TWO things immediately strike you about the Suzuki Across plug-in hybrid.
Firstly it's a Suzuki costing north of Â£40,000 - a first for the Japanese motor manufacturer - and second, it looks an awful lot like a Toyota RAV4.
Let's deal with the price-tag first. At Â£45,599 the Across is in the same stratosphere as PHEVs belonging to the likes of Range Rover with its Evoque and Mitsubishi with its Outlander.
In order to compete the Across is given plenty of weapons and one of them is undoubtedly its fuel efficiency as it is one of the best SUVs at sipping petrol frugally.
A 2.5-litre engine is aided and abetted by electric motors which also give the Across a 4x4 string to its bow by powering the rear wheels via the E-Four system, as well as helping with a hot-hatch rate of acceleration.
A Trail setting uses an automatic limited slip differential to maximise grip off-road and other modes are available depending on how you want to use the hybrid motor. A dial also allows you to switch from Eco to Normal to Sport doing exactly what is says on the tin to the car's reactions.
Suzuki's first plug-in SUV boasts an official fuel consumption figure of 282mpg according to official WLTP figures - although this only achievable if the car is driven for the most of the time using the battery, with electric-only running stretching to an impressive 46 miles.
In many miles of mixed motoring on dual carriageways and the urban jungle without charging up every night I found I was averaging close to 40mpg. So you really need to charge up every night to get the best from this PHEV.
The acceleration is awesome for what is a big motor. Press the push-button ignition - after accessing the SUV via keyless entry - engage drive on the E-CVT automatic gearbox and 62mph is reached from a standing start in six seconds on the way to a top speed of 112mph thanks to the 306 horses representing the total power output under your right foot. There are also steering wheel-mounted paddles if you wish to change gear manually.
An official carbon dioxide emissions rating of just 22g/km and a benefit in kind taxation rate of six per cent is going to make the Across popular for company car drivers whose businesses allow them the initial outlay.
The Across handles well for a large motor but the ride could perhaps be a tad smoother as the weight of the large battery makes its presence felt.
Now on to the RAV4 resemblance which is no real surprise as the Across is the first product of Suzuki's joint venture with Toyota.
That's not to say that the Across is a simple re-badge of the plug-in version of the RAV4 as Suzuki have put their stamp on this SUV - particularly the front end with a recognisable face thanks to the grille and bumper.
It looks muscular with an in-your-face design featuring big alloy wheels and meaty wheel arch mouldings as well as a rock-star feel thanks to tinted windows, neat LED headlights with daytime running lights, twin tailpipes and a rear upper spoiler.
The interior is modern, plush and well put together with soft-touch materials used in all the right places.
There is one trim offered which includes lots of goodies including a nine-inch multimedia touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink smartphone connectivity. There are buttons down each side making the system easy to navigate.
There are also heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, dual zone air conditioning with separate controls situated beneath the touchscreen, Bluetooth and a DAB radio which together with a host of safety features go some way to justifying the high price-tag.
There is plenty of room for four adults and their luggage with the boot - accessed via an automatic opening tailgate - boasting a capacity of 490 litres rising to 1,168 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
A third adult can be fitted on the rear bench but the slightly raised transmission tunnel restricts leg room a tad and you lose the use of the central drop-down armrest featuring two cup holders.
There is also an armrest between driver and front-seat passenger concealing a deep storage box with plenty of cup holders and cubby holes ensuring a family's nik-naks are neatly squared away.