The Suzuki Swift and Skoda Fabia are two popular compact cars that are often compared against each other. Both cars offer practicality, fuel efficiency and affordability - making them attractive options for those in the market for a small car. There are however some key differences between the two that anyone considering a purchase should know before making their decision.
In this useful comparison guide, we take the Suzuki Swift and Skoda Fabia head to head, to help you choose the car that’s best suited for your needs.
We’ve compared the Suzuki Swift and the Skoda Fabia across 8 key areas: running costs, drive experience, design, safety, technology, and upfront cost. To ensure we're looking at as close of a comparison as possible, we've taken the entry level models in each of the ranges (Swift SZ-L and the Fabia SE Comfort). So let's take a look at how the two small cars compare.
There’s good reason why many people chose to drive a Swift as their company car - their employers are attracted to the Suzuki’s low running costs and excellent fuel efficiency. The Suzuki Swift may only have one engine in it's line up (although you do have a choice of manual & automatic options along with a 4x4 ALLGRIP model) but with Suzuki's mild hybrid technology you can expect to achieve a combined fuel economy of 59.7mpg (WLTP) without compromising on performance. You'll also have low CO2 emissions of just 106g/km.
Whilst the Skoda Fabia does have varying engine choices, the Swift has the advantage when it comes to running costs with the Fabia coming in with the best combined fuel economy of 55.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 116g/km.
When it comes to the drive experience, the Suzuki Swift offers agile handling and responsive steering - making it a fun car to drive and one which takes tight streets effortlessly. The compact design also makes parking that little bit easier. The Skoda Fabia on the other hand offers a more comfortable and relaxing ride, making it ideal for longer journeys, but some could say this makes it a little less fun to drive.
When it comes to comparing the two cars, it really comes down to what you’ll be using it for and your own driving preference.
Design is really down to personal preference, however when it comes to the looking at the interior, both of the Swift and Fabia entry level models are pretty similar with fabric upholstery and leather steering wheel. Whilst there are extra touches across both models as you move up to the higher end of the ranges, the Fabia does have a slight advantage over the Swift however this as always comes at a cost.
When it comes to the car exterior, the Suzuki Swift offers a sporty and stylish look, with a sleek and aerodynamic body. The Skoda Fabia on the other hand has a more practical and understated look, with a boxy yet functional design.
Again it’s all about preference, but for us it's the Swift’s more stylish and sleek design which swung it for us.
Let’s talk about safety. Both cars offer a great selection of safety features to protect both the driver and passengers including ISOFIX anchorages for the smallest members of the family.
The entry level Swift SZ-L comes with everything you'd expect of a modern car together with advanced Radar Brake Support to provide warnings to the driver of a potential collision up ahead. As you move up the Swift range you'll benefit from advanced technology to alert and prevent lane departure and weaving.
It is however the Fabia which has a slight edge here with their Front Assist, Pedestriction Protection & Lane Assist technology coming as standard across the range.
The Skoda Fabia comes with a plethora of features such as dual zone air conditioning and a humidity sensor which reduces windscreen fogging. You also have the option to upgrade to additional technology such as three point automatic seat belts and safety head restraints, Virtual Cockpit technology and ambient lighting.
Suzuki, whilst not being renowned for being leaders in the technology stakes, have come along way in recent years and now priding themselves on offering "all the tech you need as standard". This means owners have the benefit of automated emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention, traffic sign recognition and rear parking sensors across the Swift range without having to pay for added extras.
Both cars come with an infotainment system with touchscreen display, stability control and traction control as standard.
The Suzuki Swift and Skoda Fabia are both in the small car sector and very similar in size. Both offer a great choice when it comes to looking for a practical yet compact drive. The Fabia is that little bit longer which in turn provides slightly more interior and boot space which will make it a more practical choice for those who have families.
With the current cost of living climate, price is more important than ever before and could be the deciding factor on purchasing a car, along with ongoing running costs of course. So how do the two models compare?
The Skoda Fabia is generally more expensive than the Suzuki Swift, starting at £17,990 for the most basic model, compared to the Swift's more affordable SZ-L model which comes in at nearly £2,000 less with a £15,999 price tag. The same can be seen as you move up the ranges, not forgetting of course that the Suzuki models require very few, if at all any add ons.
You could argue that you get more bang for your buck with the Fabia, with a more premium feel to it's interior, but ultimately the Suzuki Swift is your most affordable option - both in terms of upfront costs and when it comes to the ongoing cost to run.
In conclusion, the Suzuki Swift and Skoda Fabia are both excellent small cars that offer both practicality and affordability.
The Suzuki Swift is a great option for those looking for a great value, fuel-efficient, sporty and stylish compact car with a fun-to-drive nature. The Skoda Fabia offer an alternative option for those who are potentially looking for a more spacious, comfortable and practical car and who have a slightly higher budget available.
It does all come down to personal preference and priorities, but for us it’s the Suzuki Swift that we’d be driving away in.
Want to experience the Suzuki Swift for yourself & make up your own mind?
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NB specification & pricing correct at time of publishing & subject to change