2018 Suzuki Swift SportSuzuki has been producing small sporty cars for many years. Though the Suzuki car division is separate from the motorbike one there’s obviously trading of design and engineering ideas between the two, resulting in cars and bikes that are more than mere transport.

In fact we’ve spent many fun times fanging Suzuki cars around the company’s race circuit in Japan over the years. While it’s set up for testing and tuning racing bikes it gave us a solid insight into Suzuki’s way of thinking in all its products.

Unfortunately we did not have a chance to take the Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo around that circuit, rather we did several hundred kilometres testing in our home area between the Gold Coast and Brisbane. Though Covid-19 did shut us out of the brilliant hilly roads of Northern NSW – perhaps that will give us an excuse to borrow a Swift Turbo when life goes back to normal.

See more in the Driving section of this report.

Differentiating between the standard and Swift Sport models is easy, with the latter integrating a bolder front profile and a more assertive rear. The bold front grille, side skirts and roof spoiler all add to the Sport in the little Suzuki’s name.

It sits on open-spoke black lustre 17-inch alloy wheels with polished feature edging and it has 195/45 R17 series tyres. It has twin exhaust tailpipes.

There’s a new two-tone colour; flame orange with a black roof, which looked brilliant on our test car. There is also a yellow as a sports colour. Other colour options fitted to the Suzuki by the Queensland importer (my home State) include Burning Red, Blue and Mineral Grey metallics along with White and Black Pearls.

The race-bred theming is carried through to the interior with firm bucket seats, red formula-faced instrumentation, alloy pedals and styling accents.

The latest upgrade also includes a new digital speedo in the 4.2 inch centre information display panel between the tacho and a traditional speedometer.

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport

Swift Sport has a six-speaker system. Smartphone linkage displays audio plus navigation and Bluetooth.

Powering the Swift Sport Turbo is a 1.4-litre in-line four-cylinder 16-valve engine with variable valve timing on the inlet side. It produces 103 kW of power and 230 Nm of torque.

The engine is a high-tech unit with direct-injection, seven-hole injector nozzles injecting fuel directly into the combustion chamber. piston cooling jets, an oil cooler and an intercooler.The turbo is mounted on the cylinder head directly at the end of the built-in exhaust manifold.

Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo can be paired with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.

The already good five-star safety rating of Suzuki’s Swift Sport Turbo has been further enhanced as part of the 2020 upgrade.

It now has blind spot monitoring, a rear cross traffic alert system and heaters on the outside mirrors to delist them.

These are in addition to the existing adaptive cruise control; lane departure warning and a weaving alert; hill holder; high beam assist which automatically switches the headlamps between high beam and low beam depending on surrounding conditions.

Should you, or another driver, still manage to crash there are front, side and curtain air bags.

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport

Engine performance is excellent, with minimal turbo lag followed by a nice surge of acceleration. In a very Suzuki way the engine really loves high revs. While the turbocharger does give plenty of grunt from about 2000rpm up there’s a feeling of eagerness from the engine that makes getting up to the higher rev ranges even more fun.

The automatic transmission in our test car (pity!) was generally in the right gear at the right time. Indeed, it’s sad to realise that autos are getting so good these days that they are often quicker than manuals. So – all keen drivers – get ready for the days when DIY changes are a thing of the past. Don’t believe us? Go to your local Ferrari dealership and ask to buy a manual…

The front suspension was designed specifically for the Swift Sport Turbo, with Monroe-branded Tenneco struts and different bump stoppers to other Swift models. It also has a recalibrated stabiliser bar. The trailing arms are designed for the Swift Sport Turbo, as was a torsion bar that provides greater stiffness.

Interestingly, the suspension has Teflon seats on the stabiliser mounts. The wheel hub and wheel bearings are engineered specifically for the Swift Sport Turbo. The rear shock absorbers also are Tenneco-made Monroe units.

The Suzuki Swift Sport is a delightful small car. Because it’s light and nimble it seems to cry out to be driven in a sporting manner. So it often provides more driving pleasure than larger, heavier sports machines.


GL 1.2-litre: $17,690 (manual), $18,690 (CVT)
GLX Turbo 1.4-litre: $22,990 (automatic)
Sport Turbo 1.4-litre: $25,490 (manual), $27,490 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Suzuki dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Suzuki Swift Sport Turbo 1.4-litre turbo-petrol five-door hatch)

Capacity: 1.373 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 103 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 230 Nm @ 2500 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.1 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 141 g/km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic

Length: 3890 mm
Wheelbase: 2450 mm
Width: 1735 mm
Height: 1735 mm
Turning Circle: metres
Kerb Mass: kg
Fuel Tank Capacity:37 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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