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First Drive

First Drive: Suzuki Swace

The story: A tie-up with Toyota has given Suzuki two new low-emissions models with the PHEV SUV Across joined by this Toyota Corolla-based Swace hybrid estate.
Category:Lower medium
Key rival:Ford Focus
On sale:Now

The slightly bizarrely named Swace is the second of a pair of Suzukis based very closely on Toyota models under an agreement between the two Japanese companies that has also spawned the RAV4-based Across.

Available only in estate form, the Swace is a rebadged Corolla, which is the Company Car Today CCT100 Lower Medium Car of the Year. It uses Toyota’s excellent hybrid system, which combines a 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor for a joint 122hp and CO2 emissions of 103g/km, which isn’t too bad at all for a lower medium estate with almost 600 litres of boot space.

By comparison, the Corolla has a best of 101g/km, so sits one BiK band higher, although the Toyota has an entry P11D price of £25,255 compared with the Suzuki’s higher £27,499 entry point, although the Swace is better equipped than the entry Corolla.

First Drive - March 2021 - Suzuki Swace - Image 3Manufactured at Toyota’s plant in the UK, the Swace gets a slightly different nose, with the area between the headlights being the main point of difference from
its Toyota sibling; the Suzuki being sleeker, sharper and possibly a touch better looking than its donor car.

The Swace comes in SZ-T and SZ5 spec, with both getting the same powertrain and performance and efficiency figures, but the higher-spec model adding kit including front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitor and wireless phone charger.

First Drive - March 2021 - Suzuki Swace - Image 5All cars get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, rearview camera and eight-inch touchscreen.

The hybrid powertrain developed by Toyota has come on leaps and bounds over earlier systems, particularly around refinement levels under acceleration, although it can still be a little loud when full power is requested.

At low speeds, the battery-only power offers silent running for up to around a mile at a time on lighter throttle, while offering a boost to the petrol engine where required.

The brand predicts it will sell 2000 Swaces this year, making a decent contribution to Suzuki’s volumes, especially in the fleet sector.

paul barker

The verdict

The most fleet-friendly Suzuki ever, with emissions of just over 100g/km, plus good practicality and kit.