What is the best first car? - 2. Suzuki Swift

Up next in our rundown of the best first cars is the smart Suzuki Swift. Suzuki is on a bit of a roll when it comes to producing desirable mini cars. The compact Suzuki Ignis offers SUV style in dinky dimensions while the Suzuki Celerio proves that small cars can have a big impact. Then, of course, is the car we will be focusing on the Suzuki Swift. It packages youthful sporty looks with the practicality you need for your daily drive. We’ll delve straight in and let you know exactly what makes the Swift one of the best first cars on the market.

The Suzuki Swift may not have reached the iconic status of the Mini and the Fiat 500 yet, but it certainly gives them both a run for their money when it comes to unique styling. The shark-nose front end and muscular lines give the Swift a distinctive look that stands out for all of the right reasons. 

In the cabin, three adults can be squeezed on the back seats although it is quite tight and is far more comfortable with just two adults. There are two Isofix child seat points in the back so should you need to carry young children the Swift won’t stand in your way. The doors open quite wide too, so are easy to get child seats in and out of. 


The Swift has a 265-litre boot, so is better than a MINI but not quite up to the Fiesta. However, it does come with 60/40 split rear seats so the load bay can be expanded. In addition, there’s pretty good cabin storage too; a mixture of door pockets, cup holders and a decent sized glovebox ensures there is somewhere for your essentials. 

It’s a pretty well-equipped car with plenty of features to ensure driving is more enjoyable. A DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity ensure life on the move is more entertaining. SZ-T models come with a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing you to access your favourite phone apps on the go. While the SZ5 trim gains satnav system to help keep you on the right track.

Under the bonnet

The Suzuki Swift is made up of a range of petrol engines. The entry-level engine is a four-cylinder 1.2-litre Dualjet. While the 1.0-litre boosterjet engine offers peppier power as it comes with 109bhp. In SZ5 trim this comes with the addition of a mild hybrid system (SHVS) with a small battery and a motor/generator. This recovers energy when you decelerate or brake and can provide the engine with an extra boost which helps to improve economy and emissions. 

All of the available engines are economical with the worst performing engine delivering 56.5mpg. While opting for the Suzuki Swift with the SHVS engine gets you the best mpg at around 65.7mpg and just 97g/km CO2 emissions. 

What is the Suzuki Swift like to drive?

The Suzuki Swift is excellent in urban environments where its small dimensions, light steering and excellent visibility make it a doddle to drive and park around town. The keen handling has nicely weighted steering making it easy to place the car. Body lean is kept to a minimum and the car has plenty of grip, especially if you opt for the four-wheel-drive system which provides extra traction in wet or icy conditions. 

You shouldn’t have any problems if you want to travel further afield either, as it’s pretty capable on motorways too. It remains frugal and with limited wind noise, it remains comfortable even on long journeys.  

Visibility is good out front, however, the rear view is slightly more limited. So if the thought of reversing into a parking space sends you into meltdown then it might be worth considering a top spec model which benefits from a reversing camera. 


I’m looking for a safe first car – will the Suzuki Swift fit the bill?

The Suzuki Swift comes with a host of safety features to help ensure your commute is safer. Alongside a raft of airbags, are features such as Electronic Stability Programme and ABS. On top of that, the tyre pressure monitoring system will alert you if one of your tyres is running a little flat, so you know it is time to top the air up. While autonomous emergency braking and speed assistance are available as part of the additional safety pack. 

Buying a first car is expensive – how affordable is the Suzuki Swift to run?

As mentioned the Swift comes with a variety of highly economical engines, so is affordable when it comes to filling up. The servicing costs are around average, however, insurance costs are slightly higher than you may expect, due to high repair costs.

Compared to rivals the Suzuki Swift is more affordable to buy and comes with more equipment and technology as standard. This means that if cost is key to your decision when buying a first car, the Suzuki Swift offers great value for money.

Suzuki Swift Sport

Opt for the Sport trim, and you get a peppier 1.4-litre boosterjet engine with 138bhp. This has a top speed of 130mph and has a 0-60mph time of 8.1 seconds. It gains a sportier look both inside and out too, but bear in mind not only is it more expensive to buy, but it will also be more to insure or run. That being said it’s a great car, and if you’re desperate for something sporty the Swift Sport is a great entry point as your first car.




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