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December 16, 2021updated 17 Dec 2021 12:10pm

Interior design and technology – Suzuki Swift Sport

The hot hatch version of the Suzuki Swift is powered by a canny mild-hybrid set-up. We slip inside this pocket rocket to see how the cabin compares.

By Matthew Beecham

Inside story

The cockpit is easy on the eye with plenty of red accent panels against a largely black interior space. The tachometer also features a red dial face and the speedometer is coloured silver. Continuing the red theme, the D-shaped steering wheel has a dimpled leather design for secure grip and matt and satin black inlays together with a red stitching design which also features on the gear lever gaiter. While there are plenty of black scratchy plastics covering the rest of the cabin, it feels designed to last.

A neat LCD is positioned in the centre of the instrument cluster, with coolant temperature and fuel indicator incorporated within the two main gauges. Also displayed are turbo boost, engine oil temperature, engine output and torque data, fuel consumption, average speed, acceleration and brake operation as well as driving G-force tracking.

The front seats are of semi-bucket design and have tubular frames set within the side supports of both the seatback and seat base cushion with fine-tuned urethane pads for additional support. The seat fabric features embossed Sport logos.  Alloy pedals add to the sporting character.

Storage-wise, there is a small tray behind the handbrake and two cupholders in front, good-sized unflocked door bins front and rear with space for a bottle and an ample-sized glovebox.

Size-wise, the Swift Sport is 50mm longer than the standard Swift model and is 15mm lower than the previous model, further accentuating its low and wide stance. The rest of the cabin is, therefore, reasonably roomy with enough space in the back to seat two tall adults or three children quite comfortably. Further back, the luggage capacity in the wide boot with rear seats raised is 265-litres which is 25 per cent larger than the previous Swift Sport model.

Infotainment and connectivity

Positioned centre stage on a console slightly angled toward the driver is a seven-inch glossy touchscreen that displays the sat-nav amongst other features. It enables the use of certain smartphone applications with MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connection. Beneath the touchscreen are a few controls to operate the HVAC.

Advanced driver assistance systems

The spec sheet for our press review car listed a string of advanced driver assistance technologies, notably a forward detection system that combines a monocular camera and laser sensors for advanced safety functions. These include autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and traffic sign recognition. It also uses millimetre-wave radar to enable adaptive cruise control. Forward visibility is good and rear parking sensors help when reversing into tight spaces.

The forward detection system monocular camera excels at mid to long-distance detection and also recognition of traffic elements including pedestrians and lane markers. The laser sensor is good at monitoring shorter distance hazards and also night vision detection. The forward detection system supports several safety technologies, chief among which is collision-mitigating Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS). With DSBS, at vehicle speeds from approximately 3mph to 62mph, if the system determines a risk of collision with a forward obstacle, it issues both an audio and visual warning. If there is a high risk of collision with a forward obstacle and the driver panic brakes, the system deploys brake assist, increasing braking force. If the risk of a collision increases, the system applies full automatic braking to avoid the collision or reduce damage.

In addition to a lane departure warning function, the Swift incorporates a ‘weaving alert’ function. As the name suggests, when the car is weaving from side to side – and travelling at speeds of about 37mph or above – the system sounds a warning buzzer and lights an indicator on the instrument panel.

Other useful features include a ‘guide me light’ function that keeps the dipped headlamps switched on for at least ten seconds after you have locked or unlocked the car at night. This can be increased up to 25 seconds depending on your preferences. Further agreeable treats include high beam assist that automatically dips headlights as required during night-time driving.

Lightweighting

Under the ‘Suzuki Next 100’ plan announced at the IAA in 2015, Suzuki developed a new platform strategy for its future models and in 2018, the Swift Sport was introduced as the fourth model (following Baleno, IGNIS and Swift) to adopt this lightweight platform and be introduced in Europe.

Known as “HEARTECT” the lightweight platform delivers enhanced fundamental vehicle performance due to being light and highly rigid. A comprehensive overhaul of the underbody’s structure and component layout resulted in the adoption of a highly rigid frame that enhances collision safety and has a continuous, smooth and curving form that better helps disperse energy. During the development of the Sport model, an additional number of welds were added to the upper part of the rear door openings and the tailgate opening aperture which resulted in even stronger structural rigidity of the body.

Based on its kerb weight of 1,025kg and a torque figure of 235Nm, the Swift Sport has a torque-to-weight ratio of 4.3 kg/Nm placing it at a similar level to its hot hatch competitors. The bodyshell includes the use of ultra high tensile steel (980Mpa) across 17 per cent of its structure and high tensile steel (789 MPa) across four per cent of its structure.

The Swift adopts Suzuki‘s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT) concept that provides a good level of collision safety. Some of the features include collapsible structures that absorb impact energy in the event of a collision, a frame structure that effectively disperses impact energy, and a rigid cabin structure.

On balance, the Swift Sport interior looks cool with lots of standard equipment. It is fun to drive yet comfortable and practical to live with on a day-to-day basis.  Rival models include Ford Fiesta ST and VW Polo GTI.

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