The most popular small car in the UK is the Ford Fiesta. In fact, it has been the best-selling model of all cars in the UK for several years.
With the might of a company like Ford behind it and, as a very good product, it isn’t difficult to see why the Fiesta is such a common sight.
Minor players, such as Suzuki, face a challenge to gain visibility among the huge numbers of Fiestas, Vauxhall Corsas and Peugeot 208s.
But the Swift certainly punches above its weight, and I’ve been aware of the volume of them on UK roads since driving this one for the past six months.
It wouldn’t be my first choice of car. As a 30,000-mile-a-year driver, with many of those spent on the motorway, the Swift didn’t feel quite at home.
Within 10 weeks of using the car, the first service (at 9,320 miles – equivalent to 15,000km) was due.
But in an urban environment, where its light steering, easy gearshift and compact dimensions come into their own, the Swift is a great choice. It would be an ideal pool car or a daily use company car for short trips.
And for our SZ4, with standard digital radio, navigation, four electric windows, climate control and smart 16-inch alloy wheels, the asking price of £12,699 is pretty compelling. The running cost over four years/80,000 miles remains a modest 25.81ppm.
If I had to change anything about the car, it would be to make the interior a little more in-line with mainstream cars: more soft-touch materials, and perhaps softer seat fabric just to make it a more pleasant environment in which to spend time.
It is possible that the slightly larger Baleno, due to be launched in 2016, will perform that task.
For the moment, the Swift’s role as a cheap and cheerful runabout remains secure.