Suzuki might be best know for producing fast sports bikes, but they also have a respectable range of passenger vehicles. They’re one of the lesser know brands to Irish motorists but believe me Suzuki are well worth a closer look. Anyone who drives the Swift will immediately be charmed by the car’s excellent on-road dynamics and practicality, all backed up with excellent reliability.
Now Suzuki has introduced its latest model onto the Irish market, their compact crossover, the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross. It’s already got off to a flying start, having recently been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP Safety Rating. The SX4 S-Cross faces tough competition from the already well established Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti. However, it’s well equipped to take a slice of this competitive segment. Suzuki has priced the SX4 S-Cross well, with prices commencing from €19,995, it’s available in the two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive.
Our test model was 1.6-litre GLX Allgrip diesel variant. It’s powered by a 1.6-litre DDiS diesel engine, this turbo-charged unit produces 120hp and 320Nm of torque. Power is linear and certainly plentiful for all the driving we completed during our week-long evaluation. Torque is accessible from low down the rev range, from just 1,750rpm which aids acceleration. It’s a frugal unit offering a combined consumption of just 4.6L/100km (61.4mpg), although in real-world motoring you can take a few mpgs off this manufacturer’s figure. The six-speed manual transmission is geared accurately and complements the frugal diesel engine up front. Handling is as expected from Suzuki impressive and enjoyable, the SX4 S-Cross is far more entertaining to drive then most C-SUV’s on the roads today. The key trait of our test car is Suzuki’s ALLGRIP 4WD technology, you can select between four driving modes from a small knob behind the gear stick, Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock. We left it in Auto mode for the vast majority of our driving, trusting the electronics to decide on the optimal setting. We did utilise Sport mode on some twisty county roads, the system alters the accelerator/torque characteristics to optimise engine response and cornering performance. The system will also divert 20 per cent more torque to the rear wheels. Acceleration out of tight corners is noticeably improved and the car can take a tighter line through twisty sections of road.
The interior is comfortable and spacious, with a decent level of equipment on board as standard. There’s plenty of headroom and luggage space too, with 430 litres of boot space. The quality of the fit and finish is commendable, with all the main controls clearly laid out. Our test car had the optional panoramic sunroof fitted which allows a great amount of light into the cabin for both front and rear seat occupants. There are three grades of trim available, GL, GL+ and GLX, all variants are equipped with ESP, tyre pressure monitors, Daytime running lights, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, cruise control, heated door mirrors, protective skid plates and black wheel arch extensions. Our GLX model is suitably equipped with luxuries including, parking sensors, leather upholstery, 17” alloy wheels, HID projector headlamps and electric retractable mirrors. The Crystal Lime Metallic of our test car wasn’t to everyone’s liking, we much prefer the Boost Blue Pearl that’s also on offer.
The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross has impressed us with its diversifying range of talents. It’s stylish yet practical and easy to live with on a daily basis, all backed up with Suzuki’s renowned reliability. It might be a Suzuki with four wheels instead of the familiar two, but it’s the one to have and own.
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