Despite competition in the supermini sector hotting up with the launch of the Seat Ibiza and the all-new Ford Fiesta on the horizon, the Swift is well-placed to fight its corner.
Launched in 2005, it may not have the novelty of being the newest kid on the block but it does have charm by the bucketload – and that will be enough for many customers in this competitive part of the market.
Even sitting in a car park, its cheeky, chunky looks give it a sense of fun, and its appearance doesn’t deceive.
Its nimble handling is reminiscent of the Mini, and for those on a tight budget the Swift would make a more than adequate alternative.
The 1.5-litre engine gives decent performance, although I had been disappointed with the actual mpg recorded over AM’s tenure of the car – 36.7mpg compared to the official combined figure of 46.3mpg.
A number of longer runs has seen an improvement in economy – 40.2mpg over the last tank of petrol – but this is still well below the off- icial figure.
Another negative point is that, against some of the Swift’s newer rivals, it is missing a standard aux-in socket for MP3 players – something which would endear it even more to younger buyers.
But despite these minor complaints, the Swift is an impressive package and continues to win new fans.
Engine 1.5-litre VVT petrol: 100bhp @5,900rpm; 133lbs/ft@4,100rpm
Performance 0-62mph: 10sec; top speed: 112mph
Transmission: 5-sp man
Efficiency 46.3mpg (37.6mpg actual); 150g/km CO2
Test period June – August
Start mileage 1,950
Current mileage 3,676
CAP RV 3yr/30k: 42%; 60k: 35%.
Likes Handling, cheeky looks
Dislikes Lack of MP3 socket