100 in 13.8 seconds sounds scary, but you probably won’t care in the snow. The important thing is that this car works and is definitely not boring.

Czechs love all-wheel drive cars. So most of them don’t really need it, but that feeling of “just in case” must have already made Czech dealers a fortune. ATVs are simply expensive and are more likely to fit into larger cars. But what if you really need all-wheel drive, but also want a small car? And which four-wheeler is the cheapest in the Czech Republic? It’s not Dacia or Hyundai. It’s a Japanese Suzuki.

Small Suzuki models (Swift and Ignis) still use all-wheel drive via a viscous clutch. As the name suggests, the principle of operation is simple – the system uses the viscosity of the oil in the body into which two shafts lead. If the front wheels slip, i.e. on the input shaft, it will start spinning faster, heat will be generated and the viscosity of the oil will change. The clutch engages, the shafts are connected, and the rear wheels are already helping.

TEST Suzuki Swace 1.8 Hybrid Premium (103 kW): It finally drives a little.  And it has digi too!

But it’s not a tight grip of both axles, it’s like holding someone’s hand tightly from Vaseline, it’s so changeable and sliding. At the same time, the connection of both axles does not occur immediately, which already clearly indicates the principle of operation – the drive must be warmed up. This all-wheel drive is generally very simple, cheap and virtually maintenance-free. That is why it is currently more common in cheap Suzuki or Fiat cars, although the Fiat Panda 4×4 has already disappeared from the Czech market.

But I will tell you that I spent one snowy week with a Suzuki Swift 4×4, called AllGrip, and everyone else on the road just held me back. And it has an output of 61 kW (83 hp) from the 1.2 Dualjet Hybrid engine. The car costs CZK 437,900 with a manual transmission in Premium equipment, or CZK 474,900 with Elegance equipment. It already has the performance mentioned above, and the four-wheel drive does not significantly limit it in terms of dynamics or consumption, it weighs 110 kg more than the front wheel. But that’s still only 1050 kg.

The Swift has a boot volume of 265 litres, or 579 liters when the rear bench is folded down. Today, these are already average values. There is a McPherson axle at the front, a torsion axle at the back. You always have 16-inch wheels on a quad bike, because they are associated with the mentioned Premium and Elegance equipment. Although the equipment is decent, it must be taken into account that the basic price of the front wheel is 369,900 CZK, so it is not a luxury item.

Suzuki Swift 1.2 Dualjet Hybrid Allgrip TEST: We have to respect such cars!

Premium equipment may not have automatic air conditioning, only manual. Plastics are mostly hard and forget about any high-tech gadgets. On the other hand, you still have infotainment with Bluetooth and a parking camera, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, tinted side windows or a traffic sign indicator.

However, if you don’t want a full-powered hatchback, there is also a small SUV Ignis, which with the same technology costs 462,900 CZK. The equipment is plus minus the same. We are currently waiting for the arrival of the new generation Suzuki Swift, which will bring something new. But it should still remain one of the cheapest cars on our market.


Suzuki is a Japanese manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. Michio Suzuki founded a weaving machine manufacturing company in 1909, the first car prototype was created in 1937.

Suzuki also has its factories in India, Pakistan or Hungary, and cooperates with a number of car companies.

Suzuki Ignis • Suzuki Swift • Suzuki Vitara • Suzuki S-Cross