Despite the need to downshift for snappy pick-up, the Suzuki SX4 returned an overall test fuel consumption of 34.6mpg and scored 44.2mpg on our touring route.

These are distinctly un-SUV-like figures and commendable even for a roomy, lively supermini, both of which bases the SX4 has covered. And as the model tested was the previous-generation petrol engine, the new one should perform even more admirably.

The SX4 represents very good value

Of course, the diesel represents improved running costs with a combined consumption figure of 53.3mpg (vs 45.6mpg for a two-wheel drive manual petrol model) and CO2 emissions of 139g/km (141g/km for the petrol).

The diesel has an exhaust gas recirculation system which switches off during warm-up and a diesel particulate filter, both helping to reduce emissions.

It's worth bearing in mind that the automatic gearbox saps more fuel, as does specifying four-wheel drive. Both variants increase emissions too.

You can have a front-wheel drive version for around £12,000, which is little more than Swift money, while the top diesel – available in four-wheel drive only – hovers just under £17,000.

You'd have to do quite a lot of miles to justify the extra cost, and the cheaper, petrol-fuelled 1.6 is by no means the poor relation as far as driving enjoyment is concerned.

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