Suzuki Swift Sport

The Swift Sport has developed something of a cult following.

There were genuine points of difference that elevated it above its siblings, though it’s more a warmed-up version of the Swift than an out-and-out hot hatch.

Unique to the Sport was a bigger capacity, 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated engine with outputs of 100kW and 160Nm, both well up on the standard Swift with its 1.4-litre engine. Performance was acceptably brisk, though far from startling.

Transmission choice was either a CVT auto with paddle-shifters, or a six-speed manual (arguably the sportier option).

Externally, there was a body-kit including a rear spoiler, and larger 17” alloys. Other extras include comfortable sports seats, smart-key and push-button start, climate control and bi-xenon headlights. There’s no spare wheel though, only an impractical puncture repair kit.

Under the skin, there’s a range of suspension revisions including revised dampers and stiffer spring rates for sharper handling. It’s dynamic enough to make a twisty road a fun drive and its compact dimensions make it easy to park and drive in the city too.

The vehicle comes comprehensively equipped with safety features and rated well in ANCAP crash tests. Less impressive is a one-star used car safety rating derived from real-world crash data.

Look for a complete service history, and a pre-purchase inspection is advised.

Fuel efficiency

5.1 litres – 8.5 litres/100km (95 RON) depending on model and driving conditions.

Competitors

VW POLO GTi  (2012 – 2017)

1.4-litre TwinCharger or later 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engines. Manual or DSG. Highly-polished performance and road manners. Reliability reputation variable, potential for expensive repairs, watch for DSG gearbox and engine problems.

Blue VW Polo GTi

FORD FIESTA ST (2013 – 2016)

Compact hot hatch delivers miles of smiles. Feisty 1.6-litre turbo engine provides spirited performance and come with manual transmission only. Handling and steering are a delight for keen drivers. Three-door only. Ride rather lumpy.

Red Ford Fiesta st