SUV joins race to electrification

Suzuki S-Cross Hybrid

By Bill McCarthy

Suzuki’s race to electrification is gathering pace with the introduction of full hybrid technology to the popular and stylish S-Cross.

The 1.5-litre petrol engine  has as been mated with an electric motor to deliver low emissions of 118g/km for its two wheel drive model and a combined mpg of  54.3.

The  S-Cross is a compact and stylish SUV that had a major makeover in 2021, looking a different vehicle to its predecessor, with higher level of safety equipment and the latest technology.

Suzuki are not keen to talk about entry level, so it comes in two versions, the front wheel drive Motion at £26,749 and the Ultra which includes Suzuki’s Allgrip from wheel drive and priced at at £31,549.

This full hybrid has gone on sale, along with the 48V mild hybrid version with the 1.4 Booster jet petrol engine, which although smaller, offers more rapid acceleration than the full hybrid.

That price tag might seem a lot at first glance, but for a mid-sized SUV with four-wheel drive, hybrid technology and a plethora of standard kit, it then seems pretty attractive.

Both models feature smartphone connectivity, rear parking camera, front & rear parking sensors, keyless entry & start, climate control fitted as standard on both model grades.

The Ultra driven here features  ALLGRIP Select four-wheel drive, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, leather seat upholstery, integrated on-board navigation with nine-inch screen, panoramic sliding sunroof and a 360 view camera. 

In addition, all S-Cross Hybrid models come with Suzuki’s AGS automated manual transmission as standard with steering mounted paddles for a manual experience.

The slight downside is that shifts can be a bit sluggish with consequent hesitation acceleration.

It is a smart looking vehicle compact and with all the creases and bulges in the right place. It features smart alloys and huge amounts of kit for a price that puts others to shame and is one of the few in its segment to offer all wheel drive.

The muscular design includes angular wheel arches, piano black front grille and three LED position headlamps.

The rear features combination lamps that integrate horizontally to emphasise a sense of width, in addition to roof rails and integrated rear spoiler.

It is also pretty capable off-road, where the range topping all wheel drive Ultra was put through its paces.

Not a full fat off-roader, more of a soft roader’, it can cope pretty well with muddy and otherwise treacherous conditions. Having said that it did struggle a little on an off-road course that was made particlarly treacherious by heavy rain and using ordinary road tyres.

But the ALLGRIP Select system has already proved itself more than capable and designed to anticipate slippage based on road surface, throttle opening position, steering angle and other factors.

There are four settings: auto, sport, snow and lock for the more demanding areas.

Performance all around is adequate other than inspiring. The car with a combined output of 115bhp, hits 60mph in a pretty pedestrian time of around 13 seconds. Two selectable Full Hybrid drive modes are available, Standard and Eco, which are pretty self-explanatory.

Economy ranges between 48mpg and 52 mpg depending on the model.

High level of safety specification fitted as standard to both S-Cross models include Dual Sensor Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Adaptive Cruise Control and seven airbags including Driver’s Knee Airbag.

The S-Cross as plenty to offer and Suzuki customers are a loyal bunch and with the brand being named top vehicle manufacturer in the Institute of Customer Service bi-annual UK satisfaction index, you can see why.

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