Suzuki Swace engines, drive & performance
The Suzuki Swace is as good to drive as its Toyota counterpart, but lacks power and driving fun
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While the Toyota Corolla is available with a choice of 1.8 or 2.0-litre hybrid petrol engines, the budget-focused Suzuki Swace is limited to the first of these. The four-cylinder engine produces 101bhp on its own, topped up with help from the 71bhp electric motor for a total system output of 121bhp. Only the front wheels are driven and the car uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This is a gearbox that operates much like an automatic, but with the ability to maximise efficiency thanks to there being a lack of 'steps' in its delivery.
A number of drive modes feature, including an EV mode that's only really useable for a few miles until the battery runs out and the engine needs to kick back in to recharge it. It's best to stick to hybrid modes to make the most of the drivetrain.
Suzuki Swace 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration
This is not the most powerful car of its type, but there's just about enough torque to keep things feeling brisk. The Swace takes 11.1 seconds to get to 62mph, while top speed is 112mph.
The engine feels its best around town, where a combination of light throttle inputs and using the car's regenerative braking can make for very relaxing – and efficient – progress. Harder acceleration on the open road reveals some characteristic CVT droning, however – by design, acceleration doesn't always match engine revs and some may find this disconcerting.
The Corolla is a neat-handling car and the Swace is no different, offering a composed yet compliant chassis that feels safe and secure on the move. It's one of the better cars to drive in its class, but stops short of being fun – you'd be better off with a VW Golf GTE if that's what you want from your family car.
In This Review
- 1VerdictA 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
- 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 costsThe Swace is good for company-car users and private buyers alike – but it's now worth considering a car with a plug
- 4Engines, drive & performance - currently readingThe Suzuki Swace is as good to drive as its Toyota counterpart, but lacks power and driving fun
- 5Interior & comfortThe Swace is identical inside to the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, albeit with a bit less kit
- 6Practicality & boot spaceThe Swace is spacious, practical and comfortable overall – but some internal-combustion-engined rivals have even more room
- 7Reliability & safetyThere's no official data yet, but the Swace's Toyota roots give some very encouraging clues