New Suzuki de­serves to move fast

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST - SUZUKI SX4 S-CROSS

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.

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