By on 2023-06-16 -
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross -
Used Car Review
WHEN car companies amalgamate two existing models they usually choose a single name or come up with a new one.
But Suzuki, for a reason best known only to themselves, saddled the last version of its larger SUV with both.
Thus the SX4 S-Cross was born - it doesn't quite roll off the tongue does it?
However, all that preamble aside, what they produced is a very capable SUV, most of which are front wheel drive but there are also a couple that have all wheel drive.
These 4x4s are very good off-road and also good to drive on the Tarmac with decent performance and very good comfort.
But the front wheel drive models have the same ground clearance and highish driving position, and are a shade quicker on the road because they have less weight to lug around.
Surprisingly perhaps, they are also pretty good off-road if the rough stuff doesn't get too bad.
Latterly, just two engines were available, both petrol turbos Suzuki calls Boosterjet. The smallest is a 1.0-litre with 109bhp that reaches 60 miles an hour from rest in a very creditable 10.6 seconds and is capable of a very best 53 miles per gallon.
The other is a 1.4 that's available in two different guises. First there's a standard turbo with 140bhp, and it pulls to 60 in 9.1 seconds while managing a best of 48mpg.
And finally, the second version is a petrol/electric mild hybrid boasting 127bhp that gets to the benchmark in 9.2 seconds and can do a best of 54mpg.
As well as the petrol engine, this has a 48 volt battery and electric motor to aid performance, and the battery is charged when cruising and braking.
Both engines are available with a six speed automatic gearbox, and the manuals are a five speed for the 1.0-litre and a six speed for the 1.4.
Both are also available with the Suzuki Allgrip AWD system and this drives the front wheels on the road and when the going is easy off-road, only bringing the rears into play when traction is lost. There is also a lock for the centre differential to give maximum traction in very heavy going or on steep slopes.
The engines are really excellent, smooth and responsive, free revving and quiet, and they help give the car a lovely feel on the road.
Performance is good without ever being particularly impressive, but that's not what this car is about.
Where it scores over most of the opposition is in the excellent level of comfort. It takes all the potholes and speed humps in town very easily, and simply rolls over undulating and rough surfaces out in the country as if they're not there.
Other SUVs have stiffer suspension to try and give them more car-like handling, but I think that's a mistake, because it spoils the quality of the ride.
Even though the S-Cross leans a fair bit when pushed into corners, it still takes them safely every time, with very good grip and decent balance.
Inside, the seats are comfortable and supportive and there's plenty of adjustment for a perfect driving position.
Mid-range SZ-T comes with alloy wheels, heated mirrors, traction control, parking sensors, satellite navigation, loads of airbags and audio remote control.
Pay about Â£10,550 for a '19 19-reg 1.0 litre SZ-4 2WD, or Â£20,400 for a '21 21-reg 1.4 mild hybrid SZ-5 Allgrip 4x4.
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