The new Suzuki Swift is a good choice for anyone who enjoys driving. Key to its compelling performance are the lightweight chassis and punchy drivetrain, which features a turbocharged 1-litre 3-cylinder engine paired to a 6-speed automatic.
The Swift is also roomier and more practical than before, although its backseat space still loses out to its two rivals in this story.
Big boys who love to soup up their small toys would find that the Swift probably has the most potential for modification. More significantly, with a list price of $78,704, it is the most affordable of the three contenders.
The Honda Jazz RS is a terrific all-rounder. It may not be the sexiest or the sportiest hatchback here, but in every other respect it either beats or matches its key competitors.
The Jazz’s strongest points are its impressive roominess and incredible versatility. If these are your top priorities when shopping for a new supermini, then the Honda hatch should be your first choice.
This jazzy number, however, could do with a more refined cabin which is less prone to wind noise on the highway, and a quieter transmission.
The biggest obstacle to Jazz ownership is the pricing. Listed at just under $98k, it is significantly more expensive than the other two cars.
The Mazda 2 isn’t the most powerful and doesn’t have the roomiest interior. But it has the best combination of performance, handling and refinement in the context of this comparison test.
The Mazda 2’s cabin is both well-built and well-insulated, making it a surprisingly pleasant expressway cruiser. The 2 is also ahead of its two rivals in terms of driveability, offering the most responsive motor and smoothest gearbox.
All in all, this Japanese supermini is super convincing. Too bad the Mazda’s $90k asking price is closer to the Honda Jazz than to the Suzuki Swift.
Mazda 2 key (left) is the longest and least pocket-friendly; Swift’s device (middle) is the lightest, but its little buttons can be tricky to press; Jazz’s fob (right) feels the sturdiest and its relatively big buttons have the clearest markings.