Suzuki Across long-term test: report 4

Can a plug-in hybrid SUV make sense for someone who covers a lot of motorway miles? Our senior photographer is finding out...

Suzuki Across interior

The car Suzuki Across 2.5 PHEV E-Four E-CVT Run by Will Williams, senior photographer

Why it’s here To see if plug-in hybrid power can suit someone who covers lots of miles, yet still remain as practical and appealing as a conventional large SUV

Needs to Carry all my camera gear and still have room for my family, while also lowering my running costs and functioning as a mobile office when needed

Mileage 10,500 List price £45,599 Target Price £45,599 Price as tested £45,754 Test economy 64.0mpg Official economy 282.4mpg 

25 November 2021 – Outward bound

I’ve spent a bit of time in other cars recently, and it’s brought home to me how my Suzuki Across gets the basic things right.

For example, while it might not be especially fashionable to have chunky, rubberised heater controls, they go a long way to keeping this photographer happy.

Suzuki Across interior

After a few hours outside on a chilly autumnal shoot, they make it a lot easier to get warm than if I had to delve into the car’s touchscreen; I can even change the temperature when I'm wearing thick gloves.

By contrast, the Volkswagen ID.3 electric car I was shooting the other day required me to press small touch-sensitive icons (that aren’t illuminated at night) or resort to the voice control to adjust the level of interior toastiness.

The seats of the Across are comfy for long distances, too, with the fact that they're electrically adjustable allowing me to tweak my driving position on the move and stave off the dreaded back ache.

What's more, both the seats and the steering wheel heat up faster than it takes me to clear a packet of my favourite biscuits – which is very fast indeed. And the heated wheel handily remembers my last setting, so half the time I don’t even need to lift a finger to, erm, warm them.

Suzuki Across infotainment screen

As we’ve now had a few frosty mornings, I've also started to appreciate the heated band at the bottom of the Across's windscreen because it gets the screen clear in no time and stops the wipers freezing.

Finally, while the infotainment system isn’t the most attractive out there, it's pretty responsive, displays rich colours and allows me to stay in touch with the office thanks to its Apple CarPlay connectivity.

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