2012 Suzuki Swift Sport First Drive and Review

by under Review on 22 Feb 2012 03:28:08 PM22 Feb 2012
Price Range
$17,690 - $27,490
Fuel Consumption
4.6L - 6.1L/100km

Fun, Fun, Fun; Price $23,900 for a hot hatch, Suzuki reliability


No standard Sat Nav, no Soft touch Plastics, instrument cluster

The 2012 Suzuki Swift Sport first appeared at the Australian Motor Show in concept form back in July 2011. Fast forward 6 months and Australian hot hatch fans can now buy the production version. The road going version of the Swift Sport has changed little since the concept appeared, the only visible changes are a smaller rear wing and smaller wheels and tamer looking fog light inserts. Whilst it looks a little tamer it gains a CVT auto for the first time.


Suzuki Australia has grand plans to be one of the Top 10 manufacturers and the Suzuki Swift Sport might just help them do it. The Suzuki Swift is a popular car in Australia with some 50,000 already on the roads in Australia, Suzuki hope to grow that number by selling 2500 Suzuki Swift Sport in the first year.

Suzuki Swift Sport Overview

The 2012 Suzuki Swift Sport is lighter, more powerful and is more frugal than the model it replaces. Priced from $23,990 (add $2,000 for the auto) the range toping Swift Sports can be identified from the standard Swift  by the addition of Body kit including roof spoiler, sport seats and stainless steel pedals, Bi-Xenon headlamps, CD radio with MP3 capability, including Bluetooth® and USB port and Sport seats with red stitching rounding out the list is keyless entry and push button start.


The Suzuki Swift is a long time favourite of the Carshowroom team so the opportunity of driving the 5 star ANCAP safety rated Swift Sport on the country roads around the Yarra Valley and on track at Broadford raceway was just to good to pass up, and we walked away happy with how it performed on and off the track.

Suzuki Swift Sport Engine

2012 Sukuzi Swift Sport sees the previous model engine upgraded, the 1.6 liter four cylinder engine now produces 100kw and peak torque of 160Nm up 8kw and 12Nm on the previous model. 


Suzuki claim the hot hatch will get you from 0-100km/h in 8.0 seconds 0.3 seconds than the previous Swift sport. Even with all the extra power the fuel economy has also been reduced official fuel consumption reduced from 7.3L/100km to 6.5L/100km in the manual, the new CVT is 6.1L/100km.

We found that engine performed best in when pushed over 4200rpm. On the tight twisty roads around Kinglake third gear was a standout with plenty of pull on tap. The combination of more power and less weight has resulted in a weight to power ratio of 10.6 kg/kW, making it superior to any Swift produced, including the much-loved GTi.

Suzuki Swift Interior

The Swift Sport not only looks sporty on the outside, jump in and you notice the sporty theme continuing inside. From the red cross-stitching and soft leather steering with audio functions, cruise control and Bluetooth which is adjustable for both reach and rake and the CVT model also has mounted red flappy paddles.


The cabin is more sporty/functional than luxurious but with seven airbags including driver's knee airbag you are also safe. The chronograph watch inspired instrument cluster is clear easily visibile but difficult to read your speed, with neither the 80km/h or 100km/h clearly marked. You will find the usual technology like Bluetooth hands-free communications, six-speaker AM/FM/CD system with USB and a digital climate control air-conditioning system. There is no soft touch plastic but I’m not sure too many drivers spend their time touching interior panels.


Both the driver and front passengers’ seats provided amble support and felt comfortable for the entire day we were in the car. You can fit 3 adults in the back but I would suggest it’s only for a short ride. While boot space isn’t massive you could easily fit two small cabin size suitcases and with seats folded easily a set of golf clubs.

Suzuki Swift Sport Exterior & Styling

Some people might not be able to notice the difference between the standard swift and the sports model, but there should be enough styling cues for most to see that the Suzuki Swift Sport is flagship model in the Swift Range.


The Swift Sport has been on a diet and to the gym it has bulked up and now measures 3.89 meters in length, making it 120 mm longer than its predecessor and 40 mm longer than the normal Swift model. It has also lost weight now weighing in at 1060kg

The front of the car has a larger grille and fog lamps and bi-xenon headlights round out the aggressive looking front. Side on you noticed the integrated roof spoiler and the side skirts you make the car look likes it sitting lower than it actually is. Whilst the rear lights aren’t the latest LED’s they have a new, cylindrical design, while the dual exhaust tailpipes and metallic diffuser and Sport only 17-inch alloy wheels round off the aggressive look.


The Swift Sport is available in six colours – Champion Yellow, Ablaze Red, Boost Blue, Snow White, Premium Silver and Super Black, with Boost Blue being our pick of the bunch.

Suzuki Swift Sport On The Road

With the CVT auto not arriving in Australia until next week we spent all of our time in the all new 6 speed manual. Normally in small cars road noise is an issue, our preconceived ideas about loud road noise thrown out the window with in the first five kilometers , once you are up to cruising speed the cabin never had the annoying hum.


Suzuki has developed a car that has a lighter and stiffer body with a low center of gravity allowing the car to turn corners at almost unthinkable speeds with no body roll what so ever and only a slight hint of under/over steer. Helping to keep the Swift on road is the factory fitted Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tyres that do a remarkable job.

Suzuki Swift Sport Challenges

Whilst some will say it’s a sports car and doesn’t need luxuries it would be nice to see a sat-nav system as standard. When driving the Swift Sport hard we found the gear box difficult to change to 3rd and 5th gears but I’m sure this would become easier the more time you spent in the car. We also felt the seat height was a little high for us but we still had a load of head room.


Suzuki Swift Sport Verdict

At only $23,990 the Suzuki Swift Sport is priced aggressively in a very competitive hot hatch market. Some cars might have more history, or better interiors, some might look a little smarter but for the price it’s hard to go past this little Japanese fun box. I would quite happily park one of these in my garage.


Suzuki Swift Sport Competition

As we said this is a very tough market to be playing and the buyer is spoilt for choice. On you can test drive:
Volkswagen Polo GTi
Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo

Mazda Mazda2 Genki


Released in Europe and hopefully coming to Australia later in 2012 we should see
2012 Skoda Fabia RS
2012 Ford Fiesta ST

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