Video | Suzuki S-Cross: watch our extended week-long test drive
We gave the all-new Suzuki S-Cross to a young family from Birmingham to test each and every one of its family-friendly features. This is what they found...
The all-new Suzuki S-Cross offers bold SUV styling, oodles of comfort, practical adaptable space by the bucketload, an efficient punchy 1.4-litre hybrid powertrain, and the latest easy-to-use in-car infotainment and safety technology – making it the ultimate feel-good crossover for families who want to stand out from the crowd.
That’s why we gave one to the Rasheed family for a week – asking dad Asim, mum Amber and their young son Yahya to give every one of its family-friendly features the ultimate extended seven-day test. As Asim explains: “Getting the chance to try out a car for a week gives you a much better chance to see how it fits your lifestyle, and I’ve been really impressed. The Suzuki S-Cross is a really easy car to live with – nice-looking, economical, good value for money, and very well put together.”
Watch our video and read on to get even more of their in-depth impressions.
Bold standout SUV style
Harking back to Suzuki’s heritage, the all-new Suzuki S-Cross boasts a bold, muscular SUV style. Up front, there’s a raised bonnet line with piano-black trim and sleek LED headlights, while the rear offers wide haunches and smart horizontal lights that complete the modern robust-looking design. Eye-catching alloy wheels – available as painted or polished – are the cherry on top of this true head-turner.
“The S-Cross has certainly had its fair share of compliments this week,” says Asim. “I genuinely think it’s a smart-looking car. This one has a lovely colour, and some strong standout features. And, because you don’t see too many of them about, I like the fact that it’s got a bit of exclusivity to it as well. It’s a bit more unique.”
The high-rise driving position of the Suzuki S-Cross delivers added confidence and visibility on the road, while its compact exterior dimensions – similar in size to a C-segment family car, and only slightly longer and wider than the compact Suzuki Swift hatchback – mean it’s highly practical in tight urban spaces.
“I really enjoy the high seating position,” says Amber. “It lets me see above the traffic, which fills me with confidence. Equally, because of how compact the S-Cross is, I didn’t have to go looking for an extra-large parking space. It was easy to park in a standard space, and there’s no problem opening the doors as wide as possible – so it’s easy to get out and get Yahya out. It ticks all the boxes.”
Cosseting comfort and advanced infotainment
Behind the wheel, the all-new Suzuki S-Cross offers oodles of cosseting comfort and plenty of user-friendly tech. In front of the driver, a crisp 4.2in LCD display shows important vehicle information – including torque output, regenerative braking, fuel consumption, and even a G-force tracker for a bit of fun.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity come as standard, meaning you can connect compatible smartphones in the blink of an eye. Equally, the 7.0in high-definition touchscreen available on Motion trim models makes finding your favourite podcasts, destinations and vehicle information a breeze. Ultra grade versions get an even bigger 9.0in display with three-dimensional navigation and 360-degree view camera.
A USB port helps keep your devices topped-up, while durable easy-clean materials throughout give the cabin a solid, quality feel. Keyless entry, heated front seats and dual-zone climate control all come as standard, too.
“One of the things I found really impressive about the S-Cross was the build quality,” says Asim. “It’s put together very well. I think it has reinforced my thoughts about Suzuki as a brand. Its cars are very dependable. It was very easy to hook up the Bluetooth, and the satellite navigation is crisp and clear. I tested out the speaker system, too. It was definitely loud enough!”
As Amber adds: “It definitely has the feel-good factor when you’re sat inside. The infotainment was brilliant: very easy to use. I didn’t need to read the manual, as it was incredibly intuitive. Yahya found the infotainment screen great, too. He knew how to use it faster than I did!”
Highly supportive seats in the Suzuki S-Cross also make long journeys a breeze. “The seats are really comfortable and snug, so I didn’t feel any of the aches or tiredness that I normally do after a long day of driving,” says Amber. “I also gave one of our elderly neighbours a lift the other day, and she found it very comfortable – so easy to get in and out of. She kept telling me how comfortable it was for her.”
Ultra grade versions of the Suzuki S-Cross add an enormous panoramic sunroof that extends all the way back to the rear seats – making the cabin airy and inviting. “At the slightest sight of sun, Yahya would insist that we open it,” says Asim. “Yeah, he loved it!”
Plenty of family practicality
Inside, the Suzuki S-Cross offers 430 litres of versatile boot space as standard with the rear seats up. That’s more than enough for a weekly shop or family weekend away. Need even more room? Simply fold down the 60/40-split rear seats to reveal a whopping 665 litres of luggage capacity.
The wide-opening tailgate makes loading easy, while the adjustable boot floor means that you can easily slide big items in and out. On either side of the boot, two deep cubbies are perfect for loose items, while the removable luggage cover helps keep valuables out of sight. There are also plenty of hooks to keep things tied down.
