The previous Swift was something of a bastion of naturally aspirated petrol engines, its ubiquitous, hard-edged, variable-valve peppiness best exemplified by the outgoing Sport version.

The earnestness suited the sorted supermini well, but it doesn’t take long in the Boosterjet version to consider its turbocharged, electrically tweaked delivery a worthy upgrade.

Engine will just about accelerate in third on the steep climbs, but an extra intermediate gear ratio would have been helpful here

Principally, this accolade is earned by the calibre of the 1.0-litre triple, which, although less potent and free-spirited than Ford’s equivalent, manages to evince some of the same warbling, cheery energy. (In part at least, Suzuki has adopted a similar approach: deliberately unbalancing the crank counterweights to turn side-to-side vibrations into vertical ones – and then damping them via the engine mounts.)

The modestly forceful whoosh of trilling acceleration yielded at 2000rpm with the arrival of peak twist, though, is Suzuki’s own.

Any battery-fed assistance is impossible to discern, except perhaps in the unexpected keenness of the progress. We recorded 10.5sec to 60mph from a standing start – commendable for a compact car handicapped by two oversized occupants.

In-gear acceleration would have been equally satisfying were it not for the mild physical hindrance of the baggy and slightly unyielding five-speed manual gearbox.

The motor deserves the kind of short-throw, lightly fettled palm-pleaser that Volkswagen twins with practically every small petrol engine, but instead it gets the unwieldiness of a transmission that is unkeen to indulge you with seamless or even accurate upshifts.

This makes gearchanges merely serviceable, which is a shame when the Boosterjet makes a point of reaching peak output with just enough progressive verve to keep you interested in occasionally finding 5500rpm.

Typically, of course, with progress subsidised low down, you won’t need to – an attribute that is of predictable benefit to the Swift’s fuel economy.

Even with virtually non-stop spiritedness, our test car returned an average of 45.7mpg during its time with us.

That’s well short of the 65.7mpg combined claim, but a 56.8mpg touring result shows just how economical the flyweight Suzuki is likely to be if you seek to indulge it. 


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