First look: all-new Suzuki Swift hatchback shows its fresh design ahead of global debut

Published Oct 3, 2023


The current-generation Suzuki Swift has become one of South Africa’s top-selling hatchbacks, and now there’s a new version on the horizon.

Suzuki has released images of its new Swift concept ahead of its global debut at the Japan Mobility Show, which kicks off on October 26.

Although Suzuki has labelled it as a concept car, the vehicle looks so production-ready that it’s hard to imagine much changing in its journey from motor show to showroom.

The new design is mostly evolutionary, with its body shape and vertical headlights harking back to earlier Swift generations, and there’s also a strong crease line that runs into a clamshell bonnet.

The Japanese carmaker isn’t saying much about the new Swift as yet, but the preview does mention new safety technologies becoming available, such as Collision Mitigation Braking, Adaptive High Beam and Driver Monitoring System.

That said, what we’re seeing here is the global version, and it’s safe to assume that South Africa will once again source its Swift from Maruti Suzuki of India, as these versions are somewhat cheaper.

But with all due respect to the latter version’s price advantage, we do hope that Suzuki does something to bridge the safety gap. The Maruti-built Swift scored just one star for occupant protection in the 2022 Global NCAP test, while the Japanese-built Swift managed a three-star Euro NCAP rating in 2017.

But what’s under the bonnet?

According to an earlier report by Autocar India, the Swift will be offered with a new 1.2-litre, three-cylinder mild hybrid petrol engine. Codenamed Z12E, it will feature a Toyota-sourced hybrid electrical system similar to the one offered in the current Grand Vitara.

The Swift concept’s cabin features a similar design to the latest Baleno and Fronx models, including a new 9.0-inch infotainment screen.

The aforementioned Indian publication expects the new Suzuki Swift to launch in that market during the first quarter of 2024, and it should make its way to South Africa not too long after.