Expert Rating

Suzuki Swace

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Not heard of the Suzuki Swace? Well you probably have – sort of – as this family estate is basically a Toyota Corolla estate with the badges making way for Suzuki ones.

It’s all part of a major collaboration between the two Japanese brands – using Toyota’s established hybrid technology is an economical way for Suzuki to meet increasingly stringent European emissions regulations, and the Swace is just one of several planned joint efforts.

What you get is a practical, spacious hatchback with a 120hp petrol-electric drivetrain, which means good official CO2 emissions of 103g/km and 60+mg fuel economy – good news for tax-challenged company car drivers.

However, reviewers note that the car returns its best figures on urban routes with lots of speed changes – at motorway speeds the engine struggles and economy suffers. Also, those choosing Suzuki over Toyota don’t get the 180hp hybrid option that Corolla buyers do.

Paradoxically, motorway driving is best for comfort – the Swace offers refined progress with excellent ride quality. More challenging roads expose the insipid steering and the strangled performance of the engine. 

Reviewers also highlight the decent specification of the Suzuki. There are only two trim levels to choose from but even the base model includes an eight-inch touchscreen, rear parking camera, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel.   

As of August 2021, the Suzuki Swace currently has an Expert Rating of 62% from 12 reviews. This is a new model, so more reviews are likely and these could change the rating. Interestingly, that score is a few points behind the Corolla on which the Swace is based, which currently has an Expert Rating of 65% from 41 reviews. Some of the difference is due to the lack of alternative engine or body style options for the Swace, which means that the Corolla will appeal to a wider range of buyers.

Swace highlights

  • Good fuel economy and low CO2 figures
  • Extensive equipment as standard
  • Plenty of space
  • Comfortable and refined, especially in electric mode
  • Proven Toyota reliability

Swace lowlights

  • Insipid petrol engine performance
  • Poor motorway economy
  • Lacklustre steering
  • Transmission whines under hard acceleration
  • Toyota’s own version offers much more choice

Key specifications

Body style: Mid-sized estate
Powertrain: petrol/electric hybrid
Price: From £24,499 on-road

Launched: Winter 2020/21
Last updated: N/A
Update due: TBA

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Safety rating

No safety rating
In theory, the Suzuki Swace should carry a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP as it’s simply a rebadged Toyota Corolla, which scored a five-star rating back in 2019. However, Euro NCAP’s rating does not currently apply to the Swace.

This may be an administrative delay, or it may be that Suzuki has not provided evidence to Euro NCAP to show that the changes made from the original Corolla design would make no difference to its rating. If Euro NCAP issues a safety rating for the Swace, we will publish the results here.

Eco rating

No eco rating

The Suzuki Swace has not yet been lab tested by Green NCAP, and neither has the Toyota Corolla upon which it’s based.

This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and inevitably the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic before resuming later in the year.

Similar cars

If you’re looking at the Suzuki Swace, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Fiat Tipo SWFord Focus Estate | Hyundai i30 Tourer | Kia Ceed SportswagonPeugeot 308 SW | Renault Megane Sport TourerSEAT Leon Estate | Skoda Octavia Estate | Toyota Corolla Touring Sports | Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer | Volkswagen Golf Estate

The Swace faces many big-name rivals, not least its inspiration, the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. The Ford Focus Estate is perhaps the top choice, but Kia’s Ceed Sportswagon and the Hyundai i30 Tourer score highly, as does the larger Skoda Octavia Estate.

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Best car rankings

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites