By Patrick James on 2017-12-15 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
SZ5 ALLGRIP 1.4
SUZUKI is having a good time of it recently.
With the launch of the Ignis and revamped Swift, its reputation for producing reasonably priced reliable small cars is further enhanced.
The firm also has a reputation for producing decent all-wheel drive vehicles. So it does the simple things really well.
The SX-4 S-Cross combines the best of both. A smallish crossover that is more than capable off road. It is also available as front wheel drive only.
It has had a recent facelift, and if not exactly a catwalk superstar, it is a decent looking vehicle, muscular yet stylish, that stands comparison with its nearest competitors.
At a smidge over £24,000, it is hardly bargain basement, but this model is packed with standard kit and four wheel drive, so is a snip compared to some competitors.
It sits high off the road has a restyled front end and all versions now come with alloy wheels. revised bonnet, bumper, large grille and lights. It also features discrete roof rails, front side and underbody protection and rear privacy glass.
The interior is functional rather than fashionable, but the array of solid plastic trim is slightly offset by the odd touch of soft touch trim. The dark finish is also nicely offset by aluminium trim and inserts throughout.
For a small crossover, this is a roomy car, with plenty of head and legroom at the front while legroom in the back isn't bad either.
The rest of the controls are simple and logical and easy to use. The centrepiece on this model is the central touch screen controlling major functions like navigation, phone and smart phone connectivity.
All are well equipped and this range topper added neat touches like heated leather seats, traffic alert, full-length, double sunroof, parking camera, LED projector lights and a host of other goodies.
This model also features Suzuki's Allgrip four wheel drive system, which has a rotary mode selector sitting on the centre console.
Four different modes can be selected, depending on the prevailing condition outside.
As a crossover it needs to be practical and it is with a large boot with double luggage area floor.
It is one of the biggest in its class with the capacity to increase it with sliding the split folding rear seats which opens up a cavernous amount of space in the rear.
With the seats in place 430 litres is available, fold them down and 1,730 litres become available. The seats collapse with a single tug of a lever to make loading and unloading simple.
In addition there are four cupholders plus storage pockets and central console box for extra practicality.
There are three engines, a feisty one-litre thee cylinder petrol, the 1.4-litre Boosterjet petrol driven here and a 1.6-litre diesel.
All are turbocharged with the 1.4 Boosterjet, mated with a five speed gearbox proving a lively performer. It can hit 60mph in 10 seconds while delivering economy of an official 50.4mpg - pretty impressive for a car with all wheel drive technology.
It is also a refined unit offering plenty of torque making it a good motorway cruiser with little sign of engine noise.
The car is also packed with safety kit including hill hold, traction and stability control, assisted braking and seven airbags.
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SZ5 ALLGRIP 1.4 Boosterjet
Mechanical: 140bhp, 1,373cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 50.4
C02 emissions: 127g/km
Bik rating: 24%
Warranty: 3yrs/62,000 miles
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