1998 Suzuki Swift 1.3 GLX 5-door 1.3 from UK and Ireland


A dull, old looking car


The clutch needs replacing at 44,000 and an expensive one at that. £300 from the dealer, £275 from an independent garage for the same part!

Wheel bearing needs replacing on rear passenger side - £80.

Brake pads wear out quickly - within 10,000 miles.

Servicing every 6 months is a bit of a joke - £130 each time.

Electric window motors replaced by dealer after 12 months only to be replaced a second time 4 months later.

Electric window is slow now and not under warranty.

Exhaust went at 20,000 miles.

Where the roof-line meets the front windscreen has started to show signs of bubble rust which after 5 years should not happen, but Suzuki have said it will cost over £500 to put right. I am not going to bother as that's about 30% of the value of the car!

General Comments:

The overall look of the car is very dated. More like a 1980's car than from 1998.

Based on the manufacturers stated fuel economy, the car should do a min of 35 mpg whereas I am getting anything from 31 in town to 37 on the motorway. I am sure there is a fault with this car.

The suspension is extremely hard on all surfaces and even the slightest uneven surface in the road causes the CD-Player to stop and once the road smoothens out, it restarts. Very annoying!

The engine is very noisy and even when going at 50-60mph yo have to turn the radio up very high to listen to it at a decent volume.

The road noise is transfered into the cabin and if there is any imperfection in the road, you get to feel it!

Long distance (50miles+) you can forget because at the end of your journey your legs will ache and you will feel tired.

Any type of wind makes this car sway like a HGV on the motorway which makes me very nervous.

In wet weather the demister is not very good and if there is just 1 person in the vehicle, it will take on average 10 minutes to clear the screen before you can drive anywhere.

The switchgear looks very old and the plastics are dire to look at! Too shiny plastic.

I feel that there are much better small cars on the market such as the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa.

I have just completed my Police Traffic Officer training and after having driven Volvo V70's on the motorway and receiving a good wage from the force, I am getting rid of this car and going for a Volvo S40/V40, a much safer package from my experience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th October, 2003

23rd Mar 2008, 15:19

The economy you suggest is about right; the Suzuki G13b engine is a greedy unit. It is very dissapointing for such a small car. I won't be getting one again. I also agree with the commments on the seating position; there is nowhere to put my left leg.

1998 Suzuki Swift GLS 1.0 three cylinder from Italy


A partial delusion, for the service and the reliability


Dashboard squeaks on the conjunctions of the road. Not resolved under the warranty, resolved by me with a rubber element and with an expander.

Head cushion unstitched after two months of life. Resolved by me to not lose time.

Exhaust system shakes also on the little holes of the road, especially with one person in the back seat and with the heat. Not resolved under the warranty, resolved by me with a modification of the support.

Front brakes noisy (without braking), changed at 5000 km. After 1000 km, the defect is back. Not resolved under the warranty, resolved by another non-Suzuki repair shop, with a simple regulation. The defect, sometimes, is back again, but now it's not important.

Clutch squeaks at 15000 km. The defect was not comprised under the warranty, although the defect appeared when the car was 8 months old.

Resolved by the dealer, but with an expense of 400.000 lire (200 dollars) by me.

Front seat distorted without making particular manouvres... OK, I'm 110 kg heavy... but this is not good for the distortion of the seat after only one year (I owned an Opel Kadett 1982 for TEN years without problems of this sort...)! Resolved under the warranty by the Suzuki dealer.

Strong rumour from the metal car body, left side. Resolved by me with a polyuretanic foam.

Rear door shakes: this is because the rear door lock needs to be tightened every three months.

Cover of the passenger air-bag deformed with the heat.

Screws of the back seat loosened.

Tires aged after only one year and 20.000 km at low speeds. Naturally, not comprised in the warranty.

General Comments:

This car is a good project: the steering is soft and precise enough, the gearshift is very rapid, the engine economic and quick at the low regimes.

But the assembling is very, very bad for a Japanese car (although assembled in Hungary). Also a Fiat Uno has a better level of construction.

The defect of the clutch was not recognized under the warranty by the importer, although the defect was appeared when the car was 8 months old.

Only the front seat was recognised totally under the warranty. The defect shows itself at irregular intervals, making difficult the recognition.

Now the car goes well enough, but the money for the original defect of the clutch, was spent nearly totally by me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th July, 2001

17th Apr 2005, 00:30

Without trying to offend anyone a small swift hatch is not designed to fit someone with a weight of over 110Kgs. I recently had a friend who must have weighed over 125kgs hop in the passenger seat and the whole car lurched to one side. During a 5 minute run I can say that he will never hop in my car again, the car is simply not designed for that amount of weight. I find it impossible that anyone of that size would be able to safely drive a swift the interior is too small to accommodate. I would say that many of the problems listed here are a result of this.

It's a Japanese car designed for people with half that weight.

7th Nov 2005, 15:42

A car, any car should take 110kg easy, it's a car not a kids toy. My Suzuki swift take my 120kg+ fine no problems.

2nd Jul 2009, 19:10

I love my little 1.3 Swift! the performance and handling is great for a 1.3 and it is very smooth through the gears and is not bad looking. They do have a shockingly cheap feel and things do quickly start falling off as well as having your back broken over any bumps. Fun first car, especially for the £500 I paid for it!

1998 Suzuki Swift GL 1.0 petrol from Hungary


Passenger-side door doesn't shut properly, the exhaust system shudders and rattles when hot, the running-lights warning beeper died after the first week.

General Comments:

If all you want from a car is to take you from point A to point B in the city then it's a good choice. Otherwise forget it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd May, 1999