What is it?
Suzuki has high hopes for its new Swift Attitude. Historically, the special-edition supermini has been a strong performer for the Japanese manufacturer, and hopes for this new one are high off the back of that previous success. In fact, Suzuki expects the Attitude to account for as much as 40% of all Swift sales in the UK over the next year or so.
The £14,599 Attitude is based on mid-level SZ-T trim but adds a marginally more athletic body kit, 16in alloy wheels, a new spoiler and a mesh front grille for a sort of Swift Sport-lite aesthetic. However, where the regular SZ-T makes use of Suzuki’s 1.0-litre turbocharged Boosterjet engine, the Attitude’s motive power comes from the naturally aspirated 1.2-litre Dualjet from the entry-level SZ-3 model, driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox.
Compared with the Boosterjet’s 110bhp, the four-cylinder Dualjet’s 89bhp and 88lb ft might seem a bit lacking, but there’s certainly some reassurance to be found in its dainty 980kg kerb weight.
What's it like?
Swifts are generally known for being entertaining, in a light-hearted, don’t-take-yourself-too-seriously kind of way, and the Attitude is no different. But then, with no mechanical changes made to its chassis, suspension or steering, that doesn’t come as any great surprise.
Its steering is reasonably light and not particularly communicative, but a twist of the wheel results in a pleasingly eager response from the Swift’s front end. Add a short wheelbase and that low kerb weight into the mix and the result is a supermini that feels not just agile, but enthusiastically so.
It lets you get away with quite a lot, too. You can throw it into bends at the last minute - with steering inputs far more abrupt and aggressive than they need to be - without any fear of it coming back to bite you. You could say it almost seems to take pleasure in being driven in such a fashion. It’s no hot hatch, and it doesn’t quite offer that final level of dynamic polish and conviction you’d get from a Ford Fiesta, but it’s easily one of the more entertaining superminis for bombing down country lanes.
Admittedly, the same can’t be said of its straight-line performance. A 0-62mph time of 11.9sec isn’t exactly eye-widening, but at the same time it would be wrong to say the Swift feels grossly underpowered on full throttle. Its featherweight status no doubt pays dividends in this respect.