Used Suzuki SX4 S-Cross long term test: report 3

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 interior

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 5386 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

10 January 2022 – indifferent infotainment?

Infotainment screens seem to have become the bedrock that all car interiors are built around these days, and my Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is no different. However, despite their importance, I’ve found most modern infotainment systems to be very frustrating to use on the move. So how does the S-Cross’ system stack up?

Well, call me old fashioned, but on my first glance at the interior, I was relieved to see actual air-conditioning buttons below the touchscreen. With so many manufacturers banishing buttons and forcing drivers to interact more with fiddly, laggy, and sometimes complicated touchscreens, it feels like it’s becoming a novelty to see good old buttons and dials that are easy to find and use while you’re driving.

Suzuki S-Cross infotainment

And that’s especially relevant in the S-Cross, because if everything was controlled through the touchscreen, I think I’d get frustrated with it more often.

It's good in some ways; the homepage and general layout of the system is actually very simple, with four easy-to-hit menus available. It's not that attractively designed, though, and has quite an aftermarket look to it. 

There’s also some delay between touching and icon and the screen reacting, but you can still be reasonably confident that when you hit the screen something is eventually going to happen. Is it as snappy in its response as a smartphone? No. But at least it eventually gets the job done.

The Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring works seamlessly, too, with no bugs or glitches like the ones I’d occasionally experience in past cars I've driven, some of which have been a lot more expensive than my Suzuki.

Suzuki S-Cross boot

The screen itself is mounted slightly lower than I'd like; I find myself having to look further down the dashboard than in other rival cars like the Seat Arona and Skoda Kamiq, which have higher mounted infotainment screens. Still, it’s positioned close enough that I don’t have to stretch to reach it like in the Peugeot 2008.

And what of practicality in this small SUV? Well my previous car, the seven-seat Peugeot 5008, was so enormous as to prove, frankly, overkill for my purposes – both work and leisure.

The S-Cross is a better fit, being a small SUV but still having one of the biggest boots in the class. At 430 litres, the S-Cross' has 30 litres more space than the Arona and Kamiq. It has definitely been large enough for what I require. I can easily fit all my cases, tripods and long stands into the boot, without folding down the rear seats. 

This leaves the rear seats clear with the boot empty enough to fit my weekly shopping into – although the big Christmas shop did make me miss the 5008 a bit.

Suzuki S-Cross boot

The Suzuki S-Cross has beaten my expectations for boot space; I certainly haven’t struggled and have still had space to use the boot as a bit of a workstation for setting up equipment on shoots. 

This might sound like an extreme use case, but having a place to rest your kit, lunchbox or thermos will be a boon to anyone who has to spend time in wet and muddy fields. And it just goes to show how versatile the Suzuki is, especially considering it's also a cheaper buy than many other used small SUVs.

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