Driven: Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX

Kelly says “I have always had a soft spot for the Suzuki Swift. I took to it immediately when it was launched in SA a couple of years ago, and I’ve honestly liked it ever since. So, I was keen to get behind the wheel of this revised 1.2 GLX version.” Let’s see how they got on.

What is it? 

The Swift is Suzuki’s b-segment hatchback and it’s been a decent seller for the brand. With this latest iteration, this hatchback received some minor upgrades all around. This includes chrome detailing in the grille, rear parking sensors in the entry-level model, and some additional spec to the GLX version, too.

What does the GLX get?

The exterior has 15-inch alloys and colour-coded side mirrors. Other highlights include park assist, a leather-clad steering wheel, a full colour 7-inch display, an infotainment system that has voice command integration, full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. There is also a rear-view camera standard.

What about safety?

Safety is well taken care of thanks to dual front airbags, central locking, an immobiliser and integrated alarm system, and ISOFIX child seat mounting points.

But, how does it go? 

Well, let’s first assess the engine. It’s a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated unit that pushes out 61 kW at 6 000 r/min and 113 N.m at 4 200 r/min. Top speed is a claimed 170 km/h in the five-speed manual and 165 km/h in the five-speed auto. I don’t recommend you test that, though. It’s just not legal and safe, to be honest.

We had the manual version on test and I’m not going to lie, it’s a little gutless. You really have to plan uphills ahead of time to ensure that you’re in the right gear when you get there. And I guess that’s all good and well for city driving. On flat roads at cruising speeds, the Swift was perfectly acceptable. If you live on a hill, maybe reconsider.


The Swift is still a solid buy and I still recommend it as an option to many of my friends and family shopping in this segment. It is a fun car to live with even if you can’t go uphill with it.

Quick facts: 

Price: R218 900

Engine: 1.2 naturally aspirated

Transmission: Five-speed manual

Power: 61 kW @ 6 000 r/min

Torque: 113 N.m @ 4 200 r/min

Maintenance/Service: 2-year / 30 000 km service plan

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