“We’re quite outdoorsy and sporty,” says Asim. “I take my son kickboxing and swimming. I like my hiking and a bit of cycling. Plus, I do a lot of DIY. So, a car with a big boot is important for us. We’re doing a DIY project at the moment and the S-Cross basically took the entire contents of the old bedroom to the tip in two runs. In my current car [a family saloon] it would take at least three or four trips.
“It’s also got loads of neat little things that you discover as you use it. Like the fact that the parcel shelf neatly tucks in under the false floor means you don’t have to take it out and store it elsewhere, as you might with some cars.”
In the cabin there’s ample legroom for adults, and lots of useful cubbies for bottles, phones and food. There’s even a helpful sunglasses holder in the roof. In the back, the high SUV-style roofline makes for plenty of headroom, while the wide-opening rear doors make getting a child seat in and out simple.
“The S-Cross feels really spacious”, says Amber. “Ample leg room, ample boot space. We also had the booster seat in both the front and back for Yahya, and he found it really easy to get in and out of as well – he was happy!”
Efficient hybrid power
On the road, the Suzuki S-Cross uses an efficient and punchy hybrid powertrain that offers the benefit of an electric boost without the need to plug in. It blends a torquey 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an advanced lightweight 48V hybrid system that boosts power delivery, while also using intelligent regenerative braking to put power back into the battery for later use – improving fuel efficiency as a result.
When accelerating, the electrically enhanced 129hp and 235N of torque has plenty of poke, getting you from 0-60mph in a swift and effortless 9.5 seconds. Below speeds of 10mph, the electric motor takes control of engine idling, helping you save fuel around town. All this makes for official economy figures of 53.2mpg, with CO2 emissions as low as 120g/km – helping you save on road tax.
“I was really impressed with the hybrid powertrain,” says Asim. “I drive an automatic on a daily basis, but I really enjoyed this six-speed manual. The shift is quite slick, and the engine is very well suited to this car. It’s got a lot of low-down grunt and it’s very zippy. There’s a nice display screen that, when you’re braking, shows you that you’re putting power back into the battery. Then, going up a hill, you see the motor assisting the engine. It’s seamless.
“Going for a hybrid is certainly something we’d consider for our next car because more and more city centres are adopting clean air zones. Also, there are the cost savings in fuel and road tax. I think I’ve been getting around 44mpg this week, which is very close to the official figures. If I drove even more sensibly, those figures would be easily attainable.”
Advanced safety technology
Last, but in no way least, the Suzuki S-Cross comes with seven airbags and a vast array of safety technology and driver aids that lend an extra pair of eyes when on the road – letting you drive more confidently, while also helping to keep you and your family and friends safe around town and on the motorway.
Dual Sensor Brake Support offers an audio and visual warning if it detects a potential collision and will apply the brakes with increased force to help avoid an accident while Lane Departure Prevention will sound an alarm and steer you back into lane if you start wandering across the central line.
The Traffic Sign Recognition reads speed limit signs and displays them on the dashboard, while intelligent 360 View Camera gives a high-resolution top-down view of the Suzuki S-Cross when you’re manoeuvring at low speeds, and the Rear View Camera can help you back into the tightest of parking spaces.
“The Suzuki S-Cross feels very safe to drive”, says Asim. “It’s got crash detection systems which have flashed a warning light a couple of times this week, which is a nice feature. It’s got things like lane departure too, which helps give you confidence. Everything is well laid-out, all the safety aids are in one place.
“I’ve driven cars before where the safety aids can be too intrusive, but the S-Cross has the right balance. Another good feature of the car is the amount of safety kit that comes as standard, which at this price point is very impressive.”
“I had a lot of confidence driving the Suzuki S-Cross”, says Amber. “The sensors, the cameras, the safety systems – they all work very well.”
And it’s not just the driver aids that help give you confidence. Ultra trim Suzuki S-Cross models also comes with ALLGRIP four-wheel drive with four driver-selectable modes: Auto which prioritises fuel economy, Sport that’s perfect for twisty roads giving you maximum confidence, Snow which is ideal for the slipperiest for surfaces, and Lock which is used for extricating the S-Cross from snow, sand and mud. Hill Hold Control comes as standard too, perfect for when heading off the beaten track.
So, with bold SUV styling, versatile family practicality, an efficient hybrid powertrain, a wealth of advanced technology and oodles of comfort and intuitive infotainment technology, the Suzuki S-Cross is truly the perfect family crossover. “If I were to get a new car, this could be a contender,” says Asim. “It’s very easy to live with, dependable, comfortable, practical – it does what you want it to do.”
“It’s an easy car to live with, economical, value for money and very well put together,” adds Amber. “And it’s a nice-looking car!”
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