Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

1.4 Boosterjet SZ5

ALLGRIP Auto

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, front, static
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, front, moving
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, front, action
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, front
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, upright static
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, rear
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, side, static
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, rear, action
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, seats
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, interior
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, 2017, boot, maximum

I HAD my first drive in Suzuki's S-Cross back in 2015 and the current model is the result of a major facelift which took place in the autumn of last year.

Suzuki acted quickly to give the car a fresh look because its looks were widely regarded as being "too soft" for the SUV market.

While most mid-life makeovers tend to be purely cosmetic, Suzuki opted for major surgery to make the S-Cross more masculine.

The car's major feature is now a big and very bold chrome grille, while it sits slightly higher on the road and the lights front and rear are also more striking. There are a few other visual changes including a larger air intake below the front bumper.

I found it more difficult to spot the changes inside the cabin, although the dash has been modernised and there are now more soft materials than hard plastics.

It is very spacious and bright thanks to the large glass roof on this model and there is room for five to travel in comfort.

The flagship model tested is loaded with equipment usually only found in premium models and includes, satnav, leather seats, leather adjustable wheel, rear parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, power sockets and lots more.

You also get the panoramic roof, dual-zone climate control, rain sensing wipers, front fogs, LED projector headlamps, electrically adjustable door mirrors that fold when not in use and LED daytime running lights.

The rear seats fold 60:40 and the boot is large enough for 430 litres of luggage and 875 litres when the seats are collapsed.

Polished 17-inch alloys, rear privacy glass, black pillars, silver roof rails, body colour door handles and mirrors as well as wheel arch extensions all add to the car's appearance.

Suzuki also made changes to the engine choices, dumping the 1.6 petrol in favour of either a 1.0-litre or 1.4-litre Boosterjet unit. The diesel powerplant was also revised to make it cleaner and more efficient.

This car came with the Boosterjet engine and automatic transmission as well as the excellent ALLGRIP four-wheel-drive system.

The automatic gearbox made driving easy and the willing engine made rapid progress easy. The transmission comes with a range of modes but it at its best when left in standard auto although you can engage Sport if you are in the mood for extra fun.

The ALLGRIP system switches automatically between two and four-wheel-drive when required and the result is fine handling in all conditions and surfaces.

With 138bhp on tap this model is good for 124mph and handles the sprint to 62mph in 10.2 seconds.

As you would expect with four-wheel-drive (4WD) and an automatic transmission there is an economy penalty, but the car still has a combined figure of 49.5mpg and I got quite near that during mixed driving.

The S-Cross is packed with all the latest safety equipment including seven airbags, hill hold control, tyre pressure monitor, side impact protection beams and radar brake support.

Built in Magyar, Hungary, the S-Cross is well built and should be economical to run thanks to Suzuki's reputation for reliability.

I certainly enjoyed my few days with the car although I have to admit that I still prefer the looks of its Vitara sibling which can be had with the same running gear.

FAST FACTS

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet SZ5 ALLGRIP Auto

Price:£24,199

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

C02 emissions:128g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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