WHAT is smaller on the outside, bigger on the inside and packing a real punch in the supermini stakes. That will be the new Suzuki Swift.

Priced from just under £11,000, this Japanese-built five-door is pitched against the likes of the SEAT Ibiza and Skoda Fabia, with a charm offensive built on cheeky good looks and impressive statistics.

Wider and lower than the outgoing model, and now boasting a decent boot, the Swift arrives in three trim levels with a choice of perky, economical petrol engines and auto, hybrid and 4x4 versions.

Star of the engine show is the 1.0-litre, turbocharged, three-cylinder Boosterjet, delivering more than 60mpg in day-to-day use and the sort of oomph usually associated with a 1.8-litre normally-aspirated engine. Also available is a 90 horsepower, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder engine.

Underneath the little car sits a rigid new platform weighing in at up to 120kg lighter than the predecessor. On the road that translates into a neat, nippy little car with the seemingly impossible combination of more power and greater fuel economy.

Even better is that standard equipment for all Swift models in the range is comprehensive with the SZ3 model coming with six airbags, air conditioning, leather-trimmed steering wheel, DAB radio with Bluetooth and four speakers, rear privacy glass, LED daytime running lights, 15-inch wheels, body-coloured door mirrors and front electric windows.

Move up to the expected best-seller, the SZ-T and you add a rear view camera, smartphone link display audio, 16-inch alloy wheels and front fog lamps.

Top of the range SZ5 adds auto air conditioning, 16-inch polished alloy wheels, satellite navigation, advanced forward detection system, keyless entry and start, and rear electric windows. The SZ5 is available with a six-speed automatic transmission as an option.

With this sort of equipment on offer, Suzuki even aims to have a nibble at the huge fleet market, but fleet or private buyer, if you are looking to buy a new small car, you have to take a test drive.


Auto facts

Model: Suzuki Swift 1.0 Boosterjet SHVS SZ5

Price: £14,499

Insurance group: 9E (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 65.7mpg

Top speed: 121mph

Length: 173.5cm/68.3in

Width: 149.5cm/58.8in

Luggage capacity: 9.3 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 8.1 gallons/37 litres

CO2 emissions: 97g/km

Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles