Suzuki Swace hybrid review
A Toyota Corolla Touring Sports with a different badge, less equipment and a lower price – the Suzuki Swace is an interesting if pretty unexciting choice
- Well built
- Efficient for a pure hybrid
- Toyota Corolla is a better buy
- Not the most exciting to drive
- Not as practical as some rivals
The Suzuki Swace is a contender in the family estate-car market and the latest product of the brand's partnership with Toyota. You don't need to be automotive expert to work out that it's more or less identical to the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, save for some small styling changes. It also has less standard equipment and consequently a slightly lower asking price.
Most will be hard-pressed to tell the Suzuki apart from its Toyota relative. It has a different front bumper and grille design, with its badges in different places, but that's about it: the alloy wheels are identical to those 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 Corolla.
Like its sister car, the Swace is powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine, coupled with a small battery and electric motor – but there's no more powerful 2.0-litre engine available here, like there is with 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 also easily beaten by plug-in hybrid estates such as the SEAT Leon ST e-Hybrid. And pure-electric alternatives like the MG 5 SW emit no CO2 whatsoever.
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…
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingA Toyota Corolla Touring Sports with a different badge, less equipment and a lower price – the Suzuki Swace is an interesting if pretty unexciting choice
- 2MPG & CO2 emissionsThe Swace offers familiar fuel economy from a familiar engine, but a plug-in hybrid will still serve company-car buyers better
- 3Running costs & insuranceIn terms of running costs, the Swace is good news for company-car users and private buyers alike – but a plug-in or fully electric car might be even better
- 4Performance, engine & driveThe Suzuki Swace is as good to drive as its Toyota counterpart, but doesn't share the option of a more powerful 2.0-litre engine
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfortThe Swace is identical inside to the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, albeit with a bit less kit
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Swace is spacious, practical and comfortable overall – but some internal-combustion-engined rivals have even more room
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThere's no official data yet, but the Swace's Toyota roots give some very encouraging clues