2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid review

Bruce Newton

Posted June 20, 2024

The new 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid is an evolutionary take on the popular light hatch with new safety equipment, a mild-hybrid drivetrain, and better technology.

The 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid is officially the cheapest new hybrid car you can buy in Australia. Mind you, unlike the newly introduced MG3 hybrid, you only get a little bit of electrification for your money as the new Swift small car is actually a mild hybrid, which means the new 1.2-litre triple-cylinder petrol engine that’s now standard across the four-model range gets a bit of assistance here and there from a small electric motor and a tiny battery.

The primary advantages via the new hybrid drivetrain in the Suzuki Swift are a small boost in acceleration, a small reduction in fuel consumption and a smooth restart experience accelerating from the lights.

The new Suzuki Swift also adds a significant amount of safety equipment and deducts an item or two as well. Overall, this is an appealing and affordable new model with well-sorted driving manners that won’t break your bank account.

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The new Suzuki Swift

The Suzuki Swift is now exclusively hybrid. Image: Supplied.


How much does the 2024 Suzuki Swift cost?

In a period of galloping new car price rises, the 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid range pushes back against the trend.

The cheapest Suzuki Swift Hybrid is the five-speed manual priced from $24,490 drive-away. That compares to $23,990 for the outgoing GL manual.

It’s then up to $26,990 drive-away for the Swift Hybrid auto, $28,490 drive-away for the auto-only Suzuki Swift Hybrid Plus and $29,490 for the auto-only GLX.

That compares to $25,990 drive-away for the old GL auto, $27,490 drive-away for the old Plus auto and $31,290 drive-away for the old GLX Turbo.

So, the entry price for the new 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid is up just $500 while the flagship is now $1800 cheaper.

2024 Suzuki Swift specification

All Suzuki Swift models include keyless entry and start, a digital speedo, 9.0-inch multimedia touchscreen with embedded sat-nav, DAB, AM and FM radio and Apple Carplay wireless connection, Android Auto wired connection and a Type A USB port.

The Suzuki Swift Hybrid Plus upgrades from 15-inch steel wheels and plastic wheel covers to 16-inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel trim, a premium seat fabric, heated front seats, a driver’s seat height adjuster, rear privacy glass and adds a Type C charging USB port.

The Suzuki Swift Hybrid GLX exclusively includes polished 16-inch alloy wheels, wireless phone charging, power folding exterior mirrors with built-in indicator lamps, paddle gear shifters, climate control air-conditioning and rear heater ducts.

While a significant amount of equipment has been added – especially safety gear (see below) – there are notable deletions on the new 2024 Suzuki Swift such as front fog lights and a spare tyre.

The 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid comes protected by a five year/unlimited kilometre warranty, five years roadside assistance and service intervals set at 12 months/15,000km. 

The Suzuki Swift has wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. Image: Supplied.
The Suzuki Swift has a budget interior. Image: Supplied.
The Suzuki Swift is better suited to couples than families due to its small rear seat. Image: Supplied.

Suzuki Swift exterior design

Based on measurements and the fundamental five-door shape, the new Suzuki Swift Hybrid is very much an evolutionary exterior design.

At 3860mm, it is only 15mm longer than its predecessor, while it’s also 25mm taller at 1520mm. But the 2450mm wheelbase is identical, as is the 1735mm width.

At a glance old and new Suzuki Swift look similar. Both have floating roofs and ovoid grilles drooped low in the nose.

But LED projector headlights are now standard across the 2024 range, the alloy wheels are new designs and the cheapest Swift Hybrid’s steel wheels replace the old model’s 16-inch alloys.

What is the Suzuki Swift like inside?

The 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid has been modernised inside, but remains fundamentally straight forward.

The instrument panel in the new Swift retains analogue gauges, but there’s a comprehensive digital information centre between them that includes a digital speedo.

The touchscreen is more prominent because it sits higher than before on top of the dashboard, is larger (9.0-inches versus 7.0-inches) and has a comprehensive level of information on offer.

Audio controls have been integrated into the screen, which is simply a way for Suzuki to save money by not having buttons and dials. Thankfully, there are still proper physical controls for the air-conditioning.

The dual-tone trim presentation is appealing, but the surfaces are hard and only skimpily covered by soft materials.

Storage in the Swift's cabin is limited. There’s no centre lidded bin between the front seats and rear passengers have only small cupholders in the doors. There are no seat-back pockets or fold down armrest back there, let alone arguable essentials like USB outlets and air-con vents.

Leg and elbow room in the rear seat is also limited, which is no surprise considering how small this car is.

