WHAT'S in a name? Not a great deal when you come to weighing up the somewhat strangely christened Suzuki Swace.
For a start, it looks remarkably like the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. That's probably because, aside from a mild facelift, it's the same car - a result of the recent tie-up between the two big Japanese marques.
The deal is Suzuki's entry into the medium estate car market with a modern tech-savvy hybrid that also allows the firm to reduce its overall emissions and help it avoid future punishing tax penalties.
For the buyer, it adds an additional choice and represents decent value if you're on the look out for a well-specced, spacious load carrier. Though a tad dearer than the comparative Touring Sports, there's more kit included.
Bad news is that the warranty is less generous. Oh yes, the Suzuki is built alongside the Corolla at Toyota's UK factory in Derbyshire.
Only one engine option is offered in the Swace - a 1.8-litre, 120bhp hybrid. So not the most energetic form of propulsion, allowing it to reach 62mph in 11 seconds. Toyota offers a more powerful option but that's slightly less frugal.
No criticism of the Swace's economy with an official figure of 64.1mpg and a more realistic everyday result of around the 50mpg mark.
An automatic CVT gearbox takes care of gear changing. It's smooth enough though the rising revs becomes a bit wearing if you are on and off the accelerator. It's not available with steering wheel paddles which is a shame as it would allow the sort ‘steps' afforded by conventional gears.
Suspension is well judged allowing most road irregularities to be smoothed out without much body roll - good news for passengers. It handles in assured and confident style with ample adhesion and impressive vertical damping.
Despite the rakish lines and sloping tailgate, which give the Swace a distinctly sporty profile, there are bags of room in the cabin for both people and luggage. Abundant legroom in the front and reasonable space in the back.
Passengers are seated fairly low, and the roofline is relatively low, both of which probably add to the sporty look.
The rear boot can swallow up around 600litres of cargo before the rear seats are folded - more than many competitors. There's even a hidden storage section below the boot floor.
The cabin is plain but well fitted and used high grade plastic mouldings. Dials are easy to read and the switchgear is solid and gimmick-free.
We drove the top SZ5 version which comes with reversing camera, heated front seats and steering wheel, and infotainment touchscreen. Seats are fabric covered but extremely comfortable with ample manual adjustment.