Suzuki Launches Facelifted Swift Hatchback In Europe

Will this fun-sized Suzuki ever make its way back to Malaysia?

Although gone from the Malaysian market for some years now, Suzuki is still going strong on the global stage. This is evidenced by the facelift of its most popular model, the fun-sized hatchback that is the Suzuki Swift. 

Launching in Europe now after its initial launch in the Japanese domestic market, the headline news for this facelifted Suzuki Swift focuses mainly on what is under its tiny hood. All new Swifts will now come with a revised 1.2 litre K12D four-cylinder that not only features Suzuki’s innovative Dualjet dual-ignition technology, but also features a 12 V mild-hybrid system. 

Comprising of an Integrated Starter Generator powered by an enlarged 10Ah battery pack, the hybrid system is said to provide up to 2.3 kW of additional power and 50 Nm of extra torque. Leading to a combined performance figure of 83 PS and 107 Nm of torque. Rocketing this hatchback to 100 km/h from a standstill in 12.2 seconds when mated to the optional CVT gearbox, while producing only 111 g/km of CO2 and returning an impressive claimed 20 km/l. 

What more is that the new Swift can even be had with four wheel drive courtesy of Suzuki’s ALLGRIP Auto four wheel drive system. That said, this selectable all-terrain system using viscous couplings to transfer power to the rear wheels will only be available on the top-spec SZ5 variant, and the only transmission option will be a five speed manual gearbox.

On the outside, the facelifted Swift aptly has a new revised face. New front grille and LED headlamp design gives the Japanese hatchback a more purposeful look than its predecessor. The pillar mounted rear door handles and the two-tone colour scheme continues to this new facelift meanwhile enhances the sportiness of this new Swift. The rear however, although fitted with standard LED combination taillights as standard now, still looks a tad too boxy to some, especially when compared to the curvy rear end of its previous iteration. 

Surprisingly for a small car, the list of standard equipment is quite comprehensive on the latest Swift. A seven inch touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and radar guided adaptive cruise control with radar brake support is standard across all variants, while more expensive variants along the range adds other active safety features like ‘Dual Sensor Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning and Weaving Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, and Traffic Sign Recognition’. 

For a car that is only 3,840 mm in length, this Swift is slightly shorter than the current generation Myvi. Prices are yet to be announced, but one can expect it not to be a lot when it goes on sale in Europe shortly. Now with Proton being fully Geely-fied, perhaps it is high time for Suzuki to return to Malaysia, and what better way than to do it with this competent little Japanese hatchback to bring the fight straight to Perodua?

PRESS RELEASE: Following on from its launch in the Japanese domestic market, Suzuki Motor Corporation unveiled the Swift for Europe at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show as its all new global compact supermini and it has now been facelifted for 2021 with a new 1.2-litre enhanced Hybrid engine as well as further standard specification upgrades. The latest Swift represents an automotive advancement aimed at uplifting the driver through succession, evolution and innovation.

In addition to its stylish exterior design in a compact size of just 3,840mm long, the Swift features excellent visibility, a spacious cabin and ample luggage space. The initial development goal was to create an all new hatchback styling that is undoubtedly Suzuki.

Aspects of Styling Innovation

Initial development of the Swift’s exterior design was based on the concept of a “bold evolution of Swift’s DNA”. While resolute efforts were made so that Swift would inherit the model’s characteristic styling, elements that needed refreshing were also boldly transformed in 2020 to innovatively evolve the car.

Enhanced carry-over elements include strong shoulders and vertically arranged front and rear lamps. Swift offers a more emotional appearance together with a muscular and well-grounded look and incorporates a new front grille and headlamp design for the facelift model.

The look of a low centre of gravity is further established by blacked-out pillars that create the appearance of a floating roof. Pillar-mounted door handles add both style and a sporty flair, while a high-tech look comes in the form of LED signature illumination used in the headlamps and all models now have LED headlamps and rear combination lamps as standard equipment – previously for SZ5 models only.

Specification Highlights

Standard equipment for all models in the range is even more comprehensive than before and the new SZ-L model includes air conditioning, rear view camera, Radar Brake Support with Adaptive Cruise Control, Smartphone link display audio with DAB radio, leather steering wheel, privacy glass, LED Headlamps, LED rear combination lamps, front fog lamps, polished 16-inch alloy wheels and front electric windows.

