What is it?
It’s facelift time for the Swift, and there are range tweaks and a new 4x4 variant to contemplate, too. The non-Sport Swift’s reprofiled front bumper, new wheels and revised upholstery pattern testify to the limited scope of the aesthetic alterations. There are also minor but handy upgrades, like a parcel shelf that’s now tied to the tailgate.
But the salient news starts here: the warm Swift Sport 1.6-litre can now be had with five doors and a fifth seat for £500 extra, and the 1.3-litre diesel becomes around seven per cent cleaner and only available in top-dollar SZ4 trim.
The party piece is the 4x4, though, which engages the impressive Fiat Panda 4x4 head-on. Like the Fiat, the Swift 4x4 employs a viscous coupling to give full-time four-wheel drive that sends more twist rearwards when the front wheels struggle. While the Panda gains 50mm in ride height, the Swift rises just 25mm, and ground clearance is actually unaltered (at 140mm) due to a low-slung rear differential. Boot space is unaffected, though.
There’s no poverty SZ2 4x4, and the SZ3 variant apes its front-drive counterpart for looks and kit (alloys, air-con, Bluetooth and front fogs are highlights) for a premium of £1200, while subtle front and rear skid plates and black side skirts and wheel-arch edges join the SZ4’s extensive spec list that now includes LED running lights, folding mirrors, keyless start and cruise control. It costs £1800 more than the equivalent front-driver.