Suzuki Swift hatchback - Interior & comfort
An improvement on previous versions of the Suzuki Swift, but lacks the flair and class of rivals
Interiors have never been a Suzuki Swift highlight, but the latest version has certainly made considerable progress. However, while it looks attractive, it’s still let down by a lack of attention to detail – an area where some rivals really excel.
The Swift isn’t as relaxing to travel in as some other superminis, either – there’s quite a lot of wind noise at cruising speeds and the ride is on the bouncy side, even on smooth roads.
Suzuki Swift dashboard
On first impressions, the latest Swift impresses with a dashboard that shows a lot more design finesse than before. The double binnacle housing for the speedometer and rev counter lends a sporty air, as do the round air vents and chunky steering wheel.
The pleasing feel continues when you operate the switches, all of which seem solid and dependable. That also sums up how the dashboard has been put together – it should last a long time. What it doesn’t offer, though, is tactile reward.
Many of the Swift’s rivals use interior materials that are soft to the touch and also do a better job of creating a welcoming ambience than the Suzuki. Its coloured dashboard insert helps to break up the darkness, but the surfaces are more about durability than delight. It would be nice to have both. As it is, the Swift feels of a lesser quality next to more polished rivals like the Fiesta and Polo.
The latest Swift range opens with a new SZ-L trim level, which is far better equipped than the basic SZ3 trim it effectively replaces. It’s our new pick of the range, because even this trim level gets a seven-inch touchscreen with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Mirrorlink, as well as a reversing camera. LED headlights, alloy wheels and air conditioning all feature as standard too.
The SZ-T model adds rear parking sensors, front fog lights and lots more safety kit, while top-spec SZ5 offers a comprehensive kit list running to sat nav, climate control, all-round electric windows and power-folding door mirrors. It also adds reach adjustment to the steering wheel – something that really ought to be standard on every version.
All cars now get a touchscreen, which is an improvement on the SZ3’s basic radio unit. Suzuki’s effort doesn’t really impress, though. Its seven-inch screen size is fine, but the display isn’t the clearest and the controls aren’t very responsive – a long pause between command and action hints that the computer chip powering it isn’t quite up to the task. On SZ5 models this frustrates when you’re trying to enter an address into the sat nav.
We’d say the system is worth having, but it's a long way short of the standards that modern European superminis can offer. With smartphone mirroring fitted in every new Swift, you’ll probably find it easier to plug in your phone and use a navigation app on the car’s screen.