The Swift's shelf life is coming to an end, with the 2017 model set to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, which will include a mild hybrid option, a distinctive new look and turbocharged petrol engine for the Swift Sport.
However this generation is Suzuki’s best-seller, finding 10,000 UK buyers in 2012, accounting for 40 percent of the marque’s sales here. This figure includes around 1000 units of the talented 1.6-litre Swift Sport warm hatch.
Though externally similar, the current model uses a longer platform than the 2005 car to boost passenger space to respectable levels, although the high-lipped boot is off the class pace at just 211 litres (most competitors swallow nearer 300 litres, and the deficit worsens with the standard-fit splitting seats folded down).
The Swift still looks relatively fresh, though, hence the mid-2013 facelift brought little more than a mildly reshaped front bumper and new wheel designs. The cabin is sturdy and has plenty of cubbies but is dull in both design and colour – most surfaces are black, and most plastics hard to the touch.
The facelift did little to lift this pall, simply adding new seat fabric that remains both dark and scratchy. Five-door versions cost an extra £500 and come with a third rear seat, but while other occupants enjoy decent space, the central rear passenger is very tight for lateral room and legroom.