Approached without my glasses on, Michele’s white SX4 S-Cross looks remarkably like my white Qashqai.
This is not wholly surprising – they're roughly similar in size, and aimed at roughly the same sort of car buyer. The Qashqai I’ve come to know and admire, but my experience of the SX4 S-Cross has been more limited, and, although the Suzuki is cheaper and comparisons might be odious, I can’t help but compare the two.
Hopping into the S-Cross straight after the Qashqai it feels more compact, although for most families it’s probably spacious enough. The dark and hard plastics do feel a little cheap, though, especially compared with those in the more considered interior of the Qashqai. I found the central armrest intrusive, too, and I would have liked more rearward adjustment in the driver’s seat – Michele’s husband is a lankier fellow than me, so I must ask her how he copes with it.
Move away though, and the differences between the two become clearer. The diesel engine in the Suzuki is a gruff unit, noticeably noisier than the 1.5-litre engine in my car. Added to that, there’s more bounce and bang in the ride. To drive, it’s straightforward, but totally unrewarding, with a slightly agricultural feel.
The S-Cross might be good value, but to be honest I can’t think why you’d choose it over one of the cheaper Qashqais. I’m going to make sure I keep my glasses on when I approach our car park.
By Mark Pearson
In the car park
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