New Suzuki Swift has chunkier looks, prominent grille, and coupe-like profile with the rear door-handle concealed in the C pillar. Picture: Suzuki

Hamamatsu, Japan – Suzuki has revealed the domestic-market version of its all-new Swift hatch, which will go on sale in Japan on 4 January, two months ahead of the launch of the global version at the Geneva motor show.

It’s based on the new Heartect platform first used for the Baleno, which looks for all the world like an old-fashioned ladder chassis punched out of a single flat sheet of steel. It’s so light and rigid, claims Suzuki, that it has been possible to make the new Swift 120kg lighter than its predecessor, at around 910kg.

Thanks to improved packaging, the new Swift’s wheelbase is 20mm longer at 2450mm, while overall length is 10mm less at 3840mm. Height (1530mm) and width (1695mm) are unchanged – but boot space has been increased from 204 litres to 265 (or 579 with the rear seats folded down).

It’ll be available in Japan with a choice of two petrol engines, starting with a 1.2-litre Dualjet mild hybrid four, rated at 65kW and 120Nm, driving either the front wheels or all four, via your choice of a five-speed manual ‘box or a CVT belt drive.

The sportier RSt variant has a direct-injection, one-litre turbo three that’s good for a claimed 81kW at 5500rpm and 170Nm, driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Safety package

Inside, there’s a new flat-bottom steering wheel, a 10cm liquid-crystal colour trip data screen between the dials and an 18cm touchscreen infotainment display with support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Automatic high beams, climate control, rear parking sensors (with rear camera) keyless entry and an engine start/stop button will also be available, depending on trim level.

All variants except the base XG have LED headlights and a safety package that includes, for the first time on a Suzuki, a dual-sensor collision mitigating system, using a monocular camera and laser sensor to monitor the distance to the vehicle in front and apply automatic emergency braking as necessary, and which can also function as an adaptive cruise control.

With the global version due for release in mid-2017, we‘d expect to see the new Swift in South Africa in the third or final quarter of the year, but nothing has been confirmed as yet – as soon as we know, so will you.


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