Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 15 September 2020

The formula required to build a hot hatchback is rather simple. A small body, lightweight build, powerful motor and the ability to make the car and its driver one element. The question then is why do so few modern-day hot hatches get the formula just right? To find out more, I drove the essence of what a hot hatchback should be, I drove the new Suzuki Swift Sport.

On paper quick facts:

  • Price:R327 900 (September 2020)
  • Engine:4-litre turbopetrol
  • Power/Torque:103 kW / 230 Nm
  • Transmission:6-speed manual
  • Fuel economy:1 L/100km
  • Load capacity:242-918 litres

While the old 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol-driven motor has now been replaced with a smaller 1.4-litre engine, it’s now turbocharged and the result is perhaps the best rendition of the Swift Sport ever! Blending 103 kW and 230 Nm of torque, this latest-generation Suzuki Swift Sport packs everything you have ever come to know and love of “old day” hot hatchbacks with modern features and safety of “todays cars.”

What am I trying to say?

What I am trying to say is that many modern hatchbacks have become larger, heavier and more crammed with driver assistance elements and this often leads to their biggest downside. With the Swift Sport, Suzuki has kept the formula simple, a great 6-speed manual transmission or auto if you prefer, lightweight body and “humming” Boosterjet motor all help make a good hot hatchback into a great one. At this point, my message is getting rather repetitive, but its simply because driving the 2020 Suzuki Swift Sport is a real breath of fresh air and this is before you get onto some of the modern elements which further add to the package.

Over on the inside, the vehicle now features a 7-inch touchscreen multimedia system with Bluetooth functionality, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and steering wheel-mounted controls. At the centre of the dash is also climate-controlled air-conditioning, a great red instrument cluster, sports bucket seats and even aluminium pedals.

With its enhanced styling and weighing in at just 970kg, this rev-happy newcomer from Suzuki manages to package proper “man and machine are one” fun, impressive fuel economy claimed at just 6.1 L/100 km, stylish design and important safety features such as 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist and electronic stability control (ESC). All of this makes for a simply epic package and though not the fastest from 0 – 100 km/h, it is certainly one of the nicest HOT hatches which I have driven!

The Suzuki Swift (1.4T) Sport costs R327 900, while its automatic counterpart is priced from R347 900. A 3-year/100 000 km warranty and 4-year/60 000 km service plan are standard.

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