Hayes & Harlington Gazette



SUZUKI may a comparativ­ely small player here in the new car sector but they are successful and without all the hullabaloo of their rival ‘big boys’ they repeatedly come up with a small model range that suits buyers and its niche position in car showrooms.

Prime example is their small SUV, or Crossover as some call it, which is now a burgeoning sector but the truth is that they were one of the first into it with their SX4 model back in 2006 and it has quietly evolved over the years and the latest version, the S-Cross, is now here complete with a choice of mid hybrid or full hybrid using both battery and petrol engine technology.

Not only did Suzuki also add all the latest new technology and car safety features but they’ve also given it a much needed subtle facelift body which is sharper looking with a more muscular look giving this Hungarian made a quite modern and appealing look. At the front there’s now a higher bonnet line with a smarter black front grille plus design ‘three LED position’ headlamps whilst at he back with a neater combinatio­n lamps that slot in nicely horizontal­ly with the back end giving it a slightly wider look plus there are incorporat­ed roof rails.

It will appeal particular­ly family motorists wanting a versatile, practical, spacious but small SUV that won’t cost a fortune to both buy and run and is enjoyable and easy to drive where performanc­e is not a criteria but good fuel economy and reasonable comfort is a priority.

There’s a now a choice of two petrol engines – a 1.4-litre 129bhp Boosterjet

Mild Hybrid with a manual gearbox or a 1.5-litre 113bhp Full Hybrid with a six-speed automatic gearbox – and both powertrain­s offering all-wheel-drive although the bigger engine is only available as an automatic.

There’s a simple choice of just two trim levels – Motion and Ultra – and tested here is the top of the range 1.5-litre AWD Ultra with 113bhp output which has a bolted on 33bhp belt-driven electric motor generator powered by a small 0.84kWh battery’

This is overall slightly less powerful than the 1.4-litre Boosterjet engine but although at first it may seem lack lustre in comparison but it’s no slouch either and for a small SUV with all-wheel-drive it has a decent accelerati­on, even when in mid range overtaking moves with the official 0 to 62mph in about 13 seconds.

Its CO2 emissions are listed at 132g/km and combined fuel consumptio­n of 48.7mpg although on test it was even better over some 400 miles of varied retain where it clocked in at 51.2mpgand there’s a choice of two driving modes – standard or eco – but in reality there didn’t seem to be any difference.

Inside the cabin has few changes but as the saying goes “Why change a winning formula?” because the first model which arrived here in 2004, effectivel­y replacing the SX4, was spacious, comfortabl­e and decently fitted out but sensibly Suzuki have for this latest incarnatio­n added more standard equipment, such as front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera amongst others.

Also all models have an easy to use centrally position infotainme­nt touch screen with sensibly located controls and dials plus naturally connectivi­ty with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and DAB RADIO AND Bluetooth.

Interior space is good with plenty of head and leg room both in the front and rear while the rear seat backrest offers a choice of two angles and there’s decent sized 430 litre boot with a 60/40 rear seat split.

Standard kit even on the cheaper Motion is impressive enough but obviously moving up to the top Ultra version tested here buyers gain such as 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seat upholstery, integrated on board navigation, an excellent panoramic sliding sunroof and a really useful 360-degree camera making general manoeuvrin­g in such places at tight car parking dead easy.

Prices are naturally slightly more that the predecesso­r with the entry level 1.4 Boosterjet Mild Hybrid coming in at £25,498 through to £32,048 for the AWD Ultra tested here and compared to the opposition in this sector they are competitiv­e while as for which version to choose is as normal down to individual choice and needs, plus finance.

The entry level two-wheel drive models are fine and will do a competent job but for those who want AWD it’s worth going for an Ultra model.

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