Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review & Ratings
- 15 February 2018
- Author: Nikolas Perseputto
There was a time, not that long ago, when your choice of a small SUV was a pretty simple one: you’d trot down to your local Nissan dealer, tick the box marked ‘Qashqai’, and join the lengthy waiting list. These days, thankfully, there’s a bit more choice – and with the new Qashqai on the horizon (we’re already choosing one for our long-term fleet), we thought it would be good to get one of the more appealing alternatives on to the our fleet.
We really do mean the SX4 s-Cross, incidentally, for this is a wholly different car from the previous model to carry the sX4 badging. That older vehicle was a joint venture with Fiat and a bit of a halfway-house affair – too big to qualify as a supermini sUV, not big enough to be a proper family car. The sX4 s-Cross is considerably larger (around 4.3 metres long) and all the better for it.
Suzuki offers the s-Cross with a choice of 1.6-litre petrol or diesel engines, each producing 118bhp. however, the petrol’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions (officially 47.8mpg and 135g/km, if it’s four-wheel drive) are likely to rule it out for many buyers. Instead we’ve chosen our pick of the range, which merits a full star more than the rest of the line-up; it’s an sZ4 trim level, in front-wheel-drive diesel form, and with a six-speed manual gearbox (the automatic option is best avoided).
The official numbers are average fuel consumption of 67.2mpg and an impressive 110g/km of CO2 that makes the s-Cross a neat option for company car choosers. each of the four trim levels is actually pretty well equipped; even the entry-level sZ3 brings seven airbags, alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, four electric windows, heated door mirrors and USB input.
However, sZ4 adds keyless entry, a leather-covered steering wheel, dual-zone air-con, folding door mirrors, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels and rear privacy glass. It does stop short of the range-topping sZ5’s full-length glass sunroof – but that’s a good thing, because it really hurts headroom for rear passengers. The price heads a bit north too, unfortunately, so while the cheapest petrol sX4 starts at £14,999, our example costs from £18,249. That’s a fair increase, but when the cheapest diesel of the current Qashqai costs from £18,590 (and the forthcoming generation is likely to get a modest price hike to boot), the s-Cross starts to look better value.
Nor, it must be said, is there much scope to go silly with the options. Metallic paint costs £430, there’s a hefty sat-nav system that’d set you back around £1200 and if you don’t like the design of the alloy wheels you can pay just over £700 for a more glamorous set. Beyond those you’re into mudflaps, roof racks and deep-pile carpet sets. The final bill for our example, including the alloys, is £18,982. During that test against the Qashqai, we praised the s-Cross’s value for money, generous equipment list and low running costs, but criticised its rear cabin space and firm ride.
We’re likely to focus on those negative points over the next 12,000 miles or so, because our car’s nominated custodian is our deputy art editor. Not only does she rack up plenty of miles around the pothole-strewn streets of south London, she also has two sons aged seven and five – and while they’ve gone past the ‘bulky pram’ phase, they’re nicely settled into the ‘general clutter’ period (bikes, scooters and toys for starters). regular use as a ‘kid taxi’ for everything from guitar lessons to sleepovers will allow the entire family to put the s-Cross’s practicality to the test, while keeping a close eye on the fuel bills.