Not too long ago, there were a variety of brand-new compact hot/warm hatches being offered such as the Ford Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 GTi, or the car in question here - Suzuki Swift Sport. Now though, they are all but extinct.
However, one can still browse the used car market for one and if you’re keen on a third generation Suzuki Swift Sport (ZC32S), here’s what you need to know.
History of the Suzuki Swift Sport (ZC32S) in Malaysia
The third generation Suzuki Swift Sport, codenamed ZC32S, was launched in Malaysia back in 2013. There were 2 variants available, both identical in features and specifications, the only difference is the transmission – 6-speed manual and CVT automatic.
It came fully imported from Japan, priced at RM 97,888 for the manual and RM 102,888 for the automatic variant. Both feature the same naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engine (M16A) that makes 136 PS and 160 Nm of torque. 0-100 km/h is claimed to be achieved in 8.7 seconds for both variants.
Standard equipment includes Bi-xenon headlamps with washers, 16-inch wheels wrapped in 195/50 profile rubbers, sports seats, stainless steel pedals, keyless entry, push start button, and automatic air-conditioning. As for safety, it gets 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, and stability control.
Early models (from 2013 to 2014) did not feature cruise control. It was then updated with cruise control in later models.
How does it drive?
Like a puppy who just saw its owner returning home. The energetic 1.6-litre engine happily revs to its redline and it pulls strongly all the way to the top. Weighing at just over a tonne, it’s as agile as a housefly you’re trying to swat. It just darts immediately to the direction you’re pointing at.
One surprising aspect is how composed it is on the highway. Put it into 6th gear and the Swift Sport cruises along in a relatively calm manner.
Are there any flaws?
Of course, no car is perfect. The boot space is comically small, rated at 210 litres. Interior space isn’t the largest, even a Perodua Axia feels more spacious in the rear. Never mind Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, there’s not even Bluetooth in the stock infotainment system. And that’s about it.
Is the Suzuki Swift Sport problematic?
In short, no. Speaking to owners of the Suzuki Swift Sport, most of them have a fairly problem-free ownership experience. Yours truly has one and it hasn’t skipped a beat so far. Touch wood.
That being said, there are a few owners who reported air-conditioner compressor failure. A brand-new compressor will set you back north of RM 3,000, should you go for authorized channels. Sen Hui Auto Parts, a well-known Suzuki parts stockist, lists the price of the compressor at RM 3,475.
Alternatively, you may source a used compressor, which should cost in the region of RM 300 to RM 500. These may be sourced from shops such as Sai Heng Autopart, where you can find a host of used Suzuki Swift parts.
Back in 2016, there was a recall for the Suzuki Swift’s brake pump. All Suzuki Swift models, including the 1.4 and 1.6 Sport, were affected. My car underwent the recall job during the tenure of the previous owner. If you are looking to buy one, do look out for this brake pump recall.
Another thing to keep in mind is that spare parts might be tough to come by, considering that Suzuki Malaysia has shuttered in Malaysia. It is possible to find genuine parts in selected shops, such as Sen Hui Autopart or Vanli Auto Spares, but your results in terms of prices and availability may vary.
Most authorized Suzuki service centres have been converted to Proton, which still supports after sales for Suzuki cars. Interestingly, there is one Suzuki service centre operating at Batu Caves – JL99 SM Services – that still rocks the Suzuki sign.
What to check or look out for?
As with any other used car, check and see when was the last time the car you’re looking at was serviced. Not just engine oil, but also every other necessary fluid, including transmission fluid, radiator coolant, and brake fluid.
At the same time, it is a good idea to check and see if the car you're looking at has been in a flood or an accident.
Which variant to get?
“It’s the manual. Do you really want a CVT in a sporty hatchback?” That would be my personal response to the question for reasons echoed by my colleague, Jason, here.
Setting my preferences aside, an automatic Swift Sport would make sense for those considering other hatchbacks, such as the Honda Jazz or Ford Fiesta, to use for their daily runabouts but want a little more zest.
So the question is, do you really want a CVT in a sporty hatchback?
What about prices?
While I would personally recommend the manual variant, it’s a rare sight in the used car market. Automatic variants are more common and priced just a tad lower.
At the moment, an automatic Swift Sport - manufactured in 2014 - are listed at around RM 50k to RM 60k. Manual ones are usually listed close to RM 60k, give or take.
Keep in mind that prices you see on Mudah or Carlist are not the final prices. Most used car dealers do not include processing fees on their ads, which usually amounts to several thousand Ringgit.
If possible, we recommend potential buyers to purchase directly from owners, as this is a good method to avoid hidden charges and tampered meters. A full service record is an added bonus.
For its current price, it’s nigh on impossible to find another car that offers the combination of old school fun with modern touches - lightweight, naturally aspirated engine, with keyless entry/push start button, 6 airbags, and stability control.
The Suzuki Swift Sport blends reliability and fun in one relatively affordable package. It satisfies both the accountant and enthusiast in a person. Well, to me at least.