In-depth reviews

Suzuki Swace hybrid performance, top speed & engine

The 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

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Performance, engine & drive rating

3.5 out of 5

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
11.1s112mphFront120bhp

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, 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 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 hybrid 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.

Handling

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 Volkswagen Golf GTE if that's what you want from your family car.

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