The Swift is a popular subcompact that is being produced by Suzuki since year 2000. However, previously the ‘Swift’ name has also been used to sell Suzuki Cultus in various markets across the globe including Pakistan. The Cultus name was primarily used for the JDM (Japanese Doemstic Market) versions.
The Swift (rebadged Cultus) first appeared in Pakistan in early 1980s. At that time General Motors (GM) announced cooperation with Suzuki Motor Company in the production and marketing of new mini-cars as GM purchased a 5.3% stake in Suzuki. Thus the first generation Cultus (Swift) came into being.
The first generation was locally rebadged as Khyber and was sold between 1991-2000 while the second generation was sold as Cultus in our country by Pak Suzuki from 2000 till 2017 and was eventually replaced by the Celerio hatchback. Interestingly the sedan version of the 2nd generation was sold as Margalla between 1991 and 1998.
Both these generations were built on GM platforms and were sold with tons of different names in different regions by automakers that either come under the GM umbrella or were associated in some way with General Motors. These generation were sold as Suzuki Swift/ Cultus/ Forsa, Holden Barina, Chevrolet Sprint, Pontiac Firefly, Geo Metro, Subaru Justy, Changan Lingyang and Maruti Esteem.
First Generation Swift (2000-2004)
Introduced in year 2000 as a replacement of the Cultus, the first generation Swift was available in both 3 and 5 door configurations and was powered by 1.3 & 1.5 liter M series engines. This generation was also sold as Chevrolet Cruze/ Holden Cruze crossover and Subaru Justy in some markets with 4-wheel drive as well as diesel engine options.
Second Generation Swift (2004-2010)
The 2nd generation swift debuted at the Paris Motor Show in September 2004. This Swift’s design and driving characteristics focused on the European market with its chassis refined through a road-testing program across Europe.
This Swift become a runaway success for Suzuki and received tremendous success in key markets across the globe, while bagging several automotive awards. The 2nd gen Swift was available with 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6 liter M series engines, mated to 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmission while in some markets a diesel version was also on offer.
Third Generation Swift (2010-2017)
Launched in 2010, the third generation Swift received several enhancements at both the exterior and the interior, with a new type of steel making the new bodyshell lighter and stiffer. Furthermore, the engine range was revised as well, so all units were capable of providing increased mileage, while reducing emissions.
The 3rd gen Swift has an extended wheelbase of 50 millimeters over the previous 2nd generation that we have here and has several visual updates. The design is an evolution of the radical 2nd generation styling with a longer and more rounded appearance.
The old M series engines were replaced with the robust K series engines. It came equipped with a choice of 1.2 and 1.4 liter K series petrol engines and a 1.3 liter Multijet diesel engine. In few markets however, the M16A engine option was retained.
Fourth Generation Swift (2017-present)
The fourth generation Swift was officially unveiled in Japan on 27th December 2016 and went on sale in early 2017. The Suzuki Swift has undergone an evolutionary redesign for its fourth generation to get a mature look with more angular front and rear fascias, and a completely redesigned interior.
The 4th gen also comes equipped with K series petrol engines with 1.0 and 1.2 liter displacements, 1.3 liter diesel whereas a mild hybrid version is also available with this generation. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation Swift also comes with a performance oriented version called as the Swift Sport.
The Pak Suzuki Swift is two generation behind compared to its international siblings, and is in its 8th year of production in our country. Although the company has launched a couple of new cars in recent times, the Vitara compact SUV, the Ciaz sedan and the Celerio (Cultus) hatchback, the 2nd generation Swift continues to be sold despite hopeless sales figures. Do you think Pak Suzuki should replace the aging Swift with a newer generation model? Let us know with the comments.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com