1997 Suzuki Swift Review from Australia and New Zealand

1997 Suzuki Swift GTi 1.3 Twin Cam 16v EFi

Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.3 Twin Cam 16v EFi Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired36000 kilometres
Most recent distance70000 kilometres

Summary:

A stroppy, fun, hot hatch

Faults:

The Swift has given excellent reliability.

The engine uses more oil than average.

The cam belt needed replacing at 65000km.

A loose engine mount had to be rectified at 66000 km.

The brakes have had an annoying squeal.

Various parts of body trim have become rather loose.

General Comments:

The Swift has brilliant straight line performance. A very rev happy little engine.

The power to weight ratio is excellent.

It is an economical car, hampered only by a small fuel tank.

Due to firmer suspension, 15 inch alloy wheels and Michelin SX GT tyres it is a great handler.

Well weighted power steering makes the car nimble when changing direction.

Four wheel discs makes the Swift stop just as quickly.

The Swift does however have a lot of wheel spin and torque steer.

The cabin is rather dated, plastic and flimsy. The standard sport seats are comfortable and supportive.

The Momo steering wheel and gearshift knob do brighten the cabin.

The body is rather tinny and there are a few rattles.

A terrific first performance car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th March, 2003

5th Mar 2004, 12:03

I have a 1998 Suzuki GTI and have owned it since new. To date I have not had a single thing go wrong. It has travelled 76,000km and still drives as well as the day I test drove it. I am not hard on the speed and try to maintain the car as if it is a Rolls Royce. All Suzuki cars have noisy brakes. I have had 3 new GTIs and every one of them has had them. If it bothers you so much, every time you check the air in your tyres use the air gun to blow out the dust from the pads. That works every time. My car does not use coolant or oil. Perhaps the previous owner thrashed the motor and maybe that is why. Next time buy a car that has been serviced at the same dealer the car was bought from if you can. Most people who buy the car from dealers mainly use them for service as well.

10th Jan 2010, 18:18

Hi, I have owned my Swift GTi 1996 for about 3 months now. It came with 105K on the clock, and I bought it for £350. To date it has not given me any problems, and it has been looked after by the previous owner, who was the only owner.

Best car I have ever owned, and these cars are getting very rare; I got offered £1600 for it!!

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 1 review