Suzuki’s well-loved hatchback is compact, but don’t let its size fool you. This car may be small, but its reputation is anything but. The Suzuki Swift, with its delightfully sporty look and equally catchy name has captured the hearts of international consumers and critics alike: over 6 million units have sold so far, and this beloved model has bagged over 60 awards over the years.
It’s safe to say that this city hatchback has gone well beyond achieving household name status in Singapore.
A Brief History
The Suzuki Swift began as a relaunch of the Suzuki Cultus in 1983, meant for export markets. In 1986, the first GTi model appeared, setting the basics for what would become the Swift Sport models.
Japan still used the name of the Cultus up till 2000, however, and only gave the Swift a new model in its own right in 2000.
First generation (2000-2004)
The first-gen Swift focused on function and performance over style. It was available in 3 and 5-door configurations and ran on 1.3/1.5 litre engines by M-series. This generation was also known as Chevrolet Cruze/ Holden Cruze crossover and Subaru Justy in certain markets and included 4-wheel drive as well as diesel engine options.
Second generation (2004-2010)
The second generation was produced for the European market, which influenced its driving characteristics as well as a completely new design: It had a curvier silhouette, four-wheel independent strut suspension, and several other upgrades.
Its chassis went through a rigorous road-testing programme in Europe before hitting the market, which seems to have paid off. The second-generation Swift became widely popular, and achieved great success worldwide and clinched several automotive awards.
Third generation (2010-2017)
In 2010, the third generation of Swifts launched with several design upgrades to both the exterior and interior. These upgrades included a lighter and more durable body shell thanks to the use of a new type of steel, as well as a new engine range, giving all units increased fuel efficiency while also reducing emissions.
This generation boasted a wheelbase increase of 50 mm from the last generation, and had a sleeker, elongated silhouette.
Fourth generation (2017-Present)
In December 2016, Suzuki revealed the fourth generation of Swifts for Japan’s market. Launching in 2017, the new hatchback featured a new sportier design, upgraded engines and a serious equipment expansion. It was built on the lightweight ‘Heartect’ platform which was unveiled in 2015, and is also used to produce the Suzuki Baleno and Ignis.
Design changes included a completely redesigned front fascia that appeared more angular and sophisticated with sweptback headlamps, hexagonal grille, and a redesigned bumper. Equipment upgrades included several interior tech additions, such as the collision-mitigation system.
The Most Powerful Hatchback
Today, the Suzuki Swift is probably one of the first cars Singaporeans think about when we hear the word “hatchback”. Frankly, it’s easy to see why it’s the fan-favourite hatchback for Singaporeans: it has a winning combination of a stylish design, great handling, affordability, and safety.
As the “most powerful hatchback in its class” thanks to its 1.0L BoosterJet Turbo Engine giving it a superb 109hp, the Swift shows absolutely no sign of giving up its title any time soon.
If you’re looking to own one of Singapore’s top-selling hatchbacks and see what all the fuss is about yourself, be sure to take a look at the UCARS marketplace where the Suzuki Swift, as well as a wide variety of other new and used cars, are on sale!