Earlier this year the latest Suzuki S-Cross went on sale with the brands punchy 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine combined with a 10kW synchronous motor allowing up to 20% lower CO2 emissions than before and a 20% improvement in overall fuel consumption.
It comes to market in a year of great celebration for the Japanese maker as they celebrate their 50th anniversary of the Suzuki 4×4. Old-school technology from the likes of the Jimny, as well as a Vitara, has a proven record and evolved into what is now known as ‘ALLGRIP’ models, rather than 4×4.
Today, Suzuki are the only brand able to boast 4×4 availability on each model within its range which includes Ignis, Swift, Jimny, Vitara and this, the S-Cross. Badged also as an SX4, the S-Cross is comfortable, generously equipped, and affordable with prices starting from £20,999.
It’s within your means pricing over some rivals is reflected inside the S-Cross, where it feels cheap thanks to an abundance of hard-wearing plastics. It is however more spacious than expected, with a practically sized boot, and the materials used within the cabin make it incredibly durable for active family life.
A trio of trim levels are available, starting with the SZ4, which features LED projector headlights for low and high beam, radar brake support, automatic headlights and wipers, alloy wheels, DAB radio with CD, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, adaptive cruise control and dual-zone automatic air conditioning.
An SZ-T model starts from £23,999 and adds 17-inch polished alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, key-less entry with start button, white stitching for seat trim fabric, smartphone link audio and navigation system. The range topping SZ5 adds leather upholstery with heated front seats as well as a panoramic sunroof and is priced from £25,999.
As is the case with any crossover vehicle, the Suzuki S-Cross’ lower half is treated to a sea of rugged looking trim as well as wheel arch extensions which, should you need to drive off the beaten track, will take much more abuse than equivalent shiny painted parts.
Driving the S-Cross is effortless thanks to its hybrid credentials. The 48v, 10kW hybrid system assists the car low down in the rev range, allowing the turbocharger to pick up its pace seeing 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds, before continuing to a top speed of 118mph. The ALLGRIP model completes the traffic light dash in 10.2 seconds and there is no option of an automatic transmission, with all models coming with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
A combined return of 50mpg can be expected from front-wheel-drive models, while the ALLGRIP version will see around 45mpg.
Available only on the top trim level, the ALLGRIP system features four modes including AUTO which is best suited for best economy, SPORT which is best suited to optimise driveability on twisty roads, SNOW which is best suited for anything that is slippery under foot and LOCK which is likely to help ease you out, should you get stuck.
The S-Cross from Suzuki is a model that I could easily live with daily, especially in SZ5 trim as tested with the ALLGRIP system. Suzuki offer a 3-year/60,000 mile warranty.