45: Suzuki Swift – the fun budget alternative to the Mini

Top 100 cars for 2019: Decent legroom in the back combines with nimble handling

Suzuki Swift: It feels nimble and agile, and the 1.0-litre ‘Boosterjet’ turbo petrol engine is an utter delight

Suzuki Swift: It feels nimble and agile, and the 1.0-litre ‘Boosterjet’ turbo petrol engine is an utter delight

 

Can’t stretch the budget to a Mini? Simples - buy a Suzuki Swift instead. No, seriously, hear me out. Ever since its 2004 re-invention, the Swift has been providing Mini-like driving enjoyment and vaguely Mini-like styling for not-at-all-Mini-like prices, and the recipe is carried over to this current version.

A little bigger than it used to be, the Swift (for the first time ever) now has tolerable rear-seat legroom, and if the rest of the interior is a touch dark, a little black, and a tad cheap-feeling, then at least it comes with good equipment - alloys, air-con, and a touchscreen on all but the base model - and is superbly put together. Most of all, though, the Swift is fun. It feels nimble and agile, and the 1.0-litre ‘Boosterjet’ turbo petrol engine is an utter delight. Optional mild hybrid system aids fuel economy but is rather pricey. So’s the Sport model, but it is really good fun to drive.

Best model: 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T for €16,995

Price range: €14,995 to €22,995. Finance from €174 per month.

Co2 emissions: 97 to 135g/km

Sum up: Pound shop Mini Cooper