THE small and perfectly formed Suzuki SX4 S-Cross has been significantly improved for 2017.
Eight models with three engine choices including a diesel, two and four wheel drive as well as manual and automatic transmission are available across three trim levels.
Originally introduced to the UK in 2013 it has now been given a new front end and brighter headlights, LED backlights and a higher stance and ground clearance on the road together with a soft-touch interior and seat covers.
Significantly, it has also been fitted with the Boosterjet engine Suzuki already uses in the Vitara SUV and the Baleno hatchback.
The S-Cross SZ-T 1.0-litre we tried is aimed at the fleet driver looking for lower emissions and BIK tax.
It's an impressive engine, pushing out as much poweras the previous 1.6-litre unit, but with much lower emissions and higher fuel economy.
The 1.0 Boosterjet is impressively quiet and smooth while it delivers a reasonable punch up to mid-range, but then the power tails off and you find youself stirring it along through the five-speed manual gearbox.
At times I wished it had an extra ratio to reduce the noise at the higher end of its range but it still returned a good fuel economy over 40mpg on successive journeys.
The light clutch and direct gearchange made urban use very easy and longer trips were unchallenging, helped by good responsive steering and powerful brakes.
Secondary controls were convenient and effective, the instruments large and clear but the sat nav and infotainment display looked too compact set into the large facia.
Heating and ventilation was effective and operated through straightforward buttons and rotary controls, filling the cabin and maintaining temperature very easily.
Oddments room was good infront, much less in the back, and the twin floor compartments were effortless to load and increase capacity with the offset split back seats folding down from a single release each side. Maximum capacity is not huge.
The Suzuki S-Cross is easy to access and holds five with a plenty of room, a good adjustment range on the front seats and well shaped backrests and cushions providing support and location.
Visibility is good for a modern SUV and helped by a reversing camera and parking sensors, with bright headlights and good wipers/ wash systems both ends.
The engine sounded fussy only in its upper rev range but the road rumbles and suspension bump-thump were ever present, and probably more noticeable because of the low engine, wind and other mechanical noises.
Although only front wheel drive, the Suzuki S-Cross had a reassuring feel on winding roads, it responded well to steering and brakes and never displayed any worrying vices.
Comfort was good over any surface and body roll or pitching was minimal, which is what you want in a family car used for occasional long journeys.
The SX4 S-Cross may not be in the forefront of your mind when considering a crossover but the new business friendly version does add more choice to decision making and its specification and running costs are very attractive.