- Fresh styling
- Good storage areas
- Awesome fuel economy
- Mediocre power
Compact SUV sales are continuing to rise and that means that manufacturers want a piece of that pie by creating new vehicles that fit into this segment. Suzuki, has however been in this segment for quite a while now with their SX4 but now it is time for the 2014 Suzuki S-Cross review.
The Suzuki S-Cross is available in a 2WD GL entry model, 2WD GLX, AWD GLX and finally an AWD Prestige. Apart from the obvious differences between drive modes of the 2WD and AWD models, all S-Cross vehicles share the same power plant; under the hood is a 1.6 litre VVT engine outputting 86kW of power and 156Nm of torque.
Buyers have an option for a 6 speed manual or Suzuki’s quite good CVT transmission. Along with its 5 star NCAP safety rating, 7 airbags, and warranty, it shapes up to be quite the package.
A quick online for the Suzuki S-Cross will show you that pricing starts at around $25,000 drive away for the 2WD GL and works up to around $32,000 drive away for the AWD GLX. These prices place them exactly where the heat of the competition is including the Holden Trax and the Mitsubishi ASX.
As the competition has ramped up, the SX4 had been slipping behind what their competition was serving but here now to replace the ageing SX4 is their new S-Cross. So join us for our 2014 Suzuki S-Cross review.
Suzuki has come out with a completely refreshed design for the S-Cross, making it feel like a proper cross-over vehicle.
On the outside, the European styling is king with the Hungarian built vehicle right on trend with chrome accents, two tone alloy wheels and LED day time running lamps. All of which elude to the fact that Suzuki knows what’s up when it comes to what the market wants right now.
On the inside of the AWD Prestige model we tested, you’ll find a leather wrapped steering wheel, beautiful touch screen navigation system, keyless entry and start, leather accent interior, cruise control and a panoramic sunroof. The list doesn’t stop there however.
The standard across the range features includes alloy wheels (16inch on the GL, 17inch on the GLX), cruise control, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), and Hill Hold Control (CVT only).
Mix this with Suzuki’s ALLGRIP technology for the AWD and we should be able to have some fun in this.
When it comes to driving a compact-SUV/crossover vehicle, you need to change your approach or expectations. It’s not a sports car, it isn’t a 4WD, nor is it a compact sedan. These days the car is being asked to be all of these and still be affordable for those on a strict budget. Naturally this comes with compromise.
Sit into the driver’s seat and you’re met with Suzuki’s glorious steering wheel and an elevated driving position. Turning the car on with the push button start, the cold air-con kicks in and you’re ready to go.
Whilst the 86kW and 156Nm engine does feel underpowered, and not realising its potential, you’re off and moving with a cool, calm and collected drive on the road. Just don’t have a fully loaded car and try to get it to climb a steep road!
If you’re cruising from Brisbane to the Gold Coast, or moving through peak hour traffic, the S-Cross does everything you need it to from a driver’s perspective. Visibility is great with the open feel cabin and large windows.
The occasional unsealed road trip wouldn’t have you out of your depth, but if you’re wanting to do a little more off-roading you would be better off looking at a Suzuki Grand Vitara.
Just like in other Suzuki reviews, the CVT transmission performed just how we expected it to, by giving us the right gear at the exact right time. Adding to the well performing transmission is the reasonably thought out list of safety systems.
ABS, EBD, brake assist, electronic stability program (ESP), ALLGRIP (AWD models) and hill hold control are standard across the range. One odd omission on Suzuki’s part is the hill hold control for the manual transmission. Hill hold prevents the car rolling back when you release the brake pedal whilst on a steep incline. It’s a welcomed feature for the CVT models, but the traditional rollback on manual models should have meant that this was seen on them first.
As for fuel economy, the Suzuki S-Cross does take advantage of the small engine by delivering great economy. The official fuel economy figure is 5.8 litre per 100km, but when we were on the road we were quite often under that figure for our drives about town.
When living with a vehicle a week at a time, whilst you don’t get the complete 100% picture, you do get to do everyday tasks and then some with them. During this time you can find vehicles that are less than fun, and those that you’re finding an excuse just to go for a loop.
For us, the Suzuki S-Cross sits in the middle. Nothing for us stood out about it when living with it, but nothing made us dislike the car on a whole.
We loved that fact that the rear storage for this car is long, and super wide. Wide enough, in fact, to fit a set of golf clubs sideways. That’s pretty impressive for a vehicle of this size. If you needed to fold the rear seats down, you didn’t have trouble with fitting in mountain bikes or enough gear to go camping for a weekend.
As the fuel economy was also great, it meant that we didn’t have the fuel cost of the trip in the back of our minds. It was easy living and that’s what probably makes the S-Cross so appealing.
As we mentioned at the start of this article, the pricing for the Suzuki S-Cross is right in the middle of its competitors.
It is worth noting that whilst the new S-Cross is more expensive than the SX4 it replaces, the S-Cross has a lot more standard gear and better safety to make it justify its differences. The styling alone justifies it for us.
So with online pricing starting from approx. $25,000 drive away for the 2WD GL, this should give you enough of a taste what the S-Cross can do. However we’d strongly recommend that you stretch to an AWD model, as we feel that you’ll get the best value from it on and off the pavement.
Out of the box, Suzuki also includes a 3 Year/100,000km warranty and its competitive capped price servicing should give you peace of mind too.
Suzuki has done a commendable job with the Suzuki S-Cross. Its styling is fresh and nails its target market exactly offering great storage, excellent fuel economy, and standard features.
And although the rest of the Compact SUV/Crossover market is in the same boat of mediocre power, in lieu of a low price point we would absolutely love more power to match its sporty looks on the inside and on the outside.
Despite that, Suzuki has got a great car in the S-Cross and whilst they aren’t the largest of manufacturers, they definitely deserve to be on your shopping list.