The cheerful Suzuki S-Cross is a good option for those who want a smart crossover without paying premium prices writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? In the interests of full disclosure I should probably admit I have a soft spot for Suzukis. My first car was a red Suzuki Swift; it went like a rocket and I loved it. All these years later, I still see Suzukis through a nostalgic prism.
Long before other car manufacturers moved from the humble hatchback to embrace the crossover craze, Suzuki had built a reputation on practical and capable off-roaders such as the Jimny and Vitara. Our test car, the S-Cross, is more soft crossover than chunky off-roader.
Is it a looker? Outside it has all the hallmarks of a robust car and comes with angular wheel arches and roof rails.
What’s the interior like? Slip behind the wheel and the high driving position allows for a good view of the road ahead. There are storage areas throughout and there are many features that will appeal to family buyers, including a well-shaped boot with 430 litres of space on offer, a rear-view camera and more airbags than passengers. The cabin is practical rather than plush. But the infotainment system is fiddly and I could certainly live without it. Some of the plastic fittings feel quite cheap and the driver’s seat doesn’t offer much in the way of support.
What does it drive like? The S-Cross is available with a punchy 1.4-litre petrol engine and 48V mild hybrid technology. You can choose between a manual six-speed gearbox or automatic transmission. Both options come with Boosterjet technology. While its not nearly as exciting as it sounds, it is Suzuki’s own development and is designed to improve fuel efficiency. Driving the manual version on a mix of urban and rural roads, the average economy achieved was around 46.2 mpg or 6.1 litres per 100 kilometres, so it proved thirstier than official figures suggest. On the road it is comfortable to drive, if a little forgettable, but to be fair there really is little to grumble about. The steering is light and makes parking a breeze. On the motorway it cruises with little wind, road or engine noise intruding into the cabin.
How safe is it? Safety is also first rate and the car bristles with electronic safety systems including traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control with speed limiter, and seven airbags to keep you, the kids, the dog and the shopping supremely cocooned
What are my options? All S-Cross models come with LED headlamps (for low and high beam), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, keyless entry and start, dual-zone auto air-conditioning, heated front seats and front and rear parking sensors.
Will it break the bank? Prices for our test car, the 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid Motion with manual transmission, start from €29,365. The six-speed automatic transmission will set you back an extra €2,030. Direct rivals include the Hyundai Tucson (€35,595), Renault’s Kadjar (€33,750) the Nissan Qashqai (€34,600), the Peugeot 3008 (€39,460) and Seat’s Ateca (€33,660).
Verdict? The S-Cross is a good option with stylish design and keen pricing. While it falls short of Suzuki’s promise that all new cars come “with happiness as standard” it is a cheerful car and for families looking for something that is safe and solid there is much to recommend it. So maybe the “S” stands for “satisfactory”.
Why you’ll buy one? Pricing, practical, pleasant
Why you won’t? Interior is a little dull and the infotainment system fiddly
Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Mild Hybrid Motion
Starting Price: €29,365
Engine: 1.4-litre petrol Boosterjet mild hybrid (petrol hybrid)
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Co2/Motor Tax:120g/km (€190)
Economy: 5.3 litres/100km
25th July 2022