I’ve still got a red, turbocharged, Japanese hot hatch in my life. I’ve just downsized, that’s all. The tremendous Civic Type R has departed for a new life outside of the TopGear garage, and its place has been taken by the third-gen Suzuki Swift Sport. It’s like I’ve donned Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. So many fewer startled glances and turned heads on the first few drives home…
Not that the Swift Sport is short of fake carbon fibre and mock grilles – there must be a job lot of black plastic going spare in a Tokyo dock, sullying all Japanese fast cars from here to the Honda NSX – but it’s refreshing to be back in something subtle. Although, according to the internet, this new Swift Sport is very ugly. The split rear pillar and the Audi-esque yawn-face are not playing well. Can’t say I mind them myself, but the pinched stance looks nose-heavy, even on 17-inch rims.
Now, the price. Are you a glass half full or half empty person? The optimists will coo at the fact this car is available with no options. A quid under £18k is all you can spend. Even the choice of six colours is free. And the equipment list is almost daft for a lukewarm supermini. I’ll delve into it all next month, having worked out what it could do without. Either way, a 975kg turbo hatch festooned with 2018 on-board tech is seriously impressive weight-watching. Alternatively, is this mega-garnish really worth £3k more than an Up GTI – or Fiesta ST money? That’s the £18k question.
Small, red and with large attitude. Welcome Swift Sport