►The Swift’s 1.3- and 1.5-litre engines were sourced from Toyota and are chain-driven units that are renowned for being reliable. Both are terrific engines that have been around since the 1990s and featured in the Yaris and Corolla, with very few problems other than an increase in oil consumption as they get older. We’ve seen examples of Swifts with more than 175,000 miles on the clock with no major reliability issues, and equivalent Toyotas with well over 200,000 under their wheels.
The 16-valve engines are lively, too, with extremely good performance in relation to their dimensions. The 1.6-litre twin-cam unit used in the Sport is Suzuki’s own engine and has also proven itself to be hard-wearing and resilient, but do look for excessive smoke from examples that have been driven hard by enthusiastic younger drivers.
By far the weakest link is the 1.3-litre diesel, which offers excellent performance and fuel economy, but can suffer from timing chain or tensioner failure as well as blown head gaskets, often at a fairly modest mileage. Listen for a loud rattle at tickover, which will tell you if the chain needs imminent replacement.