Front seat passengers do better with more space and sizable and supportive seats. The Swift's driver’s seat height adjuster only tilts the back of the seat cushion, potentially creating a slope.

The Suzuki Swift's boot is unsurprisingly small at 265 litres and there’s no string nets or pockets. The rear seats do split-fold to create more space (589 litres), preferable to the new MG3's folding benchseat, but they don’t fold flat into the floor, instead creating a step.

The Suzuki Swift boot

The Suzuki Swift has a 60:40 split folding rear seat for added practicality. Image: Supplied.


Is the Suzuki Swift good to drive?

Viewed overall, the 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid is a well-sorted and enjoyably easy car to drive.

The Swift Hybrid rides the bumps comfortably, steers lightly and handles nimbly. There’s precious little binging and bonging and abrupt steering interventions that bedevil some other new cars we’ve sampled lately, especially from Chinese brands.

While the Suzuki Swift Hybrid is one of the few new cars sold with drum brakes at the rear, it’s so light starting at 919kg that they aren’t a noticeable issue.

Obviously, the new powertrain is the key driving change for the 2024 Suzuki Swift. The old model came with a choice of 1.2-litre four-cylinder or 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engines.

All models in the new line-up have a 1.2-litre triple-cylinder petrol engine that mates with a five-speed manual in the cheapest model or with a continuously variable transmission in all grades.

Assisting the engine is a small e-motor and 12v lithium-ion battery that provide added acceleration at low speeds, plus smooth fuel-saving stop-start capability.

This is what is usually known as a mild hybrid set-up, which means it provides only assistance to the petrol engine so the Swift never runs on electricity alone.

Really, this car should be called the Suzuki Swift Mild Hybrid.

Suzuki claims 4.0L/100km fuel consumption for the CVT (3.8 for the manual). The figure from a predominantly urban test loop was 4.6L/100km.

Considering there’s only 61kW and 112Nm on offer here, the Suzuki Swift Hybrid is pleasantly zippy on the go, especially from low speeds when the e-motor is assisting.

Because the battery is so small it is quickly depleted, but then it also quickly recharges too. There’s an informative graphic showing power and electricity shuttling around the system, including how full the battery is.

All this is accompanied by that typical triple-cylinder growl that some people may find surprisingly aggressive.

If you opt for the CVT auto in the Suzuki Swift – as most people will – then stand by some monotone acceleration typical of this type of transmission. That’s unless you go for the flagship Swift variant with paddle shifters, or for the manual, which delivers a light shift feel and clutch effort. It’s certainly liveable.

The one thing to bear in mind when evaluating the cost benefit of the Suzuki Swift Hybrid is that it runs on more expensive premium unleaded fuel.


The Suzuki Swift

The new Suzuki Swift maintains its unique design. Image: Supplied.


What safety features does the Suzuki Swift Hybrid have?

This is one of the most important advances for the 2024 Suzuki Swift, which has a significant safety upgrade over its predecessor.

The old Suzuki Swift didn’t offer autonomous emergency braking or lane departure warning on all models.

The new model now does and its AEB has been upgraded to detect bicycles and motorcycles as well as pedestrians and vehicles.

All models now get adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition and high beam assist.

But blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are still denied in the base Swift model.

Other safety equipment includes six airbags, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

Despite the bump-up in safety equipment there’s still some missing such as front-centre airbag. That will work against the Suzuki Swift getting the full five-star ANCAP rating.

2024 Hyundai Santa Fe

The new Suzuki Swift is a commuter with character. Image: Supplied.


How does the Suzuki Swift Hybrid compare?

There are now very few cheaper cars sold in Australia than the 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid and none that offer any form of electric assistance.

The most obvious competitor is the brand new MG3 light hatch that starts at $23,990 before on-road costs, but the cost increases to $27,990 plus on road costs if you want the hybrid. The Toyota Yaris hybrid is $28,500 before on-road costs.

Other potential mini-car rivals include the Mazda2 and Volkswagen Polo and that’s about it. It’s a shrinking group.

Should I buy a Suzuki Swift Hybrid?

The 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid is an affordable entry-level hatchback that offers a well-tuned driving experience and a reasonable level of equipment for the money.

Of course, you simply can’t expect to be showered in features and technology for this price these days. But where Suzuki has focussed its efforts – on the frugal powertrain, the upgraded tech and improved safety inventory - will make a lot of sense to target buyers and car downsizers.

The new Swift scrimps in the rear seat, but it’s too small to qualify as a family car anyway.

But as a car for singles and couple and as a commuter with character, the 2024 Suzuki Swift Hybrid shines.

The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.