Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the 2014 Suzuki S-Cross.
From 4WD specialist Suzuki comes yet another entrant in the increasingly crowded crossover SUV market in Australia.
The all-new 2014 Suzuki S-Cross replaces the SX4.
While it looked like an everyday hatchback, the SX4 was reasonably competent on unsealed roads. But as the world of crossovers is becoming ever more complex, the demand for updates is always the aim.
Suzuki S-Cross has a shape that doesn’t really break new ground in a styling sense, but is neat and tidy in its execution and likely to remain timeless.
Arguably the most distinctive feature is the redesigned bonnet, which gives the vehicle a solid European look, with a lot of work gone into improving aerodynamic profile in order to reduce consumption and emissions.
A new 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine gives the new Suzuki S-Cross a handy 86kW of power and 156Nm of torque.
While not using the latest in high-tech engineering it achieves official fuel consumption figures of just 5.8L/100kms in two-wheel-drive versions, and a still impressive 6.2L/100kms with all-wheel-drive.
Paddle shifts on the steering wheel of the higher grade S-Cross variants give the driver a choice of seven ratios should they feel the computer hasn’t selected the best gear.
Suzuki’s expertise in all-wheel-drive systems is a big feature of the S-Cross. It normally drives only the front wheels but all four wheels can be driven not only on unsealed surfaces, but also on normal roads for better traction when pushing hard in bends.
The Suzuki S-Cross is larger than the superseded SX4 and is aimed at those who want a family wagon capable of handling the kids in their teenage years. Its back seat and boot space are considerably larger than its ancestor.
One slight minus is that it generates a fair bit of tyre noise on coarse surfaces; it’s pleasantly quiet on other roads. Dirt tracks are handled with ease, even in the front-drive S-Cross model.
When it comes to the overall standard package, it delivers everything we have come to expect of the car of today, remote central locking, power windows and mirrors, good climate control and sound systems, well laid out controls and instrumentation and handy storage facilities.
The model rage is GL manual, GL automatic, GLX and GLX Prestige.
If you’re one of those people who are far more interested in function than fashion the all-new Suzuki S-Cross should certainly be added to the list of cars/SUVs/crossovers you are considering.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 1.6 litre petrol producing 86kW and 156Nm
Transmission: Five-speed manual or seven-speed CVT automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $22,990