Used Suzuki SX4 S-Cross long term test: report 1

Is a nearly new Suzuki SX4 S-Cross the SUV bargain that it appears? We're living with one to find out...

Suzuki S-Cross

The car 2021 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid SZ5 Allgrip auto Run by Kiall Garrett, senior videographer

Why it’s here Can a small, mild-hybrid SUV keep up with the practicality and fuel efficiency demands of a high-mileage driver?

Needs to Be frugal, even on the motorway, plus offer lots of space and good comfort

Mileage 3537 Price when new £29,899 Price when new with all options £30,399 Value on arrival £22,915 Value now £22,915 Official economy 45.2mpg Test economy 44.0mpg Options fitted Energetic Red paint (£500)

6 December – Cheap but expensive

The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is a small SUV with a mild hybrid engine and a good-sized boot that's very temptingly priced, particularly when bought nearly new. These things alone were enough to convince me that it could be a great car for someone like myself who covers lots of miles and needs plenty of space (as a What Car? videographer, I usually travel loaded up with camera equipment).

The S-Cross is replacing a Peugeot 5008, and although practicality was never an issue in that, it felt too big for my needs at times. So, have I made the right decision in downsizing to this smaller, more affordable model?

LT Suzuki SX4 S-Cross front cornering

Well, if any manufacturer can get such a car right, it's surely Suzuki, because it's something of a small SUV specialist, with the Suzuki Ignis and Suzuki Vitara also in its line-up.

The S-Cross is the biggest of the bunch, though. And it was easy to pick an engine, because there’s only one option; every model gets a 1.4-litre ‘Boosterjet’ petrol, fitted with mild-hybrid technology to aid fuel economy.

Now, I know hybrids are mainly at their best efficiency-wise at low speeds, but I’m hoping it will also help with the long distances I sometimes have to travel for video shoots, because these always feature quite a bit of town driving while I battle my way to the motorway.

LT Suzuki SX4 S-Cross parked

In addition, while my previous experience with a Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid taught me that you need to cover a lot of miles to offset the extra upfront cost that this sort of setup incurs, mild hybrids barely cost any more than conventional petrols, so any savings will be felt straight away.

So far, I'm averaging 44.0mpg, which isn't far off the official figure of 45.2mpg. But it should be noted that performance is on the mild side, too; although the S-Cross doesn't feel underpowered, a 0-62mph time of 10.2sec is far from rapid.

Choosing a trim required more thought than the take it or leave it engine choice. There were three on offer, starting with SZ4, which comes with a DAB radio, electric door mirrors and remote locking. SZ-T trim brings keyless entry, parking sensors and an infotainment touchscreen. Meanwhile, range-topping SZ5 adds more creature comforts like a panoramic glass sunroof, leather upholstery and heated front seats, which I greatly missed in the 5008.

LT Suzuki SX4 S-Cross interior

It's the latter trim that I've gone for, then, plus I've got Suzuki's Allgrip four-wheel drive system for when I have to venture off the beaten track to get the perfect shot.

New I'd have paid £29,899, which is £8,650 more than the entry-level trim costs, but my six-month old example wipes out most of that premium. I'm hoping, then, that my Suzuki S-Cross will deliver luxury motoring on a budget.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read our full Suzuki S-Cross review >>

Read about more long-term test cars >>

Also consider