Suzuki S-Cross 1.4

Boosterjet Ultra

ALLGRIP Hybrid

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

WITH the cost of living going through the roof, every car should have something that brings a smile to your face after the horror of seemingly endless fuel price rises.

And when I climbed into the Suzuki S-Cross Ultra for the first time and hit the starter button that something was supplied.

It flashed on to the seven-inch touchscreen in the form of a ‘walkaround' animation that highlights any lamp posts or other obstacles you may not have noticed when you parked.

Sounds fairly humdrum when written down but in reality it's like having your own Goose - fighter pilot Maverick's sidekick in the film Top Gun - warning you of danger while you do some of that pilot stuff.

With any threats assessed and dealt with you are ready to appreciate the delights of the S Cross which has undergone something of a revamp.

The third generation of the mid-sized SUV started rolling off the production line late last year with applause ringing in its ears for an updated imposing muscular style that includes snazzy LED headlamps, a new black front grille, raised bonnet line, roof rails, spoiler and natty alloy wheels.

There are two versions available - Motion and the Ultra trim I drove - with Suzuki loathes to call one an entry-level model as each offers excellent levels of kit and equipment.

Both grades are equipped with a smartphone link, dual-zone auto air conditioning, keyless entry and start, heated front seats plus front and rear parking sensors.

But if you want four-wheel drive, the 360-degree view camera, part leather upholstery, on-board navigation and a large sliding panoramic sunroof then the Ultra will be the choice providing good value for a price-tag just short of £30,000.

Standard safety kit is impressive with blind spot, rear cross traffic, lane departure and forward collision warning systems all fitted, as well as traffic sign recognition.

There is plenty of head and leg room inside a cabin that boasts good quality materials and a decent fit and finish. Practicality is assured by a 430-litre boot fitted with a false floor and lots of cubby holes for a family's nik-naks.

The rear seats split and fold flat when you need more storage space. There is room for three adults on the rear bench thanks to the low slung transmission tunnel, and when only two are using the space a drop-down armrest featuring handy cup holders is available.

A decent driving position behind the multi-function steering wheel is easy to find and there is also a 4.2-inch colour display showing useful information such as fuel consumption and average speed.

The 1.4-litre Boosterjet power unit - aided and abetted by mild hybrid power and a six-speed manual transmission - propels the S-Cross from 0-62mph in a shade over ten seconds on the way to a claimed top speed of 121mph. Suzuki also offers the option of an automatic gearbox.

The engine also sips petrol frugally achieving a fuel economy figure of around 45mpg during my week with the car.

The ALLGRIP system features four different driving modes - auto, sport, snow and lock for when serious mud-plugging is needed - ensuring there is plenty of grip in tight corners while the ride is reasonably smooth as the suspension soaks up the humps and hollows impersonating smooth road surfaces these days.

FAST FACTS

Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Ultra ALLGRIP Hybrid

Price: £29,799

Mechanical: 129ps, 1,373cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motor driving four wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 121mph

0-62mph: 10.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 42.1 - 54.3

Insurance Group: 25

C02 emissions: 133g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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