2020 Suzuki S-Cross Review

2020 Suzuki S-Cross Road Test Review

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Suzuki’s other small SUV, the S-Cross, is a different kettle of fish compared to the more popular Vitara. They share many underpinnings including engine and transmission but look totally different.

Both cars, the Vitara and the S-Cross,  come out of a factory in Hungary with the S-Cross blurring the lines between small SUV and hatchback. Perhaps that explains the name.

It’s been around for a while now scoring turbo petrol power back in 2017 but Suzuki pricing was a touch optimistic which would have slowed sales.

That has since been remedied making the Prestige model driven a $29,990 drive away proposition.

Styling is a subjective thing but I am not a fan of the front with the rest of S-Cross being acceptable in a generic sort of way.

It’s roomier than you think and offers plenty of kit for the price but no advanced driver assistance features such as autonomous emergency braking or blind spot warning.

You do get other goodies like leather and 17-inch alloys.

Exterior

As already mentioned, the old school front with pronounced grille “teeth” is polarising while the rest of S-Cross looks like many other offerings in this segment. It’s is chunky and a practical shape with large doors and tailgate, a good ride height.

The finish including paint and body hardware is impressive and certainly a step up on anything out of Thailand where some of the competition comes from.

Essentially, S-Cross is a two box design with a bonnet and a passenger compartment that slopes down at the back. The LED headlights on S-Cross Prestige add an extra element of quality.

The wheels are fairly standard looking from a “Japanese” passenger car maker.

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Interior

Inside is better than you would expect at this price point with a chunky wheel featuring an attractive centre boss, simple screen to centre console layout and simple driver’s instrument pod. There’s a soft touch dash panel and firm flat seats with decent side bolsters that are good over a long drive.

Some satin chrome fascia lift the look which is pretty much in tones of grey.

Seats are provided for four, five at a pinch and the load space is a decent size and shape.

Once again, you are looking at mainstream Japanese styling inside S-Cross pared back a little compared to some competitors which is a positive in my opinion.

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Features

S-Cross has a generous amount of kit like:

  • Dual zone climate control
  • Satnav
  • Auto headlights and wipers
  • Cruise
  • Paddle shift
  • Keyless start
  • 6-speed conventional auto

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Drive and Engine

Power comes from a direct injection, 1.4 litre, petrol turbo four cylinder with 103kW and 220Nm, the latter delivered at a low engine speed.

It’s good for a claimed 5.9-litres/100km on 95 which I got close to achieving on test.

Drive goes to the front wheels through a conventional 6-speed auto transmission… a big plus in my mind, certainly better than a horrible slurring CVT.

S-Cross will not disappoint in performance terms as it gets off the line neatly and accelerates fairly hard for a small family SUV weighing 1170kg.

Mid-range response is similarly strong but don’t bother wringing its neck though the auto will spin the engine out to redline when in sport mode.

It sits on the road pretty well with a tendency to jiggle a bit on broken tarmac possibly due to the tyres that offer decent grip producing minimal noise generation. The brakes are strong and the steering neutral.

Ride and handling is impressive considering S-Cross has a simple torsion beam rear suspension.

Having M (for manual) mode at the bottom of the gear selector gate is problematic.

Safety

S-Cross scores a five star rating but probably wouldn’t if it was assessed today. There’s no advanced driver assist technology unless you count a reverse camera, traction control and brake assist.

I’d say S-Cross predates this technology but got its rating through primary safety stuff such as body integrity and airbag count.

Some people might prefer this set-up over systems that take the exercise of driving away from the driver – often unnecessarily.

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Good Bits

  • Spirited performance
  • Practical shape
  • Revised pricing

Not So Good Bits

  • Needs 95 to give its best
  • Polarising frontal styling
  • Vitara casts a big shadow

Summary

I kinda like the S-Cross as it’s an honest little SUV you can punt around town or comfortably go interstate if you want… with a decent amount of luggage.

It’s easy to park and would be built to Suzuki’s impressive reliability standards. Keen competition from CX-3,  Kona, CH-R and others.

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Facts and Figures: 2019 Suzuki S-Cross Turbo Prestige

  • Engine: 1.4L four-cylinder turbo petrol producing 103kW/220Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Warranty: 5 years/ unlimited km
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Origin: Hungary
  • Price: from $29,990 drive away

Also Look At;

2020 Suzuki S-Cross SUV Review
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Summary

Suzuki S-Cross – I kinda like the S-Cross as it’s an honest little SUV you can punt around town or comfortably go interstate if you want… with a decent amount of luggage.

It’s easy to park and would be built to Suzuki’s impressive reliability standards. Keen competition from CX-3,  Kona, CH-R and others.



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