New Suzuki deserves to move fast
SUZUKI is having a fast year in Great Britain. Sales in the first 10 months have soared, up by more than 30 per cent. Significant contributions have come from the Swift hatchback, its entry in a busy class (viz, Fiesta, Clio, 208, Polo, Yaris, Rio, i20 and many more).
Other Suzukis include the Grand Vitara off-roader, the SX4 S-Cross light duty all-roader, the rare Kizashi saloon, the Jimny jeepette and the skinny Alto.
The SX4 S-Cross is new this season. It has road presence which belies its tidy dimensions. You’ll not feel diminished alongside bigger cars like the Kuga, RAV4, Tiguan, Sportage, CR-V, or the conquering Qashqai. It succeeds the smaller SX4 and is made in Hungary.
Choose between a 118bhp five-gear 1.6 petrol engine and a 118bhp six-gear 1.6 diesel with double the torque. The petrol car costs £14,999 in SZ3 trim; the SZ3 diesel is £16,999. Both are offered with ALLGRIP 4x4 drive (from ££21,549 for petrol in top SZ5 trim and from £21,549 for diesel in SZ-5 trim. CVT automatic gears are offered with the petrol models in SZ5 trim at £21,099 with front-drive and £22,449 with ALLGRIP.
Economy ranges from a quoted 47.5mpg for the manual petrol ALLGRIP to 67.2mpg for the manual diesel, which was the one offered for testing.
There were no nasty surprises and you’ll not find any carping in what follows. Stay with it to hear about this rather nice Suzuki.
I literally stepped from a BMW 420d into the SX4 S-Cross and felt no disappointment. It was an easy-driving feeling all the way. The steering is light, so is the handling. The slightly elevated cabin gives enhanced visibility with only a minor imbalance which came from forgetting I was no longer in the racy BMW.
High-end kit on my SZ5 included leather, a reversing camera, 17in polished alloys, tyre pressure monitoring and satellite navigation. Mother hen detail: For safety reasons no one may select a new address when the car is moving. There is voice control but I was met with the message that this service was not available in the UK, in British English. Does that mean my voice was, err, too British? Should I have tried Scottish English, or is that an oxy something from a moron?
Whatever. Higher marks for the touchscreen title page which offers Where Am I? – worth knowing when you get lost. There are icons for hotels, garages and such like.
This is a roomy five seater. The rear seats fold flat aligned with the top deck of a two-tier boot, using space where a spare wheel could be carried. It has a large (unlockable) dashboard storage box and another between the seats. Pushbutton ignition gives the SX5 a smooth start. It goes well, with its high torque giving excellent in-gear response and returned 54 miles a gallon according to the trip computer.
Verdict: Neither too flashy nor too dull. Worth a test drive. Decent economy.
WORTH A LOOK: It’s no sports car but the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is likely to fly off forecourts as the firm extends its fast sales growth.