Suzuki Swift Sport
(2012 - 2017)

  • Immensely fun all of the time
  • Proving to be reliable
  • Inexpensive to buy, own and maintain
  • 5-door practicality
  • Some examples have been abused and modified poorly.
  • One of the smallest boots for its class.
  • While very fun, not exactly fast.
  • Interior can feel a little on the cheap side.
Overview

The so-called ‘gen II’ Suzuki Swift Sport launched in Oz in 2012. It arrived off the back of complicated history of badge-engineered Holden Barinas, an early Noughties Suzuki Ignis Sport (known as Swift Sport in Japan), and a properly global ‘RS416’ Swift family, complete with a version of the Swift Sport light sport hatch as Aussies now know it, lobbing in January 2006.

To confuse matters for the contemporary used tyre kicker, a whole new (slightly) larger ‘AZG’ Swift family lobbed internationally in 2010 and locally in 2011, styled so similarly to its
predecessor to be almost unnoticeable if you didn’t pay attention to, say, its 50mm longer wheelbase and slightly rounder design.

Well, versions other than the feisty Swift Sport. Trivia suggests that the Swift Sport version made its global debut in concept at the 2011 Australian Motor Show as the S-Concept, with the production version surfacing in local showrooms in early 2012.

Buried in an era when ‘sport’ in small-stature motoring meant little more brash colour and stickers, the Swift Sport was the real deal and its frisky driving experience would catch the unknowledgeable by pleasant surprise. It grabbed the sporty groundwork of its similar looking forebear and, critically, ran with it in the right places if you were after a bit of cheap fun.

Known as the FZ series, it hit the market starting from $23,990 for the no-brainer six-speed manual, undercutting the older version’s 2005 debut by a thousand bucks. For the first time, you could also have the Swift Sport as an auto, with its paddleshifter CVT – marketed as a “seven- speed” – wanting for two-grand-higher outlay.

Power arrive via a version of the M16A 1.6-litre naturally aspirated four used in the rest of the range, tuned to 100kW at a lofty 6900rpm and 160Nm well up at 4400rpm. Reviews around the time of launch pegs performance at around the eight second mark for 0-100km/h. Driven sedately, it’s claimed to return 6.5L/100kms in manual or 6.1L in CVT guise.

The big drawcard, though, is the frisky chassis. The combination of low-profile 17s, firmer suspension and some extra body stiffness in a package tipping the scales at just 1050 kilograms kerb (manual), it’s been widely praised for its lithe dynamics, precision and grip. Strong braking, too, conspired to a package that begged to be spanked and reward handsomely once you did, making it something of a sporting bargain on a shoestring budget.

The Swift Sport also offered a decent features list for the dough. A subtle body kit separated it from the grocery-getter range mates, it fits bi-xenon headlights, leather sport seats, six-speaker audio with CD player, cruise control, climate control, a multifunctional leather wheel and power windows.

The extra wheelbase, too, paid dividend in second-row cabin space and being a five door it’s reasonably practical for its diminutive, sub-four-metre size.

Probably the pick of the generation are MY14 or latter examples that arrived from October 2013. It here that the five-cog manual was upgraded to a proper six-speeder, albeit with no extra herbs under the bonnet.

The ‘gen II’ FZ Swift Sport would continue in release until mid-2017, when it was replaced by an all-new Swift range, headlined by the current, angular-styled, 1.4-turbocharged Swift Sport successor, itself a barrel of laughs for what remains quite a sharp price point.

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What goes wrong
  • There are the very odd sporadic reports of some minor rust but it is few and far between at most.
  • Like wise, there are some occasional reports of switches not working or the seat bolsters becoming overly squidgy.
  • We should note, some of the faults reported are also the result of abuse or dodgy modifications.
  • Engine wise, the 1.6-litre M16A engine is showing superb reliability.
  • There are the odd reports regarding minor oil leaks and timing chain tensioner issues but these are few and far between.
  • Even in terms of the transmission, the manual units are showing to be very reliable and even the CVT, which in other cars can come with a shocking reputation for reliability, in the Swift Sport is proving to be quite robust.
  • With a full service history and respectful previous ownership, mechanically the Swift Sport is excellent.
Model range, pricing & features

Sport

  • Price when new: $23,990 - $26,490
  • Price used: $11,000 - $21,000

The Sport model separated itself from the regular Swift range by having a 1.6 litre 4-cylinder engine outputting 100kW of power and 160Nm of torque mated to a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed CVT transmission, powering the front wheels.

The Sport gained several features such as 17-inch alloy wheels, sports body kit, twin exhausts, increased spring rates, larger wheel bearings and rigid torsion beam and bushings; sports seats, and pedals.

In October 2013, a revised version of the Mark 6 Swift Sport was released in Australia featuring a revised front bumper, front fog lights and LED daytime running lights.

Standard features:

17-inch alloy wheels
Sports body kit (front spoiler, side skirts, roof spoiler)
Body colour door handles
Twin exhausts
Metallic diffuser
Increased spring rates
Larger wheel bearings
Rigid torsion beam & bushings
5-star ANCAP safety rating (tested 2011)
7 airbags: driver and front passenger, driver’s knee, side and full-length curtain airbags
Three point (lap/sash) seatbelts for all passengers
Front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters
x3 child anchorage points
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
Electronic stability program (ESP)
Traction control
Brake Assist
Hill hold control (CVT only)
HID headlights
Front fog lights
Intermittent wipers (variable)
Engine immobiliser
Central locking
Keyless entry/proximity key
Push button start
Trip computer (digital clock, outside temperature gauge, fuel consumption gauge, driving range and gear position indicator for CVT)
Cruise control
Leather steering wheel
Tilt and telescopic reach steering wheel adjustment
Climate control air conditioning with pollen filter
Electric windows – front and rear with driver’s auto up/down
Electric mirrors
Electric door locks
Sports pedals
Sports seats
Fabric seat upholstery
Driver’s seat height adjustment
4x speaker sound system
AM/FM radio
CD player
MP3 compatibility
Bluetooth connectivity
USB connectivity
12V power outlet
Lights: front map, front cabin, centre cabin, boot and luggage area light
1x front cup holders
2x rear cup holders
2x front bottle holders
2x rear bottle holders
60:40 split folding rear seats

October 2013 updates:
LED daytime running lights
Satellite navigation

Should you buy it?

Find a good Swift Sport with a solid service history that you are confident has been cared for and it’s a huge yes!

The Swift Sport is just a superb little car that we really cannot recommend highly enough. It’s fun pretty much all of the time, affordable to own and run, offers great practicality and even after a few years, is proving to be ultra reliable.

Obviously be careful of badly modified or abused examples and there is no need to rush in to buy one as there are many available on the used market.

Find a good one, have it checked out by a mechanic and if it ticks the boxes, buy it.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 years/100,000kms

Servicing:

6 months/10,000kms

Tech specs

Body style:

5-door hatchback

Engines:

1.6 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Power:

100kW – 1.6 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Torque:

160Nm – 1.6 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Transmission & drive:

6-speed manual, front-wheel drive (FWD)
7-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT), front-wheel drive (FWD)

Fuel consumption:

6.1 – 6.5L/100km

Length:

3890mm

Width:

1695mm

Height:

1510mm

Kerb weight:

1060 – 1075kg

Disclaimer

Information correct as of July 15, 2022.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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