First drive: 2023 Suzuki Swace review
After three years Suzuki has upgraded and refreshed its popular self-charging sporty hybrid, the mid-sized Swace estate.
It is one of the two models to come out of a collaboration between Suzuki and Toyota - the other being the Across SUV.
From the outside very little has changed with this mid-life Swace - the bumper and the lights get a bit of a makeover but that’s about it.
The most significant changes are to the engine and, in particular, the hybrid system.
The Swace is powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 96bhp. The electric motor output has increased from 53kw to 70kw resulting in a 15 per cent increase in the combined power output from 121bhp to 138bhp.
Acceleration time has increased from 11.1 to 9.4 seconds which doesn’t sound a lot but it does make a noticeable difference.
The model names have changed. Gone are SZ-T and SZ5 to be replaced by Motion and Ultra.
Prices are around £1,500 up from the old model. Motion is £28,999 and Ultra £30,799.
Our test route at the launch was along some lovely twisty roads in the Derbyshire dales and the Swace performed well enough.
At a steady pace it is quiet but put it under harsh acceleration, and it gets a bit noisy with an intrusive whine from the CVT gearbox which was an annoying feature of the old model as well.
Switch to Sport mode though and it performs much better.
The ride is comfortable but firm and copes with lumps, bumps and humps in the road well.
It takes a bit of fiddling around to get a comfortable position at the wheel but there’s plenty of adjustment and you get a good view of the road.
Working out your overall fuel consumption is not straightforward - it all depends on how much of the electric power you are relying on. Official figures are 62.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 102g/km - broadly similar to the old model.
The Swace is a good looker and sits low to the ground and has a wide stance. Internal space is adequate but the rear leg room is not as good as some others in the class.
The boot capacity is 596 litres and has a clever reversible floor with rubber on one side to keep muddy dogs and boots off the upholstery. The rear seats fold by way of a lever and the resulting space is long enough to take a bike without removing the front wheel - always a bonus.
Internal fixtures and fittings are soft touch and of decent quality and the whole package is smart and functional.
Both trim levels get enhanced technology particularly with regard to proactive safety aids. The collision warning system has been updated to include motorcycle detection and safe exit assist has been added to warn if a door is about to be opened in the path of a cyclist or an oncoming vehicle.
These are in addition to those already fitted including cross traffic alert, automatic high beam, dynamic cruise control and blind spot monitor.
Price: £28,999 (£30,799 as tested)
Engine: 1.8-litre petrol and 70kw motor
Top speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 9.4 seconds
CO2 emissions: 102/km