The 2019 Suzuki Swift Sport and its predecessors have always been about pure driver engagement and frill-free fun, rather than masses of power and outright speed. For that reason, it makes sense that it should be equipped with a manual gearbox.
But what if you don’t want to put in that extra effort? Or, not that we’d accuse a MOTOR reader of this… what if you can’t drive a manual? That’s where the 6-speed auto comes in, at an extra $2000 (at $27,490) over the manual version, but that still safely undercuts the ~$32k Polo GTI.
Unfortunately, it also falls short of the manual Swift Sport for fun. While the 6-speed is smooth and swaps cogs relatively quickly, the lack of additional input required from a proper shifter and an extra pedal takes away from the ‘fast’ feeling you get in a relatively low-powered car on a twisty road.
There are paddles, yes, but not needing to remove your hands from the wheels gives you too much time to pay attention to how fast you’re not going.
An extra 20kg doesn’t drastically change the dynamics compared to the manual version, and the still-sub-tonne Sport retains the tendency toward friendly understeer rather than losing control entirely once the impressive level of grip starts to run low.
Bang For Your Bucks 2018: Swift Sport
The aforementioned value advantage of the Swift sport starts to fall away once you consider how much more fun the cheaper version is. If it’s a quick, yet frugal hot hatch you’re after, the Polo GTI is worth the stretch for its extra refinement, even if it’s not quite as playful.
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2019 SUZUKI SWIFT SPORT SPECS
Engine: 1.4-litre inline four, turbo
Power: 103kW @ 5500rpm
Torque: 230Nm @ 2500rpm