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Car of the week: Suzuki’s budget family SUV

May 31st, 2022 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

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BY TRISH WHELAN

SUZUKI has introduced its redesigned S-Cross SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) for 2022. The new grade Motion model was launched in Ireland in February.

It is one of three of the brand’s latest models being introduced here along with the Swace full hybrid, and Vitara full hybrid.

Competing as a C-Segment SUV, this latest version has been given a more rugged and muscular appearance, emphasised by the car’s raised suspension and large square wheel arches. Sizewise, it is longer and wider than its Vitara sibling and has a longer wheelbase, but the roof height is considerably lower.

The front incorporates a raised bonnet line, piano black front grille and new design three-position LED headlamps while the rear gets larger combination lamps that emphasise the car’s width, in addition to aluminium roof rails, an integrated rear spoiler and dark privacy glass. The look is softened by chrome window sills.

This is a high car so is easy to get in and out of, and with good visibility, although my view over my right shoulder was slightly hampered by the thickness of the B-Pillar.

The interior has also undergone a transformation. It is both spacious and comfortable. Front seats, in nicely patterned fabric upholstery, look as if they would wear well even with lots of family use, and also get manual height adjustments. Three adults will fit in the rear at a squeeze and my rear passengers said they enjoyed a good view out front. Rear seats have 60:40 split folding and have a two-position reclining position.

Screens are a 4.2-inch colour driver information display which shows a range of details, including the workings of the engine, motor and battery, and a seven-inch infotainment display which is a big improvement on the previous generation offering all the important stuff at a glance.

But for me, it still doesn’t match up in looks to those of main rivals. A nine-inch screen is an option. That said, it is perfectly adequate and all the information is clearly displayed. Thankfully, there are knobs for temperature controls.

 

You also get a 12V socket, a USB charging port and four cupholders.

Luggage space is a decent 430 litres with all five seats in use and up to 665 litres, with the rear ones folded. There’s a useful removable double boot floor, a hook for your shopping bag and four tie-down hooks to prevent things from moving around but there is only a tyre repair kit.   

S-Cross is offered with two trim levels, and a 4-cylinder 1.4 turbo petrol engine with mild hybrid 48V technology which adds less than 15kg to the overall weight of the vehicle.

The 48V mild hybrid technology consists of a lithium-ion battery, Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) and the 48V-12V converter to power components requiring lower voltage including lights, audio and air conditioning. The ISG acts as both a generator and starter motor, and assists the petrol engine during vehicle take off for a higher level of torque with 235Nm available.

Six-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearboxes are available. My car was the manual version which worked well.

My personal preference, though, would be for the automatic. Fuel economy is a claimed 5.3 L/100kms – I achieved 5.78L/100km while I had the car, and C02 emissions are 120g/km.

The brand’s ALLGRIP Select 4WD system runs with 2WD for efficiency yet engages in 4WD when needed in a variety of different conditions so is very suitable for Irish weather.

On the road, I found this to be a good solid car with quite a spirited engine producing 129bhp which can move the car from 0-100km/h in a very respectable 9.5 secs for a vehicle this size and weight.

At first I found the steering a bit light, but soon became used to it. My S-Cross also proved agile and handled well in everyday use. One short drive included a private road with quite a few large potholes. It was a good test of the car’s suspension.

Happily, it passed this comfort test with ease. In fact, the more I drove this car, the more I liked how well it drives.

I found this also to be the case with the little Suzuki Swift which I had a few weeks ago.

S-Cross has a huge level of safety equipment and the latest technology. Standard items include 17-inch alloys, keyless entry and start, Hill Hold, eCall feature, dual-zone auto air conditioning, heated front seats, rear parking camera, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, Dual Sensor Brake Support automated braking, adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors to name but a few.

You can link also your smartphone with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Customers can choose from six different exterior shades, of which one is a solid colour and five are optional metallic finish.

S-Cross is built at Suzuki’s Magyar plant in Hungary which also produces Vitara models for European markets, as well as exports of both vehicles around the world.

VERDICT

What I like: It’s a good solid car. The more
I drove it, the more I liked it.

Price: The manual is from €29,365, the
automatic €31,770.

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