Suzuki Across long-term test: report 5

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 outside dealership

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 12,543 List price £45,599 Target Price £45,599 Price as tested £45,754 Test economy 64.0mpg Official economy 282.4mpg 

10 December 2021 – Suzuki's successful service

The odometer on my Suzuki Across has been racking up the miles like an overactive electricity meter dial recently. Even so, I was surprised to learn that the car needed servicing already.

After all, with plug-in hybrid technology giving it a real-world electric-only range of 46-50 miles, its engine has a bit less work to do than if it ran on petrol alone. 

As the car neared the 12,000-mile mark, I thought I’d better check the service schedule anyway, especially as I had a few long journeys planned. I expected it to say the first check-up was due between 16,000 and 20,000 miles. Luckily, I’d caught it just in time –the service book revealed that the first trip to a dealer was needed at just 12,500 miles.

Will using Suzuki Across' boot

The Toyota RAV4 equivalent needs servicing even sooner, at 10,000 miles, although that costs about £190 rather than the £235.72 I paid. When you take into account the longer interval of my car, there’s not much in it as far as your wallet is concerned.

My local Richmond Suzuki dealer in Fareham had the car booked in at short notice, and I was able to drop the car off, get a lift home and work while the bonnet was lifted. The servicing, inspection and oil change were all done in a couple of hours and nothing untoward was found.

I had no reason to expect anything wrong, but it’s still good to get the all clear. The technician even emailed me a brief video of his inspection work, showing me that all was good with the oily bits, brakes and suspension below the surface. I promptly got a call from the friendly reception staff to say my car was ready to collect.  

I’d given the valeter a particularly challenging task. When I dropped it off, the Across was as filthy as my sense of humour from all my recent trips, but when I collected the car, it was cleaned to perfection inside and out.

I'd told the reception staff about an intermittent buzz from the silver plastic bezel on the steering wheel and asked them to check if they could find a fix. Typically, the noise didn’t materialise when they checked it – as always seems to be the way. And, yes, of course it returned to accompany me on my drive home.

Suzuki Across 12V socket

The Across even felt a bit more hushed (steering wheel squeak, apart) and just a tiny bit smoother on the way home. Is it just me, or does that always happen when your car has been treated to fresh fluids?

I’ve recently discovered that the Across has a 12v European socket in the boot (as well as a 12v cigarette lighter socket). I can use that to top up my camera batteries on the move rather than my usual 12v inverter, which can kick up extra noise. That’s pretty useful and also means I can keep my laptop from dying when I’m editing.

The next few weeks are going to see that odometer continue to spin around at about the same (slightly insane) rate as me and the Suzuki travel across the country. If only the service intervals were a bit less frequent.

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