Suzuki Across Hybrid

Suzuki Across, 2022, side, action
Suzuki Across, 2022, front
Suzuki Across, 2022, rear
Suzuki Across, 2021, interior
Suzuki Across, 2021, rear seats
Suzuki Across, 2021, charging
Suzuki Across, 2021, engine
Suzuki Across, 2021, boot
Suzuki Across, 2021, centre console

What? A Suzuki with a near £50,000 price tag! Can this be true?

Well, yes it is. But wait a moment, the Suzuki Across bears a remarkable resemblance to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, with its advanced electrification, high economy and brisk acceleration.

And the reason is that the two cars are almost identical, because of a recent tie-up between the huge Toyota empire and the smaller Suzuki. The relationship has allowed Suzuki to engage with a costlier sector where profits can be greater.

With range anxiety being recognised as a very real fear among potential buyers of EVs, hybrids like the Across and RAV4 which can run longer distances on electric, yet have a safety net of petrol power, are sure to gain ground.

On the two occasions we home-charged the Across review model, it ran 46miles on electric before switching to petrol - a useful distance for local commuters.

The generic looking SUV is also surprisingly swift - 62mph comes up in a mere six seconds, which is hot-hatch territory. Power comes from a 2.5-litre, four cylinder ICE unit coupled to two electric motors. Altogether this translates as 302bhp.

Gear-changing is by automatic CVT gearbox - maybe not everyone's favourite transmission - and as the shape suggests, four wheel drive is standard.

As with most electrified models, the acceleration is linear and immediate, so rapid overtaking and getaways are the norm. Nurse the car more gently and you will be rewarded with noticeably better economy. Our average was nudging 52mpg, quite a result for a large five seater.

Another significant statistic is the six per cent Benefit in Kind tax, surely a big attraction to company car drivers.

Handling is safe and predictable, though it understandably lacks sporting appeal and is accompanied by some body roll. Ride over poor surfaces is well damped and largely comfortable. It does get a bit unsettled and fidgety on ripple and rutted roads, however.

The cabin is roomy and robust rather than luxurious, and it lacks some of the panache and styling of either a Land Rover Discovery or BMW X3. There's is a lot of dark plastic around and the controls are tough and chunky as befits a serious SUV. Plenty of space for six-footers with ample head room front and rear.

Getting in and out is easy thanks to the height and the foot-wells are wide and square shaped, allowing you to drive wearing outdoor boots - another plus in this type of vehicle.

Boot space, too, is good at 520 litres with rear seats, which split 60-40, in place and 1,630 litres when they're folded. Some rivals offer still great carrying capacity. There's just about enough room beneath the boot floor to hide away the charging cables.

Electric tail gate, electric front, heated seats and good quality audio system are standard features. But there's no sunroof or sat-nav. But you have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for guidance and streaming via your smart phone.

FAST FACTS

Suzuki Across Hybrid

Price: £48,129

Mechanical: 2.5-litre, 302bhp 4 cyl petrol hybrid engine driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 6.0sec

Combined MPG: 282.0

Insurance Group: 39

C02 emissions: 22g/km

Bik rating: 6%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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