First Driving Impressions – Suzuki S-Cross, UK Press event, North Wales.
The Suzuki S-Cross, or to give it its full name, the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross first went on-sale in October 2013, and now just three years later, a major facelifted model has been introduced.
This Mk2 version is more distinctive and has a more upright front end styling, which is significantly different and bolder than the original version. Ground clearance is slightly higher by 15mm moving from 165mm to 180mm. New front headlights and newly designed rear combination LED lights have been added.
We set off from Chester and headed over the border into North Wales, taking an S-Cross SZ-T fitted with a new 1.0-litre 3-cylinder Boosterjet petrol engine towards some very pretty scenery. When you get the keys to the car which you have never driven before, there is an amount of trepidation, will this small engine, in a medium sized SUV be up to the job or will it fail miserably.
This new engine produces 111ps, giving a 0-62mph time of 11-seconds and a top speed of 112mph; so not the quickest thing in the world but by no means the slowest. We drove it on dual-carriageways and rural roads to get to Llandudno and then up the Great Orme, which is a coastal road, although you have to pay a small toll to go on this stretch of one-way road but it’s well worth it. This small one-litre engine proved to be very efficient, smooth and quiet. During the morning, and on a variety of roads, we were surprised to see on the on-board computer we had achieved just over 50mpg, which considering the route was a pretty good result.
The interior has also changed becoming much softer, with a new soft-touch dashboard and new seat fabric. Although it is certainly not a premium car, it does have a reasonable look and touch throughout the cabin. The S-Cross is built at Suzuki’s Plant at Magyar in Hungary and is built up to a very high standard throughout.
Models available are: SZ4, SZ-T, SZ5 and SZ5. Engines on offer are the 1.0-litre petrol, 1.4 petrol, and a 1.6 DDiS diesel, most models and engines are available with either manual or automatic gearboxes and also most models are available with Suzuki’s own ALLGRIP. We didn’t get chance on this launch to try this four-wheel drive system but we have used it on other models in the past and it works pretty well and is fairly impressive. The only snag is it costs an additional £1800, which is a bit steep, probably like some of the hills it can go up and down...!!
The levels of standard specification are high with the SZ4 having a good long list. But the one to go for would be the SZ-T which has an even longer list which includes: rear parking sensor, dual-air conditioning, automatic headlights and automatic rain sensors, LED running lights, DAB Radio, rear privacy glass, 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, wheel arch extensions and under protection mouldings, Bluetooth, hill hold assist, engine auto stop-start, automatic headlight levelling and so the list goes on.
After the 1.0-litre petrol manual 2WD we took a 1.4 petrol ALLGRIP automatic SZ5, but the fuel consumption on this car dropped to below 40 mpg, which is quite a difference. The auto box is smooth, and you can hardly feel it change up or down. This model has even more standard equipment than the SZ-T, including: radar brake support, adaptive cruise control, double sliding panoramic roof, leather upholstery with heated front seats and a few other niceties. But for me, I would prefer the 1.0-litre SZ-T.
The S-Cross is just a bit larger than the very popular Vitara, so trying to understand why a manufacturer needs two cars similar in size is a bit difficult to follow. But they do look very different and Suzuki say they will appeal to two different types of customers. The dimensions of the S-Cross is 4,300mm in length, 1,785mm wide and 1,585mm high.
There is loads of rear passenger legroom and quite a large boot which goes from 430-litres with the rear seats up, to 875-litres with them folded down.
Prices start from £14,999.00 OTR and go up to a rather hefty £24,349.00 OTR. My choice the 1.0 SZ-T manual which costs £19,499.00 OTR.
The new or rather facelift S-Cross, looks better, has a nicer interior, and is full of standard equipment, but the prices on first glance seem a bit on the high side, when compared to some of its competitors, but I’m sure current Suzuki owners will like the looks of this ‘new’ car and it will also attract new customers into Suzuki showrooms too.
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