Suzuki S-Cross long-term test: report 2
The S-Cross is one of the more grown-up and practical small SUVs, but does that make it an easy car to live with? We're finding out...
The car Suzuki S-Cross 1.5 Full Hybrid Ultra 4W AGS Run by Stuart Milne, digital editor
Why it’s here Hybrids often come into their own around town, and we want to find out if this one is as adept on laps of the M25 as it is on circuits of local ring roads.
Needs to be economical, especially on the motorway, and boast plenty of family friendly touches
Mileage 5191 Price £32,649 Target price £32,012 Price as tested £33,199 Official economy 48.7mpg Test economy 52.4mpg
9 September 2023 – Game of two halves
Highways and byways. That’s probably the best way to sum up my driving routine, as I cover an almost complete loop of the M25 three days a week. And because I’m not a sucker for punishment, when I’m not commuting to What Car?’s offices in south-west London, I’ll avoid all such roads.
That has revealed, in football parlance, that the Suzuki S-Cross is a car of two halves.
As I mentioned in my first report, any car I spend any time with must be family-friendly; with two young kids, this isn’t negotiable. And in that regard, the S-Cross is impressive. It’s high-riding, but not so much that they have trouble getting in or out, and the leg room in the back is very generous indeed – so much so, in fact, that my son has to work hard to kick the back of the driver’s seat.
The kids love the full-length sunroof. It’s been a boon this summer, making the most of the often-gloomy day and helping to bathe the dark interior in light. It means they have an even better view out, and as so many parents know, an entertained child is a happy child on a long journey.
But it’s proving not just to be a car that the kids enjoy – arguably any car’s toughest critics. Around town, at least, I’m very much a fan of the S-Cross’s hybrid system. It’s smooth and manages the transition between petrol and electric power so well that the changeover is almost imperceptible – in fact, it’s often only the (overly) bright green light on the dashboard which alerts me to the car having bumped itself into EV mode.
But when the roads do finally open up, the S-Cross experience does begin to unravel. The hybrid system that’s so refined at lower speeds gets loud under acceleration, and the amount of general road noise means that voices need to be raised slightly to be heard. And then there’s the automatic gearbox which elicits a ‘nodding dog’ effect as it cuts power when shifting.
In the byways vs highways battle, it’s 1-0 at half time.
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here
Buy a new car with What Car?
Like the sound of the Suzuki S-Cross?
Our network of What Car? approved dealers use our Target Price discounts (the most our mystery shoppers think you should pay) as the basis for their savings.
The best small SUVs in 2023
Thinking of buying a new small SUV? Then make sure you read our rundown of the top 10 cars in this booming sector – plus, find out which ones we'd avoid
Suzuki S-Cross long-term test
The S-Cross is one of the more grown-up and practical small SUVs, but does that make it an easy car to live with? We're finding out