Swift Sport

Top Gear (UK) - - GARAGE - OL­LIE KEW

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

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