This latest Suzuki Swift is the best Swift ever. Its smaller petrol engine is brisker and more efficient and its CO2 emissions are excellent, especially on the petrol..

There’s a well sorted chassis that combines with rev-happy manners to produce a lightly entertaining drive. The Swift should be safe, too, as it also scores five NCAP stars.

The Swift is good, but it’s not yet strong enough to challenge the best

There are disappointments. The cabin provides decent passenger space, but the boot is ridiculously small and its seat-folding arrangements are crude – we expect a little more flexibility from a supermini these days.

What’s more, the Swift’s dash is short on charm – it’s an unrelentingly grey interior while the quality of plastics, while hard wearing, are some way off those of rivals. It’s a cheap-feeling interior in a not very cheap car. Equipment levels of all bar the entry-level car are no more than reasonable, on the cheapest car they’re poor.

This would matter less if it were significantly cheaper than the Volkswagen Polo SE or Ford Fiesta Zetec, both of which are more rounded and stylish, but the difference is not that great. The Swift has real appeal and is more competitive than before, but it’s not yet strong enough to challenge the best.