2021 Suzuki Swift Sport Hybrid Review: Swift Stinger

The Suzuki Swift Sport returns in 2021 and single-handedly revives the affordable pocket rocket class in Singapore


If want a truly fun-to-drive, sporty car for less money, what’s on the menu? Now that Skoda’s Octavia VRS has been phased out in preparation for a new (more expensive) model, basically nothing below S$150k with COE – besides the Suzuki Swift Sport.

The current-generation Suzuki Swift platform dates back to 2018, if you don’t include the mild facelift that it was given earlier this year. Its selling point was always very straightforward: a small, fun-loving and premium compact car. Suzuki’s expertise as a small car maker also means that the brand is very good at maximising value from its platforms as well as localising them to suit needs of drivers across the world. The Swift is a good example of this, as the European, Japanese, Indian and Asian versions are all slightly different.

CarBuyer tested the Swift Sport on track at its launch! A small one, yes but still a track…

This is the all-new version which we’ve been waiting some time for, and it finally took a bow here in Singapore in late April 2021 – read our launch news coverage for all the info first.

The Suzuki Swift Sport, for drivers who remember stuff way back into the 1980s, began life as the Swift GTi way back in 1986. It had a 1.3-litre, DOHC 16-valve engine with 97 horsepower and was a right hoot to drive. The second generation Swift GTi arrived in 1989, and this was the car that really grew Suzuki’s reputation beyond that of just a maker of economical compact cars on the roads of Singapore as more car enthusiasts came to discover the car’s incredibly dynamic nature.

Remember these guys?

The Swift Sport nameplate however, traces its roots to the car that was launched in late 2006. Codenamed the ZC31S, many can still be seen on our roads today, a testament to how durable and popular the sporty little compact hatchback really is. 

At this point, rivet-counting car enthusiasts and Suzuki Swift fans may be thinking, “Wasn’t the current-generation Swift Sport launched in 2017?” 

Yes it was, actually. CarBuyer’s intial report on the car was six (!) years ago. The Japanese-market-only Swift Sport has a 1.4-litre turbo engine with 140 horsepower and a few have made their way into Singapore via parallel import channels.

Hang on to your butts though, as the Swift Sport we’re now officially getting is technically a better and more affordable deal for the Singaporean market. Designed to meet Euro 6d emissions and primarily for sale in Europe, the K14C engine from the Japanese Swift Sport has been detuned slightly and is now the K14D. However to make up for the slight power loss there’s a 48-volt mild hybrid drive system glued to the drivetrain that gives the engine an additional boost during acceleration, without the extra fuel consumption of a high-boost turbocharger. 

The result is a sporty, compact, made-in-Japan hatchback that sits in a VES A2 rating, which gives the car a substantial S$15,000 rebate already figured into the sale price. Compact hatchbacks were once the default car of choice for many drivers here, but rising COE prices and better designed small crossover SUVs have forced a change in the automotive scenery here. So, is the new Swift Sport still a relevant car?

Continue to page 2: Interior and design

2021 Suzuki Swift Sport Hybrid Review – CarBuyer.com.sg
Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Interior and Design
Page 3: Driving Experience
Page 4: Conclusion / Revisiting the classic Swift Sport

about the author

Lionel Kong
An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.