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Review: Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

October 18, 2013

The SX4 S-Cross is Suzuki’s attempt to go after the jacked-up hatchback market, pioneered by Nissan with their best-selling Qashqai. It’s a shrewd enough move, but have Suzuki managed to fulfil the old adage “be second and be better”?

First off, if you’re looking for performance, opt for the diesel rather than the petrol version. While it may develop just 120bhp at 3750rpm, the 1.6 litre four-cylinder diesel engine will give you 236lb-ft of torque at 1750rpm giving this model some real bite. That’s a whole 59lb-ft more torque than the Qashqai, and the S-Cross weighs a whopping 120kg less than its rival, offering a serious power-to-weight advantage to the Suzuki.

Driving-wise, the gear change can be a little sticky in places, but the steering is nice and light and the S-cross grips the road well, even in the standard front-wheel drive version. There is the option to upgrade to four-wheel drive, but it’ll cost you a couple of grand extra and, honestly, probably isn’t worth it. Let’s face it, this is a souped-up family car, not a genuine off-roader. Still, the S-Cross does offer an all-round pleasant, accessible driving experience, not too dissimilar to the rival Qashqai.

Where the S-Cross does fall down slightly is its looks. While its styling is very similar to the Qashqai, the Suzuki is not quite as chunky as the Nissan, making it’s proportions seem a little odd – and the over-sized headlights and grill give the front end a look that is neither beefy nor elegant. The wheels also seem a little small compared to the rest of the car, adding to the S-Cross’s slightly skewed proportions. Overall, this is one area in which the Suzuki definitely falls to its rival.

Fortunately, those slightly weird external dimensions add up to something a great deal more satisfying on the inside. There’s plenty of space for both driver and passengers, and the S-Cross manages 430 litres of boot space − a whole 20 litres more than the Qashqai. It also comes with the added bonus of a practical flat-loading sill. For those willing to spend a little extra, the top spec version comes with satnav, Bluetooth, cruise control, heated seats and a panoramic sunroof, significantly boosting the comfort factor. That said, there’s no getting around the fact that this is a car which places function over form with an interior that is somewhat grey and lifeless.

Suzuki has thrown down the gauntlet to Nissan with the S-Cross, but is it a battle they can win? The challenger is a little more powerful than its rival the Qashqai, and somewhat more practical, but it’s not a looker, inside or out. Both the S-Cross and Qashqai are similarly priced, making this a hard one to call – so it really comes down to this: would you rather have power and practicality or something with a little more style? It’s up to you.

 

Price: From £21,749

Released: 2013

Engine: 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol or diesel with the latter producing 120bhp and 236lb-ft of torque

Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive (four-wheel optional)

Top speed: 108mph

Acceleration: 0.62.1mph in 13.0 seconds

Fuel Economy: 67.2mpg

CO2 Output: 114g/km

VED Band: C (£30 annual rate, £0 for first 12 months)

Weight: 1370kg

Dimensions: 4300mm by 1765mm by 1575mm

If you’re looking for a family car with a little more, the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross could be for you. If you’re convinced, then it’s probably time to start thinking about your Suzuki finance, and it doesn’t have to be a headache. Let the experts at The Car Loan Warehouse help find the money you need for the car you want at a rate you can afford. It’s car finance, without the hassle.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.