First Drive

First Drive: Suzuki Swift Attitude

The story:
Suzuki has added a special edition of the Swift that has the uprated looks of the Swift Sport performance model, but lower running costs of more modest engine power.
Category:Super Mini
Key rival:Seat Ibiza
Suzuki Swift Attitude
Price:£14,595
MPG:64.2mpg
Emissions:116g/km
On sale:Now

 

Suzuki has expanded its Swift range with the introduction of the Attitude special edition, although calling it a special edition underplays the importance of a model that could account for up to 40% of Swift volume this year.

The Japanese brand feels that there is a gap in its range for a car with the hotter looks of the Swift Sport model, but with a less powerful 90hp 1.2-litre engine, rather than the Sport’s 140hp.

First Drive-July 2019-Suzuki Swift Attitude-Image 4The Attitude gets front, side and rear carbon-effect skirts, a noticeable rear spoiler, mesh front grille and 16-inch black/polished alloy wheels to mark it out from the regular Swift models, such as the SZ-T trim on which the special-edition car is based.

A satellite-navigation system is a £199 option, which is a more-than-fair price on a sub-£15,000 supermini, although the infotainment system isn’t the best on the market and the sliding bar for the volume control is something of an irritation. Standard kit on the Attitude spec includes rear privacy glass, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and an autonomous emergency braking system.

Some of the cabin feels cheap, with plenty of hard plastic on show, but it’s still reasonable for the money. Rear space, meanwhile, is adequate, given that the Swift is smaller than its rivals at significantly less than four metres long.

First Drive-July 2019-Suzuki Swift Attitude-Image 6Those diminutive dimensions make city driving more pleasant, as does the well-weighted steering that gives the Swift a sporty edge without being too heavy for parking. It’s a nippy, fun, little car.

The only downward point in the costs equation is the surprisingly sky-high insurance group. The Swift Attitude sits in group 25, while a 95hp Seat Ibiza FR or 100hp Ford Fiesta ST-Line are both in group 10, which could mean an extra £600 a year on insurance.

But otherwise the costs equation stands up very well. The Swift costs around £4000 less than its Ford and Seat rivals, and all sit between 105 and 108g/km, which is a decent emissions figure. Residual values are also within touch of the Ford’s and Seat’s, so that cheaper price gives the car a whole-life costs win of a couple of pence per mile.

Paul Barker

The verdict

Likeable and unpretentious, the Swift gets a boost with the new Attitude model that should grab a significant portion of sales. It looks good and is much cheaper than rivals, although the high insurance cost is a concern.