Suzuki S-Cross long-term test: report 5

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...

Long-Term Suzuki S-Cross 2023 packing the boot

The car Suzuki S-Cross 1.5 Full Hybrid Ultra 4W AGS Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer

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 7180 Price £32,649 Target price £32,012 Price as tested £33,199 Official economy 54.3mpg Test economy 48.8mpg

27 November 2023 – Packing it all in.

There's always a but. Sugar-free drinks are better for my health, but I much prefer the flavour of the full-fat varieties. And I still enjoy a good party at my stage in life, but I know full well that I'll feel it the next day. And so it is with my Suzuki S-Cross. It's a hybrid car, and to its credit, I'm pretty impressed by its fuel economy so far (it's averaging close to 50mpg) – but the tech that enables it brings its own compromise.

Long-Term Suzuki S-Cross 2023 rear-seat luggage

The electric side of its hybrid system is powered by a 0.8kWh battery, and this is mounted under the boot floor. As a result, while the mild hybrid 1.4-litre S-Cross can officially carry 430 litres of luggage with its rear seats in use (30 litres more than its soon-to-be-replaced Skoda Kamiq rival can manage), my full hybrid 1.5-litre car can muster just 293 litres. That means I've had to get clever when it comes to packing the cameras, flashguns, car cleaning gear and other pieces of kit that I couldn't do my job as What Car?'s chief photographer without.

The only way I can do it is to split the load up and consign my camera gear to the rear seat. That's fine when I'm in the car, but I'm less happy about it when I'm parked up, at which point my valuable kit is in full view of opportunist thieves. It also puts the rear seats out of action for passenger duties, which is a shame; the S-Cross is right up there with the Kamiq for rear leg room, and it knocks the Ford Puma into a cocked hat in that regard. Bigger windows make it feel much airier in the back than the Puma, too.

Long-Term Suzuki S-Cross 2023 rear-seat occupied

When I ran a Puma, though, I had no problem fitting all my photographic gear into the boot, and that was partially thanks to that car's big underfloor storage compartment, or MegaBox as it's called in the sales brochure. Of course, being mild hybrid powered, the Puma doesn't have a bulky, space-sapping battery to accommodate, but ironically, that car's official fuel economy is pretty close to that of my S-Cross without one. 

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