Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.6 DDiS SZ4
Week ending March 28
Driven this week 212
Last weekend I spent a couple of days with our Suzuki SX4 for the first time.
I like small SUVs and this is one of the best I've tried. I especially like the interior, the simple dash layout and the higher driving position, which affords an excellent view out.
It makes huge sense as a family car too. I took a 200-mile trip four up and it coped with us and our luggage easily; the large, wide boot is especially useful.
Yes, the ride's a little firm but I wasn't going to argue with averaging 54mpg without trying too hard.
So my impressions are good. This is a fuss-free car that would grace any family driveway. I'll be asking to borrow it again.
By Stephen Hopkins
Week ending March 21
Driven this week 44
I've been trying to work out why our average MPG figure for this car has been so poor. Michele drives the Suzuki mostly in town, which is never good for economy, but she's been averaging mid-20s - that's appalling for a 1.6-litre diesel. Economy has improved to 43.6mpg on the motorway, but that's still not very good (my VW Golf 1.6 TDI gets more than 50mpg when cruising).
The Suzuki's engine stop-start system may be partly to blame. It seems very reluctant to cut the engine when you're pootling around town, even when the engine's up to temperature. I pushed the deactivation switch a couple of times to make sure it was set to 'on' but still couldn't get it to cut the engine when sitting at traffic lights. Colleagues report that it has worked for them on occasion, but I wonder if a software update is required at the first service.
I think there's another reason why the economy is so poor: the engine is surprisingly willing. It's all too easy to exceed 30mph in town, and the SX4 is no slouch on the motorway, either. I'm not suggesting for one minute that Michele is a speed freak, but the Suzuki is almost too eager for its own good. It feels quicker than my Golf, too, even though the on-paper figures suggest otherwise.
By Rob Keenan
Week ending March 14
Driven this week 81
Now I’ve been living with the S-Cross for a few months, I’ve come to really appreciate a lot of things about it; the simplicity and clean looks of the car inside and out; the unfussy ease-to-use controls; the elevated height and driving position, but in particular the super big, super-practical boot.
I haven't had to think twice about what could fit inside the boot, and although I haven’t pushed it to the limit just yet I have managed to get in everything from giant sofa cushions to guitars and scooters.
The adjustable boot floor has proved useful for the kids to sit on while changing them into their wellies, and has allowed me to slide shopping bags and boxes of wine in and out with ease and without even the slightest bend of my back.
Week ending March 7
Driven this week 77
After last week's gearbox oil change, driving the S-Cross has been a lot smoother, especially in the town-driving I tend to do with lots of small journeys.
I haven't been in my car much this week, as a What Car? reader featuring in an upcoming issue of the magazine borrowed the S-Cross to see how she liked it compared to a few of its rival small SUVs.
Unsurprisingly, her first impressions match what I already think: the S-Cross is spacious and comfortable and very enjoyable to drive, with a simple dashboard and easy-to-use controls. It'll be interesting to see how she compares the Suzuki to the others she tried out, so keep an eye out for the feature in a couple of months.