SUZUKI S-CROSS GLX

The cross­over hatch is prac­ti­cal and com­pact, though the ex­te­rior styling can be a com­pro­mise. James Stan­ford ap­praises a safe and spa­cious pair

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VALUE

The S-Cross is rea­son­able value as a spa­cious cross­over hatch. Check for drive-away deals, es­pe­cially on the en­try level GL model, which of­fi­cially costs $22,990. The GLX is $29,990 as a front-driver or $32,990 AWD. It gets a step­less CVT auto, key­less en­try and start, HID head­lights, sat­nav, 6.1-inch touch creen, cruise con­trol, 17-inch al­loys and cloth seats. The war­ranty is three years/100,000km and capped price ser­vic­ing is three years/100,000km. Re­sale value is 46 per cent.

EN­GINE

The S-Cross‘s 1.6-litre four-cylin­der is ad­e­quate if not ath­letic (86kw). The CVT might help econ­omy (it claims 5.8L/100km) but the trans­mis­sion does not seem all that well cal­i­brated. Then there’s

the typ­i­cal CVT slur­ring sound, which is not pleas­ant.

DE­SIGN

A com­pact cross­over SUV is quite a chal­lenge for de­sign­ers and very few could be con­sid­ered good look­ing. The S-Cross is cer­tainly no stun­ner, with its tall and nar­row look, dom­i­nated by a slop­ing bon­net and over­sized head­lights. The in­te­rior is neat but de­riv­a­tive. The GLX seems a lit­tle ba­sic for the price and the rear seat base is flat and hard. There is a lot of cabin space with vast head­room. Vi­sion is bril­liant, es­pe­cially thanks to ex­tra win­dows in the wind­screen-pil­lar.

SAFETY

It has six airbags, five-star safety and stan­dard rear-view cam­era and rear sen­sors. The AWD op­tion pro­vides added surety on loose sur­faces. Ad­vanced safety tech such as emer­gency auto brak­ing is not avail­able.

DRIV­ING

It might be prac­ti­cal but the S-Cross is not inspiring to drive. The steer­ing is poorly weighted and re­quires near con­stant cor­rec­tion. The body doesn’t feel well tied down ei­ther, so you don’t feel like push­ing. This is a sur­prise be­cause Suzuki can get it right with cars like the Kizashi and Swift, which are great fun to drive. The ride is com­fort­able though and the am­ple in­te­rior space is ap­pre­ci­ated, as is the ex­cel­lent vi­sion

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