2023 Suzuki Swift Review

By Alexi Falson on 20 Jan 2024
image for 2023 Suzuki Swift Review
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Charming, user-friendly and super fun to drive
  • Comfortable ride quality around town and on the open road
  • Spacious and practical cabin
  • Impressive fuel efficiency
  • Platform showing some signs of age
  • Four-star ANCAP safety rating for base model
  • Sub-par safety package for entry-level GL with no active safety tech
Suzuki Swift GL Shadow Specs
    • 37L
    • 110
    • 6000 / 4400
    • 4 star
    • Automatic
The Suzuki has been proof for years now that good things do indeed come in small packages, offering a charming, no-frills approach to motoring for price-conscious buyers since its 2004 launch.

While prices have moved north, the Suzuki Swift remains one of the most affordable hatchbacks on the Australian market, giving buyers some serious food for thought.

Just how capable is the pint-sized Suzuki Swift on Australian roads, though, and are there any major sacrifices going for the Swift over its main rivals from Toyota and Mazda? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Suzuki Swift Competition

Suzuki Swift

Mazda 2
Toyota Yaris
Citroen C3
Kia Rio
Skoda Fabia
Mini Hatch

Starting Price: $23,490

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How Much Does It Cost?

The Suzuki Swift range kicks off from $23,490 for the entry-level Swift GL Manual, while the Swift GL Automatic is priced at $24,490 and the Swift GL Plus Automatic is priced at $25,990.

From here, the range moves to the Swift GL Shadow Automatic, which is priced at $26,990, with the Swift GLX Turbo priced at $29,790.

Opting for the range-topping Swift Sport Manual brings the price to $29,990, with the Swift Sport Automatic priced at $31,990 and the flagship Swift Sport Turbo Shadow priced at $32,490.

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Suzuki Swift (GL SHADOW) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Drive FWD
Engine MPFI
Engine capacity 1242
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 4400
Cylinders 4
Torque 120
KW 66
Fuel tank size 37.0
Fuel usage specs 4.8 / 0
CO2 110
ANCAP security rating 4

What Features Does the Suzuki Swift Have?

Suzuki’s entry-level Swift GL range comes riding on 16-inch alloys, and picks up halogen headlights and fog lights, cloth upholstery with a leather steering wheel, a rear-view camera and a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, paired with a four-speaker sound system.

Stepping up to the Swift GL Shadow and GLX Turbo Shadow adds a set of black 16-inch alloys, black mirrors and decals, as well as ‘Shadow’ decals.

The Swift GL Plus adds adaptive cruise control into the mix, as well as autonomous emergency braking, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, heated side mirrors and lane-departure alerts.

Suzuki’s Swift GLX Turbo picks up a set of automatic LED headlights, climate control, keyless entry & start, a six-speaker sound system, while the range-topping Swift Sport picks up 17-inch alloys, a sporty steering wheel, dual exhaust pipes, and a sporty exterior styling package.

Range Features:

  • 16-inch alloys

  • Halogen headlights & fog lights 

  • Cloth upholstery with leather-wrapped steering wheel 

  • Rear-view camera 

  • 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto 

  • Black 16-inch alloys, mirrors and ‘Shadow’ decals (GL & GLX Shadow)

  • Adaptive cruise control (GL Plus)

  • Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts & AEB (GL Plus)

  • LED headlights (GLX Turbo)

  • Keyless entry & start (GLX Turbo) 

  • 17-inch alloys (Sport)

  • Sports steering wheel and bodykit (Sport)

  • Dual exhaust pipes (Sport)

Is the Suzuki Swift Fun to Drive?

There’s something on offer for pretty much every type of buyer in the latest Suzuki Swift range, which serves up everything from a charming base model through to a zippy little range-topper.

The entry-level Swift picks up a 1.2-litre four-cylinder pushing out 66kW of power and 120Nm of torque, while the GLX Turbo receives a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder pushing out 82kW of power and 160Nm of torque.

While those figures certainly don’t seem much on paper, it’s important to remember that the Swift weighs just 900kg, which means you don’t need a heap of power to get up and moving off the line.

For those looking for the ultimate Swift driving experience, the Swift Sport picks up a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder pushing out 103kW of power and 230Nm, giving it some pretty impressive abilities when pushed.

The driving experience is fabulous on everything from a daily drive around town, a highway road trip and even some spirited driving in the curves thanks to its featherweight platform and lively steering.

The Swift’s agility is second to none in the segment, making it by far the most entertaining hatch of its major rivals, while ironing out the bumps around town impressively well for such a pint-sized package.

All up, there’s almost nothing to fault about the zippy, user-friendly and charming nature of the Swift on the road here in Australia, making for a great micro car option for all types of buyers out there.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

As you might imagine, Suzuki’s range of small-capacity three- and four-cylinder engines are pretty strong performers when it comes to fuel efficiency.

The base model is rated at 4.6L/100km in the manual and 4.8L/100km in the CVT automatic, while the GLX Turbo’s engine returns fuel economy figures of 5.1L/100km.

Opting for the sportiest member of the range, the Swift Sport brings fuel economy figures up to a thirstier 6.1L/100km.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Suzuki’s clever team of engineers and designers have been able to extract an impressive amount of space from the pint-sized Swift platform, making for a surprisingly practical hatchback.

Up front, the seats are mounted quite low which allows taller drivers to get comfortable, while the forward and side visibility is excellent thanks to the tall window line, making it more accessible around town and while parking.

The layout isn’t the most exciting in the segment, falling short of the bar set by cars like the Mazda 2, though all the important controls inside the cabin are arranged in an ergonomic, user-friendly manner.

There’s a decent amount of storage spots in the front of the Swift’s cabin, including a tray and cup holders sitting behind the gear lever and a pair of large door bins for water bottles.

Move to the rear of the cabin and things get mighty impressive, with the Swift confidently swallowing up a pair of adult legs behind a normal driving position, making it super spacious for the segment.

The second-row bench seat also picks up a pair of ISOFIX anchors and three top tether mounts to accommodate a couple of child seats, while the boot measures in at 242L, expanding to 556L with the rear seats folded.

All these elements combined make the Swift astonishingly practical for its pint-sized footprint, and arguably one of the best in its segment for outright space & practicality.

Is it Safe?

Safety is, unfortunately, an area that the latest-gen Swift falters - if you're planning on saving some money and opting for the entry-level model.

Atop a four-star ANCAP safety rating, the base Swift picks up a small number of safety features, including front, side and curtain airbags, as well as a rear-view camera - and that’s it.

Opt for any variant above the GL and you’ll pick up a much more appropriate safety equipment list that includes AEB braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure alerts, rear cross-traffic alerts and rear parking sensors.

Our Verdict: Is the Suzuki Swift Worth it?

The latest Suzuki Swift range is as close to faultless as you can get for the segment, offering a super charming, fuel-efficient and immensely practical hatchback perfect for a range of drivers.

With a healthy amount of choice within the range, there really is a Swift variant for every type of buyer, which is why we’ve put it at the very top of our shortlist for an affordable small car.

If you need some help finding your perfect car, be sure to reach out to one of our automotive specialists who can help find you the best possible price.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. Three engines available

  3. 4.6 - 6.1L/100km fuel economy figures 

  4. 242L boot space expands to 556L with rear seats folded 

  5. Four-star ANCAP safety rating for base GL; five-stars for rest of range 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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