Nissan’s Qashqai has long been Britain’s favourite crossover, but Suzuki is keen to show that its new SX4 S-Cross has a few tricks up its sleeve too. We took to the wheel to find out how it compares.
What is it?
A crossover to rival the likes of the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Skoda Yeti. Confusingly, the S-Cross doesn’t replace the slightly smaller SX4 that’s been on sale since 2007, but instead sits just above it in the range – around £2,500 above, in fact.
What’s it like to drive?
We’d argue it’s one of the more enjoyable crossovers to drive. The 1.6-litre diesel we drove might lack the refinement of its rivals’ engines, but it does supply a satisfying shove when the turbo kicks in, and does at least feel flexible around town.
Despite sitting only a few centimetres lower than the Qashqai, it does feel closer to the ground too – not to mention lighter – which helps give the S-Cross a rather unexpected fun factor.
We didn’t have the chance to test the optional four-wheel-drive system on anything other than tarmac, but place the S-Cross in ‘Sport’ mode and it grips impressively well.
What’s it like inside?
That lightweight feeling comes at the expense of cabin materials, sadly. The S-Cross’s interior is built well enough, but compared to rivals it’s decidedly plain to look at. Our car’s integrated sat nav felt a little on the aftermarket side too, with fiddly controls and a rather stuck-in-the-dashboard look.
The Suzuki’s seats do lack quite a bit of lumbar support too, which combined with the grumbly engine, can make long journeys a little uncomfortable.
The cabin does at least feel light and airy though, thanks in part to our car’s optional panoramic sunroof, and we can’t really fault the simple-to-use layout of the controls.
Is it practical?
For its class, not bad at all. With 430 litres of boot space on offer, it’s not the most capacious car in its class, but it does equal the Nissan Qashqai and betters the Skoda Yeti.
We put it through its paces against four rivals in a ‘Will It Fit’ practicality test.
Should I buy one?
If you’re after a crossover with all the trimmings, probably not – Nissan have got you covered with the more expensive Qashqai. As a cheaper alternative though, the S-Cross does make a certain amount of sense – and it’s a decent enough all-rounder to stand out on its own merits, too. We’d opt for a lower spec model and enjoy the cash saving over a bells and whistles version.
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.6 DDiS ALLGRIP SZ5
List price: £23,595
Engine: 1.6-litre diesel
Top speed: 108mph
0-62mph: 13.0 seconds
Fuel economy: 54.3mpg (urban), 72.4mpg (extra-urban), 64.2mpg (combined)
Emissions: 114g/km CO2
Euro NCAP rating: Five stars