A STIFF dose of cosmetic surgery and a big boost of turbo power has given the Suzuki S-Cross SUV a fresh lease of life.
According to Suzuki's bosses in the UK the original - launched only three years ago - lacked sparkle and needed a bit more oomph, not only under the bonnet but also in the looks department.
So on went the thinking caps, out went the 1.6-litre petrol engine and in came some bold design front and back.
The result is a dramatic change in persona for Suzuki's capable crossover - and a Â£1,000 price hike on the entry level model to Â£14,999.
Prices for the new S-Cross line up now rise to £24,349 for a top level four-wheel-drive diesel and as such the car remains very competitive against the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Vauxhall Mokka which are so popular in the crossover field.
The new Suzuki SX4 S-Cross - it retains the SX4 designation as a throwback to Suzuki's first crossover from the last decade - now has the necessary macho looks to give it stand out appeal.
A large, 10 bar chrome front grille has done the trick which is completed by more pronounced lamp clusters front and rear.
The S-Cross now appears much more chiselled and angular which has given it greater road presence.
But it's on the technical side where the greatest changes have been made by introducing Suzuki's potent new Boosterjet turbo petrol engines and a new automatic gearbox to replace the CVT set up used on the previous model.
The Boosterjet engines are feisty performers and although small in capacity, punch above their weight either in 1.0 or 1.4-litre guise.
Both are used in the new S-Cross and produce a nicely rewarding drive.
The 1.0-litre is a three cylinder which develops 111ps giving the S-Cross a 0 to 60 time of 11 seconds, a top end of 112mph and official fuel consumption figures of 56.4mpg with emissions of 113g/km.
In five speed manual format it delivers on all fronts - brisk through the gears while still returning an average of close to 50 to the gallon.
It is free and easy to drive and the new S-Cross has a very pleasant air to everything it does.
The 1.4-litre has a four cylinder block ad is slightly more lively with 140ps which shaves the acceleration time down to 10.2 seconds and pushed the top speed to 124mph.
In automatic configuration and mid-range SZ-T trim with all-wheel-drive it costs from £24,199 which makes it a very attractive proposition as an all-weather vehicle.
There are paddle shifters for manual operation and Suzuki claims a fuel figure of 49.5mpg which we found to be not far off the mark with the S-Cross auto returning an impressive average of 46mpg on our drive.
The AWD system can be switched into snow or sports modes while on the move and that varies the traction with minimum fuss depending on needs.
Both Boosterjet engines are very capable and a significant improvement over the previous 1.6-litre petrol but the economy star is the 1.6-litre diesel.
This is a carryover from the previous model but fettled to reduce CO2 emissions to 106g/km resulting in an official return of 68.8mpg.
And if that sounds fanciful, think again. Without too much trouble it is quite possible to achieve that - or even exceed it such is the nature of its easy going six speed transmission allied to a good amount of pull.
At £20,999 in front-wheel-drive and SZ-T trim it is a definite bargain coming with sat nav, parking cameras and a full colour touchscreen as standard.
The interior of all versions of the S-Cross has been spruced up and now includes soft-touch materials in the trim. It looks smart and is well finished while the size of the cabin is nicely proportioned making it a fine family all-rounder.
Boot space remains on the generous side ranging from 430 to 875 litres.
As midlife makeovers go the changes are significant, transforming the S-Cross into a very contemporary crossover that's fresh faced and hugely competent.