Suzuki has made minor improvements to the 2020 Swift Sport Turbo variant.
Suzuki has made minor improvements to the 2020 Swift Sport Turbo variant.

Extra fuel on the Suzuki Swift Sport fire

Performance and affluence often go hand in hand with the automotive realm.

For those without supremely deep pockets, and little mechanical nous, offerings like the Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo provide low-cost thrills.

This compact hatch is a firecracker. Available from the showroom for less than $30,000, it makes mincemeat of the mundane.

Updated for 2020, the Swift Sport Turbo has received some minor technological additions to maintain pace with key rivals.

Suzuki has made minor improvements to the 2020 Swift Sport Turbo variant.
Suzuki has made minor improvements to the 2020 Swift Sport Turbo variant.

VALUE

Those happy to swap cogs themselves need spend only $27,490, while the self-shifter is $29,490 and includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

New for 2020 is a 4.2-inch digital display that sits between the tachometer and speedo. Press a small button in the driver’s binnacle and you’ll cascade between various information, such as a digital speedo, turbo output, g-force meter, and fuel consumption with distance-to-empty projection.

Carry-over kit includes 17-inch alloys, twin exhaust, body kit including roof spoiler, seven-inch touchscreen with smartphone-mirroring apps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, alloy pedals and front bucket sports seats.

The upgraded driver instruments in the Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo.
The upgraded driver instruments in the Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo.

The new colour combination is orange with a black roof, while continued options are metallic red, blue and grey, along with pearlescent finishes in white and black.

Swifts have long been favoured for their souped-up extras, and Suzuki offers some options for additional personality.

There are silver, red, black and white garnishes for the console ($244), doors ($356) and dash ($177). Wheel decals in red, blue or yellow cost $155, a fuel cap decal $145 and doors sills $177, while flashy external decals will set you back $561 for bling on the bonnet, sides and fender. Some of the extras can be done at home, but others will require an experienced installer.

Servicing was once every six months, but that’s been extended to annual following pressure from other manufacturers for longer intervals. Maintenance is still required every 10,000km, and total price for the first five services is a reasonable $1475.

Like with all key rivals, the warranty coverage is five years and unlimited kilometres. That increased from three years and 100,000km during October last year.

Inside the Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo.
Inside the Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo.

SAFETY

Added to the safety suite is blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and demisting heaters on the side mirrors.

Nothing has altered the five-star rating, awarded in 2017, and still on the standard list are radar cruise control to maintain preset distances from other vehicles in traffic, automatic high beam that dips the headlights on to low beam when oncoming traffic is identified, along with lane departure warning that alerts the driver to veering outside the lines and automatic braking that is engaged when a potential frontal collision is detected.

Other brands have emergency braking that is also operational in reverse, along with an ability to steer the car within a lane if the driver is distracted. The Swift also has no parking sensors, just a rear camera, so it’s worth visiting the optional-extras aisle at the dealership.

Suzuki has made minor improvements to the 2020 Swift Sport Turbo variant.
Suzuki has made minor improvements to the 2020 Swift Sport Turbo variant.

COMFORT

Indicative of the price — and in line with the remainder of the Swift range — there are a reasonable amount of hard, black plastics across the dash, console and doors.

The shiny surfaces do have a modern minimalism appeal, while the functions are also straightforward with an uncomplicated dial and button configuration.

Sports front seats are figure-hugging, and those with a bigger build may find them constricting. Back seat space is reasonable for a compact hatch, with unencumbered real estate for two adults.

Storage is limited through the console, although there is an area perfect for a smartphone, as well as dual cup holders in front of the shifter and bottle holders in the doors. Boot space is small, leading to a weekly grocery shop overflowing to the back seat, but the rear seats fold for added flexibility.

DRIVING

“Hot hatches” have developed a cult following, and while the Swift Sport Turbo falls short of this genre it remains fun without the associated harshness.

The 1.4-litre turbocharged engine is zesty off the line. Exercise your right ankle with too much enthusiasm and the wheels chirp while rapidly gaining speed. The six-speed auto managed intuitive changes, but those able to handle three pedals will have more fun in the manual version of this engaging little hatchback.

Compared to a standard Swift, extensive upgrades to the suspension deliver greater stiffness, which means flatter cornering, and athletic prowess. Accurate steering provides confidence when attacking the bends, and the Swift offers dexterity on varying surfaces. The firmer ride trade-off is road noise when on the highway.

Fuel consumption of 5.9 litres of premium unleaded per 100km was lower than Suzuki’s official figure — that included a combination of work around town and on the highway.

Suzuki has made minor improvements to the 2020 Swift Sport Turbo variant.
Suzuki has made minor improvements to the 2020 Swift Sport Turbo variant.

HEAD SAYS

Going warp speed in a straight line can be left to the quarter milers — I’m looking to terminate the twisties without investing my life savings.

HEART SAYS

External extras provide a distinctive sporty look, and this little hatch has an ability to walk the talk.

ALTERNATIVES

FORD FIESTA ST $35,700 D/A

Just released, it’s brisk, entertaining and well equipped. The latest Ford Fiesta ST is one of the best budget performance cars around. Powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo, good for 147kW/290Nm.

KIA RIO GT-LINE $23,990 D/A

Not as fiery as the Swift Sport, down on power with a 1.0-litre 88kW/172Nm 3-cylinder, partnered to a seven-speed auto. Has a good-size boot (bigger than the Swift’s), and is a neat little package.

VERDICT

Without doubt this is one of the best bang for buck hatches on the market. The latest tweaks strengthen the safety repertoire in a fine combination of fun and value.

AT A GLANCE

Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo

PRICE $27,490 D/A (manual, good buying)

WARRANTY AND SERVICING 5yr unlimited km (good) servicing $1475 over five years (excellent)

ENGINE 1.4-litre turbo 4-cyl 103kW/230Nm FWD (pretty quick).

TRANSMISSION Six-speed manual or six-speed automatic .

SAFETY Five-star, six airbags, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, high beam assist, AEB, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitor (improved)

THIRST 6.1 litres/100km (par for the course).

SPARE None, repair kit (becoming common)

BOOT 265 litres (small)


STORM WARNING: Destructive winds, giant hailstones and rain

STORM WARNING: Destructive winds, giant hailstones and rain

A thunderstorm warning has been issued for the Northern Rivers

Mixed response to border reopening to NSW (except Sydney)

Premium Content Mixed response to border reopening to NSW (except Sydney)

WHAT do you think of NSW being allowed to re-enter Queensland?

Dad’s one wish after footy player’s ‘traumatic’ death

Premium Content Dad’s one wish after footy player’s ‘traumatic’ death

Grant Cook died after collapsing during a rugby league match