No changes are in store this year for the tiny two-door Swift hatchback the shortest car available in the United States. The Swift is similar to the Chevrolet Metro, and both are built at a Canadian plant jointly owned by Suzuki and General Motors. GM owns a stake in Suzuki, and the two companies also share the Suzuki Vitara/Chevy Tracker sport utility vehicles.
The Swift comes only as a two-door hatchback, while the Metro now comes only as a four-door sedan. This year, the Metro is available only for fleet sales. Both models may be discontinued at the end of the 2001 model year.
At 149 inches from bumper to bumper, the Swift hatchback is about 11 inches shorter than the Daewoo Lanos hatchback and 17 inches shorter than the Hyundai Accent.
Though Suzuki says the Swift holds four, the rear seat is tight for anyone over about 5 feet 8 inches tall, and there is little room for climbing in and out of the backseat. Suzuki lists cargo volume at a modest 8.4 cubic feet, but the rear seatback folds for additional room.
The Swift comes in GA and GS price levels, and air conditioning comes only on the more expensive GS.
Under the Hood
The 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine produces 79 horsepower and yields an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 36 mpg city and 42 mpg highway with the standard five-speed manual transmission. EPA ratings fall to 30 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with the optional three-speed automatic, but the Swift is among the highest rated gasoline-powered cars on the market.