Suzuki S Cross
By Bill McCarthy
There’s no doubt about Suzuki’s pedigree. A brand that quietly goes about its business in the UK with a range of models that are both attractive to look at, attractive in price and attractive in terms of reliability.
So reliable in fact that the Japanese brand is pretty much always in the top 10 for surveys, hitting top spot at 97 per cent in one recent survey.
That is why it has such a loyal customer base. A brand that produces generally small efficient cars that also offer all-wheel drive capability.
The S-Cross is a compact and stylish SUV that had a major makeover in 2021 and now in the rapidly accelerating race to electrification, has produced a full hybrid version to sit alongside the mild hybrid sibling
It comes in two versions, the front wheel drive Motion at £26,749 and the Ultra, driven here, which includes Suzuki’s Allgrip four wheel drive.
A muscular improvement on its predecessor if features a raised bonnet line, piano black front grille and three LED position headlamps.
This is replicated to the rear with larger combination lamps in addition to roof rails and integrated rear spoiler and polished alloy wheels.
The interior is more spacious than its predecessor and features a nine-inch infotainment display that controls functions like smartphone connectivity, navigation and sound systems.
It also features rear parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, and climate control fitted as standard on both models.
The Ultra features ALLGRIP Select four-wheel drive, 17-inch polished alloy wheels, leather seat upholstery, panoramic sliding sunroof and a 360 view camera.
The camera is particularly good, giving a panoramic survey of the area surrounding the car as the ignition is switched on. A clever safety feature.
The 1.5-litre petrol engine has been mated with an electric motor to deliver a total of 115bhp and a combined mpg of around 48mpg. Pretty good for a four wheel drive vehicle.
It also features 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 comfortable, stable car on the road, whether around town or on the motorway.
It is also pretty capable off-road and the proven ALLGRIP system copes pretty well with muddy and otherwise treacherous conditions.
Performance all around is adequate other than inspiring. The car hits 60mph in a pretty pedestrian time of around 13 seconds.
As an SUV it must be practical and while the boot is not huge, with 293 litres increasing to 665 litres, it has a dual height floor for easy loading. There are plenty of other storage spaces on the centre console and centre lower box, together with various seat pockets and four cupholders.
High levels of safety 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.It’s a lot of car for the money and it does look good.
S Cross 1.5 Full Hybrid Ultra Allgrip AGS
Mechanical: 115bhp, 1,462cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motors driving all wheels via a automatic gearbox
Max speed: 108mph
0-62mph: 13.5 seconds
Combined mpg: 48
Insurance group: 16
CO2 emissions: 132g/km
BiK rating: 31%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles