2011 Suzuki Swift

Welcome to the Suzuki Swift car review. The Suzuki Swift from 2011 has just been replaced by an all new model for 2017 so you may be thinking why so late to post a review? Well this is part of my series on buying a used or second have small car and the Swift is one of the cars I was looking at. I’ve always liked the Swift package as it has stayed true to it’s original design brief of being a good looking reasonably priced, reliable, small, fuel efficient car that’s a decent drive. With cars growing in size over each model cycle the Suzuki has done that to the Swift as well but not to the extent of it’s competitors which means it stays true to market positioning and let new models take up the larger sizes. The means that the Swift brand gains an enhanced reputation and an emerging cult status for certain models.

In terms of design, the Swift is a good looking small car. While the lines are conservative and box like there are enough other elements to make it visibly different from other small cars. These elements include over sized front headlights and arching rear lights which define the major curves and angles on the body. Overall the Swift does not look like a cheap design and combined with visibly higher quality paint to my observation makes it appeal to buyers wanting more than the stereotypical small car. I like the Swift’s design.

The Suzuki Swift’s interior design was a good place to be when released in 2011. It is conventional in design which different from all the other small cars of the 2011 period. The Swift’s dashboard was surprisingly big car like with a standard T-box design, the Mazda2, Fiesta, Jazz and Yaris all had best described as youthful interior designs. The conservative design makes it appeal to a broader range of buyers not the attracted to the overtly youthful version in the other cars. The quality of the interior feels better than the others at the time and has aged well, however in 2017 it is looking dated. I think it’s the untextured dash top plastics that make it appear aged compared to the rest of the interior. Overall the Swift is a good place to be in for a 2011 model in 2017. The Swift definitely makes it to the short list of small cars to buy.

The mechanical package of the Suzuki Swift comes in a variety of versions including a diesel in overseas markets. However in the main there are two versions, the normal one and the Sport. The normal Swift is just as good as the other small cars, there is really nothing more I can add or point out, this it’s self means that the packaging is very good. There are plenty of storage spots but not a good as the best in class, the Jazz and the Yaris. The 2011 Suzuki Swift was one of the few cars with 7 airbags as standard along with stability control and ABS brakes means it’s systems are up to date.  The Swift Sport has completely different suspension, engines and transmission setup and suitably for a sporty driving experience. This version used to be called the GTi which globally means the most sporty version of the car and clearly the Swift Sport is quite different from the normal versions does not have the outrageous power of 2017 to meet the typically GTi branding. Along with all the current safety systems the Swift Sport has some of the features that more expensive cars of that era like cruise control, xenon lights and keyless start.

The Suzuki Swift’s stereo system is an integrated version which means that you can’t update it with digital radio, Bluetooth streaming and Apple Carplay or Android Auto for GPS and other goodies expected in 2017. The stereo sounds OK as standard but disappointing that upgrading the unit will be difficult if not impossible without significant expense.

The Suzuki Swift drives really well for a used car that’s 5 years old. More steering feel and turn in that is better or just as well as any other of the small cars I looked at. The steering is sharper and more consistent that the other small cars, ride was reasonably smooth and acceptably quiet. As with all small cars you need revs to get the power but in normal driving you don’t generally need heavy throttle to keep up with traffic. The auto has noticeable gaps and the manual was decent and not particularly spring loaded with feedback.

Overall I liked the Suzuki Swift from 2011. There are a few Swifts on sale at any given time but mainly the mid range models and all with quite high milage. To me this indicates that people tend to hang on to them rather than sell them within the warranty period. I like the exterior design and don’t mind the interior however due to the existence of the Swift Sport, this was the only model I wanted and it was out of my price range. The Swift’s interior packaging is good too but not as good as the other small cars I was looking at. The inability to update the stereo system which is critical in car designed to be in heavy traffic, is disappointing just like all the other models I tried so far. The driving experience of the normal Swift is good but again spoiled by the driving the Swift Sport.

2011 Suzuki Swift
IL 4 Cylinder
1.3 Litre (1372cc)
Claimed 70Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 130Nm @ 4000RPM
IL 4 Cylinder
1.6 Litre (1586cc)
Claimed 100Kw @ 6900RPM
Claimed 1160Nm @ 4400RPM
Kerb weight FROM 1035 Kg
Towing capacity up to N/A kg
Fuel capacity & consumption
Up to 42 litres
IL4 Petrol 1.4 litre 6.2 Lts per 100km AVG 91 Octane
IL4 Petrol 1.6 litre 6.5 Lts per 100km AVG 95 Octane
Other specifications
5 speed manual or 4 speed auto
Overall length/height/width 3850/1510/1695
ANCAP Safety: 5/5
2011 $15,990 – 25,990 AUD excluding on road costs
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