LAOIS MOTORING: The new Suzuki Swace hybrid opens new doors for Suzuki

Suzuki has a very small presence in Ireland largely due to the fact that despite their loyal following, their range is really very small. So do most cars in this range, but that changed recently with the arrival of the new Suzuki Swace Hybrid.

Like many manufacturers these days, there is often a great deal of collaboration between them in order to keep development costs low. Take Renault, Nissan or the Volkswagen Group, for example, all of which share engines, gearboxes, and even much more across different models. Well with Suzuki and Toyota.

The Suzuki Swace is actually a Toyota Corolla Sports Touring hybrid with a few cosmetic changes front and rear. The benefit of Suzuki, of course, is that it opens up a new segment of potential customers who have not yet been able to get a mid-size property from the Suzuki group.

One SZT model is offered at a price of €30,995.

Does it have any street credibility?

My test car is finished in a nice metallic silver finish, and the modifications to the front and rear styling work well. So yeah, while there’s no manager, it does seem rather clever indeed.

How is it inside?

Everything is in the place you would expect and the functionality is very good. I loved the clean design of the cabin and there is a real sense of quality to all the materials used inside.

There are plenty of standard gadgets including Apple Car Play and Android Auto, but the screen graphics look nothing short of current offerings from other manufacturers.

The driving position is very good and the semi-digital instrument cluster is clear and easy to read. All switches and levers are easily within reach and are also roomy with decent hearing and legroom in both the front and rear.

There is plenty of storage space with cup holders, large door bins, etc.

Loading space is excellent offering up to 596 liters of space with the rear seats in place, so all in a great package.

What is under the hood?

As you might have guessed, the Toyota 1.8 liter petrol and electric motor for this self-charging hybrid. The combined power output is 122 hp which gives the new Suzuki reasonable rev. I’m not a fan of the CVT gearbox and it can all seem a little off at times but overall it works as the car transitions smoothly from petrol to electric and back almost unnoticed. Over 500 km total fuel consumption of 4.9 liters per 100 km which is really, really good. The road tax will cost you €190.00 per year.

What does driving look like?

She won’t get up early in the morning to take it out for a blast but she drives really well. It is relatively smooth and quiet and handling is assured in all conditions.

It is a comfortable and enjoyable place to travel.

Hugh’s rule

What do you really not like? The new Suzuki Swace is a well-arranged package in every respect, it is Toyota after all. So it’s a tried and tested car that truly delivers across the board without being anywhere near exceptional.

I love the new Swace. However I leave you with this thought. It’s a bit more expensive than the equivalent Toyota Sports Touring hybrid. I can’t help but ask why?

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