In-depth reviews

Suzuki Swace hybrid review

A Toyota Corolla Touring Sports with a different badge, less equipment and a lower price – the Swace is an interesting choice, if not an exciting one

Suzuki Swace
Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Pros

  • Well built
  • Comfortable
  • Efficient for a pure hybrid

Cons

  • Toyota Corolla is a better buy
  • Not the most exciting to drive
  • Not as practical as some rivals
Car typeFuel economyCO2 emissions0-62mph
Hybrid64mpg103g/km11.1 seconds

This is the Suzuki Swace, the Japanese manufacturer's contender in the family estate market and the latest product of its partnership with Toyota. The car is more or less identical to the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, save for some small styling changes, less standard equipment and a slightly lower asking price.

Most will be hard-pressed to tell the Suzuki apart from its Toyota relative. A new bumper at the front uses revised grilles and different badge placement, but that's about it: the alloy wheels are identical to those found on the equivalent Toyota, as are the 'Hybrid' badges. It's a similar story inside, where the Swace again proves to be just as well built and clearly laid-out as the Toyota.

Like the Corolla, the Swace is powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine, coupled with a small battery and electric motor, but there's no 2.0-litre option as you'll find on the Toyota. Instead, the Suzuki makes do with a total output of 120bhp.

It's not the fastest car around, but the Swace is much more about providing sensible family transport; as such, the official 64.2mpg fuel-economy figure will be more relevant to most buyers. Its 103g/km CO2 emissions figure is low – and good news for company-car users – but this is easily beaten by a plug-in hybrid such as the SEAT Leon ST e-Hybrid, or even a pure-electric alternative like the MG 5 SW.

Thankfully, the Swace retains everything we love about the Corolla's ride and handling: it's not the last word in driving pleasure, but offers smooth progress and feels composed through corners.

Whether or not you pick the Suzuki over its Toyota counterpart will most likely come down to price; its two-trim line-up aligns with some of the mid to high-spec versions of the Toyota, so you spend less money but get a little less equipment. It's almost worth considering the Suzuki as another trim-level option when shopping for a Corolla Touring Sports, and vice versa. The price difference in some cases isn't that great, but it's worth remembering Suzuki's warranty cover isn't as good. Unless you really want a bargain, it's worth plumping for the original. For a more detailed look at the Suzuki Swace, read the rest of our in-depth review…

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