This is the all-new, 2017 Suzuki Swift, which was revealed in Japan today ahead of its global rollout next year. It’s still tiny and pared-back, but now has a suite of modern tech to broaden its buyer base.
This new iteration of Suzuki‘s biggest-selling and most iconic model sports a design merely evolved from its predecessor’s cutesy look, but the revisions elsewhere appear to be substantial.
What you see here is the car for Japan, but this is almost entirely representative of the global Swift that’ll be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017. Suzuki clearly isn’t into simultaneous global product launches…
The new Swift is based on a more rigid, lighter new platform and will be available in Japan with the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol ‘BoosterJet’ engine from the Baleno, replacing the tired atmo unit used at present, or as a petrol-electric mild hybrid.
The 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit appears to make 75kW at 5500rpm and 150Nm from just 1700rpm, promising plenty of low-down shove ideal for city use. These figures are down on the larger Baleno’s 82kW/160Nm outputs, but outpoint the current Swift’s 70kW/130Nm 1.4 non-turbo.
Other updates include a new six-speed automatic transmission option with paddles (sold alongside a revised five-speed manual), LED headlights, and extra safety features on most spec grades such as low-speed autonomous brakes, fed data by a camera and laser sensors, and lane-departure warning.
Naturally, the car will come with a full complement of airbags for the cabin and rear ISOFIX points. A five-star NCAP rating is obviously the goal.
The Swift has always been a fun little thing to throw around, and the new car’s stiffer and lighter platform, plus the European-tuned suspension (springs and dampers) and electric-assisted steering appear designed to continue this character. The turning circle is a tiny 9.6 metres.
Upper spec cars get dials like a chronograph watch, while the cabin across the board sports a much more mature new look, with a chunky steering wheel, and a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay. The steering wheel has rake and reach adjustments.
At 3840mm long, the new Swift is actually 10mm smaller than the current model. But cargo space is listed as 265 litres, up 55L on the current Swift but still demure compared to a Honda Jazz or Skoda Fabia, and rear headroom looks to have improved. The extra 20mm of wheelbase also hints at slightly better rear legroom.
Suzuki Japan will get a warmed-up Swift RS at launch, but we’ll be betting on a hotter Swift Sport with the Vitara’s 1.4 turbo making about 103kW/220Nm; sufficient punch for such a tiny car.
The Swift is Suzuki’s flagship car with more than 5.3 million units sold worldwide since its rebirth in 2004. This is the third-generation badge since then.
We’re still receiving details on the new Swift and won’t be driving one just yet, so stay posted for more information.
UPDATE: It’s expected that the new-generation Suzuki Swift will launch in Australia in May 2017, following its March 2017 debut at the Geneva motor show. We’d expect it to remain priced from about $15k plus on-roads at the base level.
That will leave Suzuki Australia with its freshest line-up in years, with the Ignis, Baleno, Vitara and just-updated S-Cross all helping out.
Despite its age and our weakening light-car market, the Swift remains vital for Suzuki Australia, with 7748 sales this year. Yet sales are down 23 per cent this year, ahead of the segment-average decline (around 16 per cent).