This is the brand new 2023 Suzuki Swace. You’re looking at the pictures on this page and thinking one or both of two things: a) that it looks exactly like the previous Suzuki Swace and/or b) it looks a lot like a Toyota Corolla Estate.
Frankly you’re right on both counts. The Suzuki Swace is indeed just a rebadged Toyota Corolla Estate which the brand first introduced to the UK market in 2021. I say, introduced to the UK, however, Toyota actually makes the Corolla Estate here, and as such the Suzuki is also made here, and in fact, is exported from here to European markets.
Indeed, Suzuki expects only to sell around 2000 or so of these actually in the UK, which sounds a fair number, until you realise that it’s biggest seller, the Vitara, finds over 11,000 homes on our shores annually.
The way to spot it apart from the Corolla is the restyled lower front bumper, and of course the badges. Plus, it’s cheaper to the tune of about £700 for a like-for-like model. Although the Swace comes as a 1.8-litre hybrid, while the Toyota is also offered with a 2.0-litre version. Additionally, a current special offer means that Suzuki will contribute £2000 to your finance deposit usually of about £4k.
As for the prices, we’re talking £28,999 for the Motion trim level, rising to £30,799 for the higher spec of the two available the Ultra.
But why the new ‘2023’ model? This surely, is no different from the 21 or 22 versions right? Visually, you’re correct. Apart from a chrome slash across the taillights, you can’t really tell them apart.
This core Suzuki model actually has a number of updates, key among which is 15% more power, due to an uprated higher capacity electric motor. This sees power output jump from 53kW to 70kW or 122bhp to 140bhp in a currency we all better understand. Torque is up too, from 163Nm to 185Nm.
This in turn improves performance with the acceleration figure dropping considerably from 0-62mph in 11.1 seconds to 9.4 seconds – that’s the best part of nearly two seconds quicker!
However top speed remains the same at 112mph, as do CO2 emissions at 102g/km, which incidentally are among the best-in-class even beating its Corolla sibling by 1g/km somehow!
Equipment levels have improved too. The Motion now includes Emergency braking, LED rear lamps, seven airbags, dual zone a/c, 8-inch infotainment screen, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, rear parking camera, new digital instrument cluster, and radar cruise control.
Ultra adds updated Bi-LED projector headlights, safe exit assist, smart door locking, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, centre console tray, wireless charger.
It’s an estate car, so luggage capacity is not only important, it’s generous at 569-litres, which more than doubles to 1232-litres. It’s flexible too, with a vast underfloor space and a compartment behind the seats that is probably to put the rear tonneau cover in, but feels like it would be a handy place to hide things.
The rear passenger compartment is a pleasant enough place to be, though not much better than the hatchback version for space, so taller passengers might want to try it out first, especially if the person in front, is also of a lofty inclination.
No such concerns up front, where it’s comfortable, roomy and highly intuitive, which is about what you’d expect from world’s best-selling nameplate – that’s the Corolla rather than Swace, but you see what I’m getting at.
With the media drive for the 2023 Swace being located in the Peak district, a nice stretch of winding road in the stunning hills presented an opportunity to flick the mode button up into ‘Sport’, which appeared only to improve responsiveness, but to such an extent, it became the default choice thereafter.
Some roads are so good it doesn’t matter what car you’re in, you’ll enjoy them. But sometimes, those roads bring out the unexpected best in cars, and the Swace is not just surefooted, but eager, flowing, steadily composed and quicker than 99% of you would imagine, if you ever imagined attaching a fun road in a contemporary compact Japanese estate car.
That’s not to misdirect you into thinking this Suzuki is street racer, but to say that it’ll be a satisfying companion when things get active, while remaining true to its core function of being practical, usable, dependable and durable.
The Swace, is not quite as frisky fun as say the Swift in the Suzuki range, but overall, it’s a worthy contender for anyone’s shortlist of sensible steers.