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Toyota Agya vs Suzuki Swift: Pros & Cons of Both

Red Suzuki Swift parked on the side of the street

It is no secret that electric vehicles and hybrids are all the rage for drivers looking to save on the cost of travel while reducing nonrenewable energy consumption. However, the harsh reality remains that EVs are still priced out of range for most buyers. Therefore, as a means of balancing the lines between gas guzzlers and EVs, many drivers are looking into subcompacts such as the Toyota Agya and Suzuki Swift. But which one is better?

The Suzuki Swift is a slightly better option in the subcompact realm than the Toyota Agya. On top of being easier to find in the United States, it has a more reliable engine, a CVT transmission, and a bit more stowage in the boot than the Agya.

While all of these points have us leaning toward Swift, there are far more considerations that must be wrestled over prior to making a purchase decision for each specific buyer. Keep reading to find everything there is to know about the pros and cons of the Toyota Agya and Suzuki Swift.

Toyota Agya Vs Suzuki Swift: The Pros and Cons

As with any model of vehicle, both the Toyota Agya and Suzuki Swift have their share of pros and cons. Let’s dive into the specifics of what drivers are saying they love–and what could be improved–for each of these vehicles.

Pros of the Toyota Agya

Outside of the obvious benefits of driving a subcompact car like the Agya (affordable, easy to maneuver, great fuel economy), it offers some unique benefits over similar vehicles in its class:

  • Due to its ample height, you can easily fit four normal-sized adults into the Agya without feeling overly cramped
  • Numerous safety features, such as dual front airbags, ISOFIX child seat mounts, rear door child locks, and anti-skid braking with electronic force distribution
  • A stepped-up infotainment package, including Vodacom-linked MyEntertainment for video play and MyMuze music streaming as a baseline

All in all, despite its branding as an economy starter car, the Agya gives drivers plenty of ways to ride in comfort and style.

Cons of the Toyota Agya

Although the Agya offers a number of attractive benefits for efficiency-minded drivers, everything is not roses with this subcompact model:

  • Despite the small size of the 1.0L engine, some drivers note that the car is extremely noisy under the hood, to the point of being distracting
  • The upholstery on the seats is–ahem–budget-minded, with drivers noting holes in their seats after mild use
  • A non-adjustable steering wheel will create issues for larger drivers who already have difficulty navigating the vehicle’s diminutive dimensions
  • Although the Agya enjoys the benefits of being under the Toyota umbrella, it is really a Daihatsu car (a Toyota sub-brand) and does not have the same reliability for which authentic Toyotas are well known

While some of these issues may appear par for the course when it comes to the economy car game, they are worthwhile to keep in mind when looking at similar aspects of the Suzuki Swift.

Toyota Agya 2022 TRD S silver
2022 Toyota Agya TRD-S

Pros of the Suzuki Swift

Like the Agya, the Swift is another subcompact model that offers all of the obvious advantages over its larger peers. However, there are a few points that stand out:

  • Improved gearbox over previous versions, with the latest Swift offering a continuous variable transmission (CVT)
  • Ample amenities, with touchscreen infotainment, Bluetooth, LED position lamps, and electromagnetic tailgate opener
  • Innovative HEARTECT platform, which gives the vehicle a strong, durable frame that protects against damage while maintaining its lightweight integrity

All in all, for being small in stature, the Suzuki Swift is a tough little driver well-equipped to handle whatever the road may bring.

Cons of the Suzuki Swift

As could be expected, the Swift is not for everyone, with the following features most commonly sticking out as points of irritation for some drivers:

  • Drivers feel like the lack of automatic headlamps leaves the Swift feeling a bit outdated compared to competitors who have offered this convenience/safety feature for years
  • Although you may not have bought the Swift for carpooling purposes, the lack of year vents and power ports will be met with dismay by backseat passengers
  • There is no medial armrest for the driver–an annoying space-saving feature that reduces comfort when on the road

Even though the Swift is not perfect, these blemishes should be weighed against the vehicle’s advantages before deciding if this “supermini” is right for you.

Suzuki Swift 2018-2021 yellow at the Paris Motor Show
2021 Suzuki Swift

Toyota Agya Vs Suzuki Swift: Feature By Feature Comparison

Any comparison of the Agya vs the Swift would not be complete without a side-by-side breakdown of how they stack up along specific features. So without further ado, let’s see which vehicle has the edge along a number of important lines.

Exterior Design

Both of these vehicles have made updates to their exteriors that make them a bit snazzier in 2022.

The Agya features a sporty front bumper with projector headlamps and an expressive, three-dimensional grille. It has a sleek, aerodynamic hull that elicits a bullet-like feeling when driving down the road. In the rear, the car has a spoiler above the hatch with a high-mounted brake light, giving the vehicle another sporty element.

Although some drivers feel like this sporty design is at odds with how the vehicle actually performs, there is no denying that the Agya looks a little “sexy” in comparison to its subcompact competitors.

The Swift’s exterior has long been derided as a cheap imitation of the Mini Cooper. And while it is hard to divorce this image from the mind’s eye when looking at the vehicle, the most recent exterior has definitely made some improvements for the better.

The latest Swift is more cohesive and distinct from previous iterations, featuring a wide hexagonal grille, wraparound windshield, and LED headlamps. Along the hull, the Swift boasts curvy bulges and blacked-out pillars, paying homage to European design sensibilities while not abandoning its Japanese heritage. Like the Agya, the Swift features a spoiler at the top of the hatch door and also has a large bumper and LED taillights.

