Need space and practicality but with a car like drive and go anywhere ability, Suzuki reckon the new SX4 S-Cross is designed with you in mind writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? This is Suzuki’s bigger and more spacious successor to the old SX4 and is a clever blend of car and off roader.
Who is it aimed at? Those who like driving a compact 4×4 lookalike without paying 4×4 prices will love this new offering from Suzuki.
Styling? The SX4 S-Cross is a smart-looking vehicle with enough muscular styling to look like a credible off roader.
Under the Bonnet? Our test car was powered by a 1.6-litre diesel with a four-wheel-drive system known as Allgrip. There is also two wheel drive options and the choice of a 1.6 petrol engine.
What about Inside? Whereas the last model was criticised for being too small to be a proper family car inside this new model feels incredibly spacious. While its probably best suited to carrying four people, you will squeeze three snugly in the back. The dash while smart and sensible is not particularly sophisticated but it is durable and everything is in the right place. The back seats split and fold 60:40 to reveal an enormous space that would perfect for those impromptu IKEA trips or in our case carrying a Christmas tree!
On the Road? Agile and with good body control the SX4 S-Cross handles well and is very nice to drive. The steering is light and makes parking a doodle but still feels reassuring at speed. It soaks up bumps and is smooth and quiet on all surfaces. The Allgrip system allows you to select between four driving modes – Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock by simply turning a small knob behind the gear stick and while most times Auto will do fine its comforting to know all eventualities are covered.
And Safety? The SX4 S-Cross is one of the safest new cars on the market after the recent EuroNCAP tests with five stars awarded overall and strong scores of 92 per cent for Adult occupancy protection, 80 per cent for Child occupancy protection and 72 per cent for Pedestrian protection. Safety equipment includes a speed limiter, which prevents the car from exceeding a driver set speed and system which helps the driver keep an eye on individual tyre pressures on each wheel from a diagram in the instrument cluster, if the pressure reduced in one tyre a warning is given.
Options? There are three trims available, GL, GL+ and GLX. The entry level GL comes very well equipped and includes Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, and heated door mirrors. The GL+ adds multi spoke alloy wheels, Dual Zone automatic air conditioning, front fog lamps, rear privacy glass, door mirrors with built in indicator, silver roof rails and silver skid plates. The range topping GLX includes front and rear parking sensors, ALLGRIP, leather seat upholstery, double sliding panoramic sunroof with pinch control, electric retractable mirrors, 17-inch brushed alloy wheels, and LED Daytime Running Lights. Prices start at €19,995 for 1.6 petrol with manual transmission. This is a special introductory launch price offer valid until May 2014
What about fuel economy? Depending on which model you choose, CO2 emissions can be as low as 110 g/km with fuel economy of just 4.2 litres on a mix of urban and motorway. Our test car with the AllGrip System offers power to all four wheels instead of just the front two so the fuel economy is slightly reduced and the combined cycle fuel figure is 4.6 litres per 100 km with emissions of 114 g/km.
Verdict: The Suzuki SX4 is a very likable car. Under the smart exterior lurks a very capable compact family car, it is well priced, economical, spacious and good to drive. If you are looking for a new car this really should be on your list to test drive.
Why you’ll buy one? Smart styling; Handling; Decent Standard Equipment
Why you won’t? Dull interior; the new Qashqai has just arrived
Nissan Qashqai – priced from €24,495
Skoda Yeti – priced from €24,490
SX4 S-Cross 1.6 Diesel GLX AllGrip
Engine:1,598cc diesel with 88kW @ 3,750 rpm and 320Nm @1,750rpm
Max speed: 175kph
0-100 kph: 13.0 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 114 g/km (€200)
Model price range: €19,995 – €30,345 (*Test car €29,945)
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.4 l/100 km
Boot Capacity: 430 litres (875 max)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
22nd January, 2014