The Suzuki Swace is a five-door estate car that is competitively priced and generously equipped. It offers impressively low running costs which will be attractive to both business and private owners. The Swace has been developed in collaboration with Toyota.
The goodWell equipped, attractive and practical estate car that won't break the bank
The badRivals offer more exciting handling
Suzuki Swace SZ5 – First Drive (2021)
Manufacturer collaborations are becoming more common place these days and the latest vehicle to be launched by Suzuki, called the Swace, is the second new model developed under the business alliance with Toyota.
It comes hot on the heels of the Suzuki Across which was a reworked Toyota RAV4 and the Swace is heavily based on the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Estate, but with a Suzuki signature front end.
The five-door car is manufactured here in the UK and is on sale in two generously-equipped trim levels called SZ-T costing £27,499 and SZ5 priced at £29,299. There is currently a special offer running until the end of June 2021, whereby customers can get a £3,000 saving on each model.
Powering the Swace is a punchy 1.8-litre, four cylinder, petrol unit delivering 102PS. The electric motor has an output of 53kW with 163Nm of torque to produce a combined 122hp and those figures translate into a 0-62mph sprint time of 11.1 seconds and maximum speed of 112mph.
It has a CVT transmission, but can be driven in EV-only mode over relatively short distances and boasts impressive fuel efficiency with a combined 64.2mpg and carbon emissions of 103g/km.
When it comes to the design, the Swace is realistically a Toyota Corolla with some Suzuki tweaks, including the company’s signature grille and fog lamp bezels plus some Suzuki badging. These complement the streamlined styling of the car with its rear privacy glass, roof rails, rear spoiler and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The interior is feature-rich with a wealth of on-board kit to explore – all of which will be very familiar to anyone who has driven the latest Corolla. There is an eight-inch multi-media touchscreen with full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is really practical as neither Swace models come with built-in navigation.
Additional creature comforts in the SZ-T version include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a rearview parking camera, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, seven airbags and a pre-collision braking system. There is Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system and USB sockets to plug in devices.
Step up to the SZ5 and you gain simple intelligent park assist with front and rear sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a centre console tray with wireless charger and smart door locking.
The cabin has an upmarket, clutter-free feel with ambient lighting and a rather clever S-FLOW air conditioning system with occupant detection whereby the air con is not activated where it is not needed.
However, unlike the Corolla, which is on sale in saloon, hatchback and touring body styles and with a choice of powertrain systems, the Swace is simply on sale in estate guise with just the 1.8-litre engine. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing as it means customers are not faced with a decision overload.
And as one would expect from a Toyota-based set-up, the hybrid system works really well. Admittedly, the Swace is not the fastest estate car out there, but the high-end SZ5 version we drove was exceptionally comfortable and very pleasant to drive with excellent all-round driver visibility.
It’s agile in busy town centres as it weaves its way through the traffic and the camera and all-round sensors help make light work of parking. There is ample power to effortlessly eat up the motorway miles cruising at the national speed limit and the car also copes well out on the open country lanes, although the CVT box does get a little vocal under harder acceleration.
The petrol engine cuts in seamlessly whenever needed, working perfectly in tandem with the electric motor, and there are various drive modes called Eco, Normal and Sport that alter the characteristics of the car’s performance.
The road holding is nice and grippy with well weighted steering proving another plus point. I wouldn’t say the Swace is exactly exciting to drive, but it is enjoyable and the car offers plenty of estate practicality with room for four adults to stretch out – five at a bit of a squeeze.
The boot can accommodate 596 litres of kit, a limit increases that to 1,232 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat, and elsewhere there is a cubby box, door bins, front cup holders with two rear ones in the fold-down armrest and a lockable glovebox.
The level of safety kit also impresses on the Swace with the likes of lane departure warning, steering assist, automatic high beam, vehicle sway warning, hill hold control, Isofix fixtures, dynamic radar cruise control and lots more besides.
All in all, the Suzuki Swace is a fabulous addition to the popular car maker’s growing line-up and further proof that these collaborations really do work. And when you factor in the low CO2 figure with its attractive tax breaks, along with excellent fuel economy, the Swace has plenty of all-round appeal for private and business owners alike.