The original S-Cross was, by Suzuki’s admission, a ‘Marmite car’, packed with value but controversial in its styling. The new version is far easier on the eye, still great value, and comes with two- or all-wheel drive, automatic or manual and one petrol engine with a hybrid to come. Most importantly, according to its customers, Suzuki is a highly trusted brand, which makes the S-Cross a tempting purchase.
“The entry-level version gives you everything you’ll need, and the price is very good”
The S-Cross comes in two trim levels - Motion and Ultra - but the entry-level version gives you everything you’ll need, and, when you consider the amount of space inside, the price is very good. The only engine on offer - a 1.4-litre turbo petrol - returns about 50mpg, and 133g/km with the manual transmission, which means low VED and insurance costs. The car might feel a bit tinny and cheap compared with some of its competitors (like the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage or Peugeot 3008) but the flip side of the coin is an impressively low cost of ownership.
Expert rating: 4/5
Reliability of a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
“There’s a 14-day, no-quibble return policy on all its new cars ,which will add to consumer confidence”
Suzuki is the third most trusted brand in the UK out of 162 brands, according to the Institute of Customer Service, after John Lewis and First Direct. Notably, the next car brand was another 11 places down the list. There’s a 14-day, no-quibble return policy on all its new cars ,which will add to consumer confidence, as will the fact that, traditionally, Suzuki performs well in reliability surveys.
Expert rating: 5/5
Safety for a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
“You simply cannot beat this car if safety is your top priority”
You get an unbelievable amount of safety kit as standard on the S-Cross, which puts almost every other car to shame when you look at the price. You simply cannot beat this car if safety is your top priority. Our favourite feature - blind-spot warning - is there, as well as a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert which pings if there’s a car coming as you’re reversing out onto the road, Dual Sensor Brake Support (automated emergency braking), lane departure warning and prevention (it’s not as horrible and violent as some others that drag you back into your lane, so we’ll live with it), and traffic sign recognition. Only Mazda offers all that as standard in the sector.
The only thing you might want to pay extra for is the AllGrip all-wheel drive system, which comes with the Ultra higher trim level.
Expert rating: 4/5
How comfortable is the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
“We didn’t much like the seating position which wouldn’t sink far enough into the car”
This is a car in the Skoda mould of doing what it says on the tin, so no extraneous fripperies, no soft-touch plastics or funky nick-nacks - just good old-fashioned black plastics and hard-wearing fabrics, with leather available if you splash the cash. There are two cup holders up front and lots of big plastic buttons for switches and seat heaters. If you hate small switchgear and fiddly graphics controlling functions, you’ll like the no-nonsense approach of the Suzuki and there’s something rather pleasing about the back-to-basics design. The boot is large and has a secondary level if you want to raise the floor up. We can’t imagine why anyone would want to, given the extra space is great for dogs and suitcases. We didn’t much like the seating position which wouldn’t sink far enough into the car, with the resulting feeling that you’re sitting on it, not in it. But all passengers have plenty of space and light, especially with the higher-trim double sun roof.
Expert rating: 3/5
Features of the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
“If the digital display is important to you, then plump for the higher Ultra version, with its 9.0-inch screen”
Again, the amount of standard kit is generous for the price. You get a touch-screen, smartphone mirroring, 17-inch alloys, roof rails, dual-zone air-con, heated front seats and adaptive cruise control on every car, which is fabulous. However, there is slightly more to differentiate the two versions in this category than in safety, where almost everything you want comes as standard. If the digital display is important to you, then plump for the higher Ultra version, with its 9.0-inch screen - Motion only gives you a 7.0-inch screen which is not big enough in this day and age. Ultra also gives you a 360 camera, sat-nav, leather seats and a double opening panoramic roof.
The tech on board is pretty clunky - we had to punch the screen a few times every time we started the car to get rid of various safety messages and the navigation is quite old-fashioned. But you still can’t quibble with the amount of features for the price.
Expert rating: 4/5
Power for a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
“You can have it with a six-speed manual or an automatic gearbox, and two- or four-wheel drive”
Only one engine is offered at launch - a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol and a very mild hybrid element you likely won’t notice - it just keeps things as economical as possible. The result is a perky engine that likes to rev and whose 129 horsepower feels like much more as a result of the eager character, the S-Cross accelerating from 0-62mph in 10 seconds straight. You can have it with a six-speed manual or an automatic gearbox, and two- or four-wheel drive, depending on how much you want to spend. A full hybrid will follow, which will essentially perform the same role as this hybrid but more so. There is no plug-in hybrid, so you won’t get any noticeable electric-only driving.