Grip­ping stuff!

Warwickshire Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter Keenan

TEST DRIVE SUZUKI S-CROSS 1.4 BOOSTERJET SZ5

UZUKI is a past master at pro­duc­ing stylish SUVs that don’t put too much of a dent in your wal­let – and the S-Cross main­tains that rep­u­ta­tion.

Yes, for some the jury’s out on the big chrome grille, clamshell bon­net and an­gu­lar lights – the re­sult of a re­cent re­vamp de­signed to make this cross­over more eye-catch­ing.

Per­son­ally, I think it looks quite snazzy, es­pe­cially al­lied to neat al­loy wheels and natty rear lights, but where ev­ery­one can get on board is with Suzuki’s lat­est tur­bocharged 1.4 Boosterjet petrol en­gine.

Linked to a smooth six-speed au­to­matic, the 138bhp en­gine is a peppy per­former, es­pe­cially from a stand­ing start where it feels quicker than its of­fi­cial 0-62mph time of a shade over ten sec­onds.

It makes the S-Cross an exciting propo­si­tion, helped by the ALLGRIP four-wheel drive sys­tem which, along with a choice of modes in­clud­ing a snow set­ting, en­sures plenty of grip on the road – even in the most in­clement con­di­tions.

A three-cylin­der 1.0-litre ver­sion and a diesel op­tion are also avail­able, as is a man­ual trans­mis­sion.

Suzuki’s engi­neers have set the S-Cross up to be more hatch­back than SUV when it comes to ride and han­dling and its light­weight con­struc­tion and well-weighted steer­ing make it highly ma­noeu­vrable while the ride is firm but not teeth threat­en­ing.

On the road this equates to com­fort rather than hair-on-fire with all but the worst pot­holes lit­ter­ing our roads han­dled with aplomb.

It also uses the juice fairly fru­gally, achiev­ing an av­er­age claimed fig­ure of 49.5mpg, which equates to a re­al­world fig­ure in the early 40s for mo­tor­way and ur­ban mo­tor­ing.

The cabin of the range-top­ping SZ5 model is well de­signed with a good view en­sured by the raised ride height.

Suzuki en­sure this S-Cross has all mod cons in­clud­ing a touch­screen sys­tem giv­ing ac­cess to the ra­dio and sat nav, as well as pro­vid­ing smart­phone con­nec­tiv­ity.

Steer­ing wheel-mounted con­trols, dual-zone air con­di­tion­ing, au­to­matic lights and wipers, key­less en­try, park­ing sen­sors, heated front seats, panoramic sun­roof and adap­tive cruise con­trol are just some of the other stars making an ap­pear­ance to help more than jus­tify the £25,000-plus price-tag.

There’s no skimp­ing on safety equip­ment ei­ther with seven airbags help­ing to mit­i­gate the ef­fects of any ac­ci­dent while sta­bil­ity con­trol, emer­gency brak­ing and a slightly over­ac­tive front col­li­sion warn­ing sys­tem help to keep you out of trou­ble.

Good qual­ity materials are mainly used, giv­ing a soft-touch feel to most sur­faces while the fit and fin­ish give a pro­fes­sional feel to pro­ceed­ings.

There is plenty of space up front, as well as lots of seat and steer­ing wheel ad­just­ment for the driver, while rear pas­sen­gers have good leg and head room. The S-Cross offers lots of stor­age space for your nik-naks in­clud­ing a dash-top cubby, a cov­ered bin be­tween driver and front-seat pas­sen­ger and de­cent-sized door pock­ets.

The boot is a nice shape and size at 440 litres, while the rear seats split and fold to cre­ate more space when re­quired.

The re­boot has put the S-Cross back in the spot­light and it is giv­ing ri­vals such as the Nis­san Qashqai and Re­nault Kad­jar a run for their money. Model: Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet SZ5 ALLGRIP Price: £25,599 Me­chan­i­cal: 138bhp, 1,373cc, 4cyl petrol en­gine driv­ing four wheels via 6-speed au­to­matic gear­box Max speed: 124mph 0-62mph: 10.2 sec­onds Com­bined mpg: 49.5 In­sur­ance group: 24 CO2 emis­sions: 128g/km BiK rating: 26% War­ranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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