If you want a hybrid family estate car that’s very well equipped and cheap to run, then the Suzuki Swace is an excellent option. It’s almost identical to the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports estate and is jointly produced by the 2 Japanese brands. Inside, there’s a stylish interior carried over from the Toyota, together with a long list of standard equipment – and it also boasts a spacious boot.
The Swace matches several of its nearest rivals for front passenger space, with ample head- and legroom. The rear seats are not as spacious, with the roofline making headroom a little tight for adult passengers. While you can officially fit 3 adults in the rear seats, the combination of the roofline and a lack of elbow room means it could be a snug fit on longer journeys.
Practicality is an area where the Swace excels, with a 596-litre boot, extending to 1606 litres when the rear seats are folded down. This load space is well designed, with a flat rectangular shape making it easy to load large items. It also boasts a height-adjustable boot floor, which is also dual-sided with carpet on 1 side and a hard-wearing rubberised surface on the other – meaning it can be switched around depending on what you're carrying.
In the cabin, you’ll find a decent array of storage cubbies, with a reasonably sized glovebox, a deep central storage bin, a pair of cupholders and a small storage shelf for your smartphone in front of the gearstick. The front and rear door bins are also fairly large.
There’s only 1 hybrid powertrain available for the Swace, which combines a petrol engine, a small battery and an electric motor. Switch it into full EV mode and you can manage around a mile of driving at low speed before the petrol engine starts up. The hybrid system is at its best in town, helping the car to pull away silently at low speeds. The battery is charged via the car’s regenerative braking system, which recovers energy as you slow down. This set-up means it’ll return up to 64.2mpg, making it one of the most efficient estate cars in its class. Drive carefully and you can expect to get very close to this official economy number with relative ease.
The Suzuki Swace Vs Competitors
The closest rival to the Suzuki Swace is the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports on which it's based. Both cars are powered by an identical hybrid powertrain, although there’s a larger 2.0-litre hybrid model also available in the Toyota, while also sharing a majority of their parts and equipment. Other non-hybrid rivals include the estate versions of the Ford Focus, SEAT Leon and Skoda Octavia.
While the Corolla Touring Sports is nearly identical to drive to the Swace, the Suzuki also matches it for interior quality as well. It’s as good to drive as the SEAT and Skoda but falls short of the Focus, which offers the best drive in this class. One area where it has an advantage is its hybrid powertrain, which is not offered in any of these rivals.
All Suzuki’s come with a 3-year/60,000 mile warranty as standard. As the Swace is essentially a restyled version of the Corolla Touring Sports estate, owners will be reassured by the fact that both Toyota and Suzuki have a strong reputation for building reliable cars.
The boot of the Suzuki Swace measures 596 litres and expands to 1606 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
The Swace line-up consists of 2 trim levels, ranging from the SZ-T base model to the plusher SZ5 topping the range.
Every model of the Swace has rear parking sensors fitted as standard and a rear-view camera.
The Suzuki Swace offers a spacious interior and a large boot on a par with rivals, and features several well-designed storage compartments around the interior.
With hybrid estate cars being somewhat rare in the UK, the Swace is a unique proposition. It’s also a very competent family car and its low running costs add to its appeal.
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The Suzuki Swace majors in several areas, with a comprehensive list of standard equipment, great practicality and a stylish design. It’s only available as a 5-door estate, and has a smooth and efficient hybrid powertrain with low running costs. Aside from the Toyota Corolla on which it is based, the Swace is the only model in this class offered with this hybrid powertrain, combining a petrol engine, an electric motor and a small battery. It can run for short distances on electric power, returning excellent fuel economy of more than 60mpg.
The interior of the Suzuki Swace is almost identical looking to the Corolla Touring Sports, which isn’t a bad thing. The dashboard design is very modern – the 8-inch infotainment touchscreen is the centrepiece, but it’s somewhat fiddly to use with sluggish software. The digital dials add appeal as well, with sharp and clear read-outs.
As you’d expect for a car closely related to a Toyota, build quality is excellent with all of the switches, rotary dials and materials being top-notch.
As with all hybrids, the Swace majors in efficiency rather than outright driving fun. This is compounded by light steering and a soft suspension set-up which gives it accurate enough handling and a refined ride quality.
There’s only 1 powertrain available, which combines a 1.8-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to produce 122hp.
Around town, the extra power of the electric motor makes the Swace feel suitably brisk, with the transition from electric to petrol power being fairly smooth – only an audible engine hum makes its way into the cabin.
The standard body style for the Suzuki Swace is a 5-seat, 5-door estate. It’s only available with a petrol hybrid powertrain, a CVT automatic gearbox and front-wheel drive.
Trim Levels Available: SZ-T, SZ5
Every model of the Suzuki Swace gets a long list of equipment with 16-inch alloy wheels, silver roof rails, rear privacy glass, dual-zone air conditioning, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel and ambient interior lighting. Standard technology includes an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, DAB radio and Bluetooth. Radar cruise control and a rear-view camera are also fitted to all models.