I'm not trying to be cryptic here, but when is a Suzuki not a Suzuki?
Bodywork, 120bhp hybrid powertrain, shiny new TNGA platform, surprisingly elegant interior fixings; everything. All is supplied by the world’s most prolific carmaker (rather than its 8th) – the result of an industrial partnership formed between the two makes in 2019 and whose initial badge-engineered progeny was the RAV4-based Suzuki Across.
You might well wonder why these cross-brand models exist in the first place. In this case, Suzuki benefits crucially from reducing its average CO2 output in Europe – even this top-spec SZ5 Swace ducks beneath 99g/km – while Toyota grows its sphere of influence.
We’ll witness a similar arrangement in 2023, when the Mazda 2 is replaced with a rebadged (but, unlike the Swace, also lightly restyled) Toyota Yaris Hybrid.
Toyota, of course, also has its long-standing partnership with Subaru, and we should expect this kind of collaboration to become more common industry-wide as emissions targets and rising development costs erode profit margins.
Naturally, there are no surprises when it comes to driving the Swace, except perhaps for the fact that the car looks handsome on its meek 16in wheels and without any of the chintzy exterior addenda the more expensive Corolla gets. In an increasingly ostentacious motoring world, it is heroically unobstrusive.