Winner: Toyota Agya for its sporty appearance, but too close to call overall

Engine

As could be expected, neither of these vehicles has “hogs” under the hood. But they get the job done for their intended purpose–efficiency.

The standard engine in the Agya is a 1.0L, three-cylinder variety. In some locations across the globe, you can upgrade to a 1.2L, four-cylinder variety. Either way, the Agya lags behind other subcompact cars in terms of oomph, but it does so while yielding an impressive 57.9 MPG.

As mentioned earlier, the Agya engine is very loud when put to the test on the open road, making this engine best for zipping around the city at modest speeds. While it can get up to 75 MPH without too much effort, drivers are left with a sense of instability when traveling at these speeds, and you should not attempt to pass in the Agya when carrying any kind of load or confronted with an uphill grade.

Despite downgrading from a 1.4L engine to a 1.2L in its most recent model, the Swift is said to drive with improved stability and agility than its higher-displacement predecessor. In addition, its advertised 113Nm of torque is nearly 30Nm more than that of the Agya, making it the more rugged of the two options–if rugged is a term you like to throw around when describing subcompacts. This does not hurt fuel efficiency much, as the Swift still gets well over 50 MPG.

Winner: Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift 2018 red car with the hood open and engine visible
Suzuki Swift – engine

Transmission

Many drivers are bemoaning the death of the manual transmission. However, these two cars seem to be keeping it alive and well.

The Agya’s base transmission is a 5-speed manual. However, in most parts of the world, it comes available with a 4-speed automatic, although some buyers note frustration in not being able to find automatic versions in their region.

The Swift also features a 5-speed manual in its base model but recently introduced an upgraded version with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This is essentially an upgraded automatic transmission that changes seamlessly through an endless range of gears to provide the ideal power ratio for the given driving conditions.

Winner: Suzuki Swift

Stowage

Let’s be honest–you’re not choosing a subcompact for its stowage capacity. But it would be nice to fit a little something under the hatch if the need should arise.

Assuming that the back seats are occupied by passengers, you would be very lucky to fit two small bags in the back of the Agya. You would not be able to fit any type of roller board, car seat, or other inflexible items, so your options for cargo are very limited.

The Swift offers a slightly superior alternative in this regard. The latest model can hold about 265L in the boot, provided you can maneuver it into the correct dimensions. Small purses and duffle bags work best, so passengers with roller boards will be carrying their luggage in their laps on the way to the airport.

Winner: Slight edge to Suzuki Swift

Trunk view of the storage space of a Suzuki Swift 2018
Trunk space of a Suzuki Swift

Passenger Space

Although you may assume that you will be cramped in any type of subcompact car, both of these vehicles are a bit surprising in this regard.

The Agya has a high seating position that sort of forces passengers into a posture that creates leg room. Drivers also report that there is ample space up front for drinks and purses. However, the fixed steering column can leave drivers feeling a bit constricted, and the rear seats will feel noticeably cramped for larger passengers.

Although the Swift looks tiny, it is surprisingly spacious inside. Riders report sufficient height and leg room to feel comfortable, and the adjustable steering column makes this ride more convenient for drivers, as well.

Winner: Suzuki Swift

Interior Features

With vehicles considered economy cars, both of these vehicles do have a number of welcome interior features.

In the front of the Agya, all heating and ventilation controls are electronic with digital displays–uncommon amenities in an economy car. It also has an impressive infotainment package for displaying video and streaming music.

On the downside, the instrument binnacle that features the speedometer, fuel, and tachometer feels very budget-line, while the upholstery borders on cheap.

While the Swift does have some premium infotainment features, its interior feels a bit more humble overall. Circular knob climate controls and analog displays are what you would expect from an economy car.

The lack of a medial armrest for the driver is a point of concern, and the interior is loaded with plastic, singing cheap overtones in Suzuki’s attempt to provide style. As one rider notes: “The interior of the Swift just feels stiff and artificial.”

Winner: Toyota Agya

Interior view of a Toyota Agya 2015
Interior of a Toyota Agya

Price

Here’s to the big advantage of going subcompact: the price! Both vehicles should fit into the budgets of a wide range of drivers.

Although it is rarely sold at dealerships in the United States, and you may have to have it imported, a new Agya can start as low as $7,400. This may be higher or lower depending on the exchange rate. It is a popular vehicle in South Africa, where it will run you around 192,000 Rand, so definitely look at that exchange rate when doing your research.

The newest Swift will start just north of $12,000. However, slightly used and older models check-in well under $10,000.

Winner: Suzuki Swift (although it is a little more expensive on paper, it is easier to find in the United States)

The Bottom Line: Toyota Agya or Suzuki Swift?

There you have it–a complete breakdown of the Toyota Agya vs Suzuki Swift. Although we give a slight nod to the Swift for its superior engine, CVT transmission, and slightly greater luggage capacity, there are plenty of reasons why the Agya may be a better choice for you. Either way, choosing one of these two subcompact cars is a great way to drive in style and reduce energy consumption if an EV is not in the cards for you!

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References:

Drogheda Car Sales

CFAO Motors Toyota

The Auto

Times Live

REVIEW | Why the Toyota Agya is not a recipe for complete disaster

BBC Top Gear

Suzuki Swift review

AutoTrader

Everything you need to know about the Toyota Agya

Motor Hills

Ernest Martynyuk

An automotive enthusiast who's been tinkering with vehicles since I was 15-years old. Repairing automotive electronics has been my main job for over a decade now and have a passion for everything technical regarding cars.

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