Suzuki Swift Sport vs. Mini Cooper
You don’t need prodigious power or mega money to have serious fun…
Posted: 09 Mar 2012
It's not, by today's measures, a hot hatch. The maths is rather neat: if the centre of gravity of the modern hot-hatch posse is £20k and 200bhp, then the Swift offers an almost exact one-third discount on each measure. It's £13,500 and 136bhp. But, boy, it makes great use of every quid and every horse.
So we lined it up against another little three-door with a non-turbo 1.6 that over-delivers on fun per horsepower, the Mini Cooper. But a Mini is a rounded talent, because its BMW roots serve up refinement and quality feel that'd be pretty alien to your old-skool Eighties hot-hatch pilot, and which prove beyond doubt that ‘premium' isn't just a fancy badge and a greedy price. Premium, in the Mini's case, is in-depth engineering that justifies a higher price for less power: £14,840 for just 122bhp.