The biggest draw of this new S-Cross is the asking price so I want you to keep focussing on that as you read this review. Because there are parts that aren’t pretty to be honest.
For €29,740 you can have a decent sized cross over SUV sitting in your driveway which is a few grand cheaper than a lot of cars in the claustrophobic segment.
The major problem I have though is that this car doesn’t match the excitement and ingenuity of so many other Suzukis.
The Japanese brand is one of the most underrated on the market (it was the 17th best-selling brand in Ireland in 2021) but incredibly the Ignis, the Swift and the utterly mind blowing Jimny are among motor journalists’ favourite guilty pleasure cars.
Each are unique looking with bucket loads of character and are a joy to drive (unless you are 6ft tall or over in the Jimny). They also have the new Swace which is a carbon copy of the already-popular Toyota Corolla and the Vitara is impressive too.
So, with that back catalogue of cars sitting in forecourts right now with a Suzuki badge on the grille I was genuinely expecting more from this.
Expectation can be the biggest hindrance in this job and the S-Cross falls short of my expectations. There is nothing hugely wrong with it, but it is just grand. And nobody wants to be just grand nowadays.
For context it is slightly larger than the Vitara with a usefully large boot but only comes with one engine option…their 1.4-litre BoosterJet turbocharged petrol unit, with added 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance.
Standard equipment is pretty decent too with the likes of a blind-spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning with steering intervention, a rear parking camera and front and rear parking sensors, radar-guided cruise control and keyless entry and ignition all included.
There are also heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, a slightly clunky and low-res seven-inch infotainment screen that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, decent looking 17-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and a ‘chrome design pack’.
There’s more too. For €34,640 you can upgrade to an S-Cross Ultra (sounds fancy, doesn’t it?), which comes with their ‘AllGrip’ four-wheel drive, a 360-degree parking camera, leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, a nine-inch infotainment screen with built-in navigation and some piano-black exterior styling elements.
For me it’s simple…I’d be opting for those options any day of the week. My model wasn’t afforded such luxury, which in a way was refreshing because I got to drive the affordable spec that will appeal to most. There is nothing dramatically new or ground-breaking about the look inside.
There is decent space to be fair, with good legroom and headroom in the front, and the kids didn’t moan once about space in the back. But they do agree with me that the whole thing just lacks a bit of excitement.
And while there’s a lot of cheap plastic on display (like every affordable car on the road these days), everything feels well-enough bolted together here and there are some helpful storage areas.
The boot is surprisingly small at only 430 litres but there is an adjustable floor to it and the rear seats fold almost completely flat when you need them to.
To drive it is grand too. Maybe ‘adequate’ would be a more fitting word. The S-Cross seems at home on twisting roads, but it ain’t no flier like a hot hatch. Mind you…it doesn’t claim to either.
Their 1.4 BoosterJet engine is no stranger to Irish roads but here it gets an added 48-volt mild-hybrid module. This makes it pretty economical averaging around 6.0 litres per 100km (Suzuki claims 5.3litres/100km by the way) of my test week in it.
I do think it is largely helped by the fact that it is so light coming in at 1,235kg, before passengers.
Refinement could, in truth, be better while noise levels are pretty high; again, due to the weight.
This is a good looking car that is great value but it lacks serious wow factor and the kind of ingenuity that some of its siblings possess. That’s its biggest flaw, which won’t affect most potential buyers.