Sport. Those are modest numbers in the hot hatch world, but the Swift Sport’s performance is aided by another modest number: its 970kg kerb weight.
For reference, a Polo GTI weighs well over 200kg more. With less mass to move, the Swift Sport can make the most of its engine output, and its 7.2-second 0-100km/h time is a whopping 1.5-second improvement on the old car.
Built on Suzuki’s HeartEct architecture, the same that underpins other Swifts as well as the Baleno small hatch, the 2018 Swift Sport weighs 80kg less than the outgoing model. Suspension is still a conventional MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear, however, Monroe shock absorbers firm up the ride while a thicker front swaybar helps contain body roll.
Under-bonnet improvements continue with the old car’s CVT automatic making way for a better-performing conventional six-speed auto, although a six-speed manual remains the standard fit-out.
There’s only one specification level for the Swift Sport, and it’s a highly equipped one. Besides the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled touchscreen infotainment system that features on other Swift models, the Sport also packs in AEB, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, a speed limiter, keyless entry and ignition, single-zone climate control, privacy glass, 17-inch alloys and six airbags as standard.
Heavily bolstered front seats are unique to the Sport and boast fixed headrests, cloth upholstery and red contrast stitching, while the instrument panel gains red graphics for the tachometer and a boost gauge and primitive G-meter for the multifunction screen. Metal-faced pedals are another Sport calling card, as are red trim panels on the dash and front door cards.
2018 SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT PRICING
Sport manual – $25,490
Sport automatic – $27,490
By Tony O’Kane, 2018 Car News