Auto-Biographies – Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Crossovers are popular in today’s motoring marketplace. But what is a crossover? Well, it’s a sport utility vehicle (SUV) with a chassis more similar to a car than a traditional truckbased SUV.

suzukiMost come with either two or four-wheel-drive, and having the fundamental elements of a car means a more contented ride. They also tend to return better fuel economy because of lighter construction and smaller engines.

Suzuki’s SX4 S-Cross is one of the better value choices of this type of motor, although you may not have heard much about it. That’s because the Japanese automaker is a fairly small player within the UK car scene.

Suzuki punches pretty hard above its weight though and, if the S-Cross is anything to go by, the manufacturer is only going to grow in strength in Britain. It’s a well made machine, packed with equipment and, even at flagship
level, it only costs £25,149.

The SX4 S-Cross’s bold and sporty design offers ample room for passengers and luggage. The front seats offer excellent support and hold you firmly in place, even on tight curves.

Behind the wheel, the instrument cluster, although surrounded by a little too much cheap looking plastic, helps you focus on driving. For instance, an outsized speedometer and tachometer border a multi information display that shows anything from fuel consumption to time and outside temperature.

High-rigidity in a car’s body is essential to handling, comfort, safety and performance.

That’s why the SX4 S-Cross incorporates a large proportion of high-tensile steel for strength and lightness, helping to provide greater handling stability.

The engine options are 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel. I drove the latter, in top of the range SZ5 DDiS 120 guise and equipped with Suzuki’s four-wheel-drive ALLGRIP system.

The four-wheel-drive technology leaves no room for doubt that the SX4 S-Cross is the perfect fusion of family friendliness, safety and performance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s no hardcore mud-plugger, but it’ll handle dirt, grass, snow, sand and a bit more – so it’s perfect for miniadventures.

The four-wheel-drive system is so adept because it has a variety of settings – AUTO, SPORT, SNOW, and LOCK. You can select your desired mode for the terrain you find yourself on via a push and turn dial on the centre console.

It works like this: AUTO prioritises fuel economy in typical driving conditions. The system uses two-wheel-drive by default and will switch to four-wheel-drive if wheel spin is detected. The SPORT setting is best for twisty roads. It makes maximum use of four-wheeldrive in response to how hard you press the accelerator. The SNOW option is optimal for snowy, unpaved and other slippery surfaces and uses fourwheel- drive all the time. LOCK is designed for extricating the car from snow, mud or sand. It does this by distributing high turning power to the rear wheels continually.

Safety equipment hasn’t been overlooked either. Features include seven airbags for occupants and the bonnet provides impact absorption which lessens injury if the car hits a pedestrian.

In fact, the SX4 S-Cross has been rated one of Europe‘s safest cars, according to independent crash testing results from Euro NCAP, receiving the maximum five-star rating.

• Good value √
• Practical √
• Comfortable √
• Safe √
• Dashboard plastics X

• Max speed: 105 mph
• 0-62 mph: 13.0 secs
• Combined mpg: 62.8
• Engine: 1598 cc, 4 cylinder, 16
valve, turbo diesel
• Max. power (PS): 120
• CO2: 118 g/km
• Price: £25,149