Let’s hear it for an ace of space. The Suzuki Swace is a winning example of that versatile, load-swallowing motoring genre, the estate car.

It was introduced as the second vehicle to be launched from the Suzuki/ Toyota collaborative business agreement. Based on the Toyota Corolla Hybrid Estate, the car has Suzuki signature front design elements and is manufactured in the UK with exports to Europe.

A 2023 update has a new model grade structure – Motion and Ultra – which includes significant changes to the engine and hybrid system, with enhanced performance and minimal change to fuel consumption or CO2 emissions. There are also enhanced safety and equipment specifications and upgraded digital and multimedia features.

I ran the rule over this latest version of the Ultra grade car on a week-long road test.

Style file
Handsome and versatile, the car has an athletic look with some styling elements inherited from Suzuki’s signature design. The latest car features refreshed exterior styling and lighting finishes.

Inside story
The interior combines style, comfort and practicality, with a spacious, premium feel to the cabin.

Convenient storage spaces can be found throughout, offering ample room for storing small items such as phones and drinks. And there is generous luggage capacity, from 596 litres with the 60/40-split rear seat back in place to 1,232 litres with it folded down, offering a fully flat space.

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You will find a host of lovely, useful kit in the Swace, with an even higher standard specification in the latest model.

Features include dual-zone automatic air conditioning, heated driver’s and front passenger seats with power-adjustable lumbar support, heated steering wheel, guide-me-home lights, power-folding heated door mirrors, rear parking camera, front and rear distance sensors, parking assist, auto-dimming rear view mirror, connectivity suite, LED front map light, and a centre console tray with wireless charger.

Hi-tech safety features include dynamic radar cruise control, hill-hold control, lane departure function alert, steering assist function, blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. Also, available as standard on the Ultra grade, safe exit assist uses the same technology as blind spot monitor and triggers a warning if a door is about to be opened into the path of an oncoming vehicle or cyclist approaching from the rear when the car is stationary.

And there is pre-collision system. Updated for the 2023 model with wider range
and additional motorcycle detection, it helps prevent collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists by monitoring the road ahead with radar and a camera to apply braking assist and automatic braking if needed.

This being an estate car, practicality is to the fore. For added versatility, the rear carpeted floorboard of the luggage compartment can be placed in a lower position to store taller objects and is also reversible with a resin reverse side that can be used for stowing wet or dirty items. The luggage area is also equipped with auto-illuminating lights and a 12-volt accessory socket.

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On the road
The driving experience is one of smooth ease-of-use, the car starting at the push of a button in whisper-quiet electric mode, before the petrol engine chimes in as the Swace picks up speed. 

The hybrid system combines a powerful electric motor with a 1.8 litre petrol engine exclusively designed for hybrid system use, and a smooth CVT automatic transmission, delivering a seamless driving feeling with powerful acceleration as well as excellent fuel economy and low emissions.

The hybrid system, which charges on the go, optimally drives the car with the electric motor, petrol engine, or both, depending on driving conditions.

You can also select an EV (electric vehicle) drive mode function, the car being powered solely by its electric motor for driving short distances. And there are three easily-selectable driving modes (apart from EV): Normal, Eco and Sport.
Performance figures are 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds and a top speed of 112mph.
Tech time

The latest iteration of the car sees a 15 per cent increase in combined maximum power output from 122hp to 140hp. The engine has a power output of 97hp at 5,200rpm, with the electric motor output now increased from 53kW to 70Kw. WLTP combined fuel consumption is 62.7 mpg and WLTP CO2 emissions 102g/km

Here’s a hybrid-powered, mid-sized estate that offers excellent efficiency, space, comfort and versatility combined with dynamic styling and driving pleasure.

Price: £31,399 OTR (plus metallic paint).