Suzuki on a roll

with stunning new

S-Cross

Suzuki S-Cross, 2021, side
Suzuki S-Cross, 2021, front
Suzuki S-Cross, 2021, rear
Suzuki S-Cross, 2021, interior
Suzuki S-Cross, 2021, boot
Suzuki S-Cross, 2021, display screen
Suzuki S-Cross, 2021, badge

SUZUKI is on a a roll at the moment as it continues celebrating its 2020 centenary with new models and ambitious plans for the future.

The third-generation Suzuki S-Cross, a quantum leap above the old model, is the latest introduction to its line up, following hard on the heels of the upgraded Ignis and the new Across and Swace.

It looks as good as anything in its class, is a decent drive, delivers good economy through its mild hybrid technology and has an attractive price tag.

The firm now offers 100 per cent ‘Hybrids for all' availability across the full Suzuki passenger car range offering 12V, 48V, Higher Voltage Hybrid and PHEV models.

Suzuki has ambitions to push their market share above two per cent and this updated model shows styling that throws down the gauntlet to market leaders in the same segment.

It's a bold ambition in a sector that includes the likes of the Peugeot 3008, Vauxhall Mokka, Volkswagen Tiguan and the Nissan Qashqai.

There are just two choices, Motion and Ultra, with Suzuki refusing to use ‘entry level' because of the high levels of standard equipment on both models.

Standard specifications fitted to both new grades include Apple CarPlay & Android Auto smartphone link, keyless entry and start, dual-zone auto air conditioning, heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors.

Ultra specification adds a 360-degree view camera, leather upholstery, on-board navigation and large sliding panoramic sunroof.

Both feature the now familiar 1.4 litre Boosterjet petrol/hybrid technology, which delivers, economy of around 53mpg for the front-wheel drive manual version, and good pace, while pumping out CO2 emissions of just 120g/km.

Obviously, the heavier four-wheel drive ALLGRIP is less economical and is available on the Ultra grade.

It has an impressive, muscular stance, much like the larger Across, with raised bonnet line, piano black front grille and new LED headlamps.

The rear features larger combination lamps and all is nicely finished off with roof rails, integrated spoiler and striking 17-inch alloy wheels.

The interior has an upmarket feel featuring soft-touch plastic finish, sturdy switchgear and a logically laid out dash and binnacle. There is plenty of head and legroom and the vehicle feels comfortable and airy with a high-end feel.

The centrepiece is a seven-inch touchscreen that controls navigation, infotainment and Mirrorlink with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. In addition, a 4.2-inch high-definition colour LCD display shows a range of information including engine output and torque data, fuel consumption, average speed, acceleration and brake operation as well as driving G-force tracking.

On the road, the car offers decent pace via the 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbocharged engine.

It is mated to either the auto gearbox or six speed manual and is quick off the mark, hitting 60mph in just over 10 seconds.

The engine is paired with Suzuki's lightweight Integrated Starter Generator, or ISG, 48v lithium-ion battery and 48V-12V (DC/DC) converter, but only adds an extra 15kg to the overall weight. These drive some low power components and add an extra boost to acceleration when you put your foot down.

On the road the car responds well to the touch of the accelerator and while this type of vehicle is not designed for high-speed cornering, it still feels pretty stable unless pushed too hard. The steering is direct but a bit on the light side for my liking, but the ride is comfortable with all occupants kept pretty comfortable except on the worst of our roads.

Suzuki's ALLGRIP ‘Select' system is fitted as standard on Ultra models and Suzuki is unique in the sector by offering 4WD with both manual and automatic transmissions.

The system incorporates four driver-selectable modes, three of which are pretty self-explanatory, auto, sport and snow, while lock mode is for extricating the car from snow, mud, or sand. A limited slip differential is fitted which helps brake any slipping wheel and transfer torque to the gripping wheels.

In practical terms, it offers plenty with a large boot with a false floor with the 430 litres expanding to huge stowage space with the rear seats folded.

Standard safety equipment includes seven airbags with a driver's knee airbag as well as seat belt pretensioners and force limiters.

Both models feature, assisted braking, airbags, and high end features like blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control included as standard on all versions.

Pricing is keen at £24,999 for 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid Motion with manual transmission and £29,799 for 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid Ultra ALLGRIP with manual transmission.

Six-speed automatic transmission is available optionally on both grades at £1,350.

A tough market for Suzuki, but this motor looks as good as any of its competitors, is a good drive and is hugely practical. The two per cent market share beckons.

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