The SZ-T adds grey painted 16-inch alloy wheels, Dual Sensor Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning and Weaving Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition and rear parking sensors.

SZ5 adds Navigation, 16-inch polished alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and start, telescopic steering wheel adjustment, rear electric windows and door mirror side turn indicators.

Swift is available in one solid colour and six optional metallic colours with three dual tone colours incorporating a Black Pearl roof also available optionally.

K12D Engine technology

Suzuki first introduced its 1.2-litre Dualjet technlogy (K12C) in 2014, initially in the Swift, and then utilised in the Baleno and Ignis models. This engine is now replaced by the new K12D Dualjet unit which offers greater fuel economy and even lower CO2 emissions. The maximum power output is 83PS with a torque figure of 107Nm at just 2,800rpm. Acceleration time to 62mph is 12.2 seconds (CVT model).

The updated K12D 1.2-litre engine powering the latest Swift features a new dual injection system and offers both powerful response and high fuel efficiency. This high-level balance is made possible through advances that include an electric intake VVT (variable valve timing), a variable displacement oil pump and electric piston cooling jets.

Hybrid technology across the range – Enhanced hybrid system

Fuel efficency is further enhanced when paired with the self-charging hybrid system powered by a new lithium-ion battery with capacity upgraded from 3Ah to 10Ah to improve energy recovery efficiency.

Available as standard equipment for all Swift models, the upgraded 12V Hybrid system is a compact and lightweight unit that incorporates an Integrated Starter Generator (known as ISG) which acts as both a generator and starter motor, the ISG is belt driven and assists the engine during vehicle take off and acceleration and also generates electricity through regenerative braking. The ISG unit has a power output of 2.3kW with a torque figure of 50Nm and the components of the system add just 6.2kg to the overall weight of the car.

For the Swift with 2WD and manual transmission the Hybrid system helps Suzuki reach a CO2 emissions figure of just 111g/km (WLTP regulation) plus achieve a fuel consumption figure of 57.2mpg (WLTP) on the combined cycle.

Swift Sport Hybrid with 48V system and new K14D Boosterjet engine was introduced earlier in 2020 and is currently the only self-charging warm hatch model amongst its competitors.

CVT Gearbox

Suzuki’s CVT powertrain is now available as an option on the facelifted Swift SZ-T and SZ5 models with 2WD, and is combined with the 1.2 Dualjet Hybrid powertrain. The CVT system can vary the actual gear ratio continuously and stepless from low-speed to high-speed range depending on the driving conditions. The CVT allows improved driveability with reduced shift-shock in comparison with a conventional automatic transmission. Gear programmes can also be selected manually up or down via steering column mounted paddles.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system

The ACC system fitted as standard on all facelift Swift models combines cruise control technology with the system’s milliwave radar to make driving easier and more relaxing. The system uses radar to measure the distance to the vehicle in front and automatically adjusts road speed to maintain any of three driver selected headway distances.


The Swift Facelift adopts Suzuki’s ALLGRIP ‘AUTO’ four-wheel drive system which is available optionally on the SZ5 model with manual transmission only. This is a well proven and simple fully automatic and permanent four-wheel drive layout which transfers additional torque to the rear wheels when required via a viscous coupling. It is also an ideal choice for customers living in rural areas who may need additional mobility across rougher terrain or for crossing slippery surfaces during winter months without owning a more conventional SUV sized vehicle.

With lightweight components and available in combination with the 1.2 Dualjet Hybrid powertrain, Swift ALLGRIP Auto models have impressive fuel economy of 51.7 mpg and low CO2 emissions of just 123 g/km (both WLTP combined).

Smartphone Linkage Display Audio (SLDA)

The audio system for all facelift Swift models has a large seven-inch touch panel display that enables intuitive operation. As a dealer option, an SD card adds a three dimensional navigation map system for SZ-L and SZ-T models.

Apple CarPlay is the smarter and safer way to use iPhone in the Swift. Apart from making calls it also facilitates receiving directions for optimised traffic conditions, listening to music, accessing email, text messages and more.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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