What is it? New frugal Dualjet petrol engine option for the Suzuki Swift supermini.
Key features: Economy and emissions improvements, zero road tax.
Our view: Same performance but better fuel economy and lower emissions.
The latest Suzuki Swift has been on sale for four years now and was updated in 2013.
Where the Swift has lost out to more recent supermini rivals, however, is in its engine, in that it hasn’t been able to offer a petrol unit below the tax-removing 100g/km CO2 emissions barrier. That changes in January 2015 with the arrival of the Dualjet.
The Dualjet is a significantly modified version of the 1.2 petrol engine. As its name suggests, it uses twin fuel injectors per cylinder, which allows them to be placed closer to the inlet manifolds, which Suzuki says produces a finer air/fuel mixture which therefore more efficiently transfers into the cylinder.
There are other engine modifications to suit the new format (along with auto stop-start), and while power drops by four horses to 89bhp, torque increases slightly, from 118 to 120lbft. Together with longer ratios in the gearbox, the result is signficantly improved economy and emissions. The former jumps from an official combined cycle figure of 56.5 to 65.7mpg, and the latter is cut from 116 to 99g/km.
All this comes at the expense, performance-wise, of nothing at all. Top speed is cut by half a mile per hour, but at 102.5mph it’s irrelevant anyway. The 0-62mph time of 12.3sec is identical.
On the road, the major improvements come around town, the Swift’s natural environment, where the car feels distinctly more nippy and eager when compared to the outgoing version. In start-stop traffic in particular it’s an agreeable companion.
Once out on the open road, the Swift Dualjet bowls along with confidence and refinement, and its audio signature only becomes noticeable at high motorway speeds.
As for the rest of the car, nothing has changed since we last checked out the Swift. The cabin is still well laid out and fitted together. Space is adequate, though better in front than back, while the on-the-road performance is equally adequate, the ride comfort a plus, the lack of life in the steering less so.
Suzuki says that the new Dualjet engine will, initially at least, be offered on SZ4 two-wheel drive five-door models and will cost an additional £500. This makes it £15,139, which is pricey for a supermini, though the SZ4 trim has recently had DAB radio and satellite navigation added to a specification that already included automatic air conditioning, electric rear windows, rear privacy glass, push button keyless start, automatic headlamps, cruise control and mirrors with integrated turn indicators.
Whether Suzuki plans to extend the Dualjet to SZ3 models remains to be seen – the resultant price of under £13,500 would boost the Swift from a supermini worth considering to a definite contender.
Suzuki Swift Dualjet – key specifications
Model tested: Suzuki Swift 1.2 Dualjet SZ4 5dr
On Sale: January 2015
Range price: £15,139
Insurance group: TBC
Engine: 1.2 petrol
Power (bhp): 89
Torque (lb/ft): 89
0-62mph (sec): 12.3
Top speed (mph): 102
Fuel economy (combined, mpg): 65.7
CO2 emissions (g/km): 99
Key rivals: Ford Fiesta, VW Polo
Test Date: October 2014