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Expert Review

Suzuki Across SUV (2020 - ) review

Suzuki has partnered with Toyota for its plug-in hybrid Across SUV, its practicality and efficiency paired with a surprising turn of speed

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


Hybrids and SUVs are the two prevailing automotive trends of our time and intersect perfectly with the Suzuki Across, built in collaboration with Toyota and based closely on the RAV4 PHEV. Smart styling, a generous standard specification, loads of space and an above average range on pure electric power all look good for the Across, though it faces lots of rivals in this sector and the inevitable comparisons with its Toyota brother aren’t always favourable.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickSlick and efficient hybrid system
  • tickTax-efficient running costs
  • tickGenerous specification

At a glance:

2021 Suzuki Across PHEV

Running costs for a Suzuki Across

Suzuki has made pricing for the Across very simple, given there is one trim level only and it includes pretty much everything. Usefully the bottom line price undercuts that of its Toyota equivalent by a fraction, though whether that plays out on the monthly finance costs will depend on the deals available. In purchase price and cost per mile comparisons the Across also looks a little more expensive, especially against plug-in versions of rivals like the Volvo XC40, Peugeot 3008 and Vauxhall Grandland X. In terms of running costs plug-in hybrids are very dependent on your circumstances and how you use them. Compared with the regular non-PHEV RAV4 the Across is a lot more expensive but the Benefit In Kind savings for company drivers could make it a lot cheaper overall for your monthly budget. The 40-plus miles the Across can cover on pure electric power is more than many rivals and means you could run it as a daily without ever going near a petrol pump, saving you money if you can charge it at home from a wallbox using cheap overnight electricity tariffs. We saw close to 50mpg on a long journey once the battery was depleted, which is also pretty good and better than most rivals we’ve driven in similar situations.
Expert rating: 4/5
2021 Suzuki Across PHEV

Reliability of a Suzuki Across

Anecdotally both Suzuki and Toyota have good reputations for reliability, though given this is basically rebadged RAV4 we should probably pay more attention to the latter and on surveys and studies the news isn’t quite so good. Saying that, Toyota’s hybrid technology is well-proven and if Suzuki was going to buddy up with anyone this would seem a wise choice. One quirk worth noting is that if you buy the car as a Toyota you get a five-year warranty but, as a Suzuki, you only get three years. You can pay to extend it if you wish, though.
Expert rating: 4/5
2021 Suzuki Across PHEV

Safety for a Suzuki Across

Safety is an important consideration for buyers of family SUVs like the Across and the good news is that it comes with pretty much every assistance function you could wish for as standard, which makes a pleasant change from some rivals who insist you pay extra for ‘packages’ with the kit you really want. No such worries with the Across, which will brake itself in an emergency, keep you in your lane on the motorway, remind you of speed limits in the instrument display and comes as standard with rear-cross traffic alert and blind-spot warnings.
Expert rating: 5/5
2021 Suzuki Across PHEV

How comfortable is the Suzuki Across

Space and practicality are top of the list for SUV buyers and the Across scores well here. The driver and passenger have lots of space, with power adjustment for the driver’s seat, a heated steering wheel that adjusts for reach and angle and lots of useful storage for your bits and bobs. Rear seats are also heated, there’s plenty of legroom and you can even adjust the recline angle too. Like most modern cars it’s comfortable for four people but the centre rear seat is best considered occasional, and not really usable if you’ve got two child seats attached to the Isofix mounts. A power tailgate is standard (handy on tall SUVs for shorter folk who wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach up to close it) and the boot is usefully large and not intruded upon by the batteries as in some plug-in hybrids. On the road the Across drives unobtrusively enough, the extra weight of the batteries seemingly calming ride that we criticised in the non-PHEV version of the RAV4. The steering feels a little heavier than some might like and, from the driver’s seat, the Across feels like a big unit in busy urban traffic but, other than that, it’s an easy and relaxing car to drive.
Expert rating: 3/5
2021 Suzuki Across PHEV

Features of the Suzuki Across

With only one trim level available Suzuki has bundled everything into the Across and the only cost options are accessories like rubber boot linings and dog grilles. Even metallic paint is standard and you’re not left wanting for much, though Toyota does offer a more expensive version of the RAV4 PHEV with additional features like a panoramic roof and uprated stereo system. In terms of tech you get a decent-sized touch-screen through which you can control infotainment including DAB and streamed music from your phone over Bluetooth. Curiously Suzuki doesn’t include built-in navigation, which seems mean at this price point. Experience of the standard system in the RAV4 suggests you’re not missing out on too much, given it’s not the fanciest looking factory navigation in the game. As such you’re probably better off using your phone apps anyway, which you can via the standard CarPlay and Android Auto.
Expert rating: 4/5
2021 Suzuki Across PHEV

Power for a Suzuki Across

The 2.5-litre petrol engine at the heart of the Across’s hybrid powertrain is quite big by modern standards but, in most driving, plays second fiddle to the commendably powerful electric motor. They both power all four wheels through an automatic gearbox and although there are various modes and configurations to play with most of the time you slip it into Drive and leave the computers to figure out the most efficient combination. In some plug-ins you have to nurse the throttle to avoid ‘waking’ the internal combustion engine but the Across can operate comfortably as a pseudo electric vehicle for its impressive 40-mile plus range and you could conceivably drive it without using the petrol engine at all. When that moment does come get ready for a surprise though – with just over 300 horsepower combined the Across has a surprising turn of speed when you need it, the Sport mode making it way more responsive than you’d credit and meaning you could potentially catch a few hot hatch drivers napping. Which is a fun party piece in a supposedly ‘boring’ hybrid SUV.
Expert rating: 4/5

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