by Sandy Myhre
Suzuki has updated and uprated their small SUV, the S-Cross (meaning Crossover) by making it smaller. Yes, really.
It’s the same size as the original version of the car which was launched a decade ago but that’s about all that’s the same and it comes as no surprise since Suzuki practically invented the compact SUV.
The 2022 version S-Cross has gained a register of autonomous safety features and it’s available in just two models, four- wheel-drive and two-wheel-drive format.
There’s really not that much advantage to having the AWD because ground clearance hasn’t altered but it’s purposeful for slippery conditions and undemanding muddy tracks. And it’s ever so slightly more expensive on fuel 6.6l/100km as opposed to 5.9l/100km on the 2WD versions.
Suzuki has resorted to hyperbole to describe the S-Cross on the website. “Strong, sophisticated and adventurous, this breath-taking SUV is your ticket to freedom. Feel your worries melt away as you relax into your own prod of personal comfort…”
That’s taking things a tad far but, to be fair, it has a few additions that make life comfortable. For instance, dual sensor brake support, lane departure warning, something they call weaving alert (which is presumably an alarm should you ever want to fall asleep at the wheel), adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert – the list goes on with more acronyms than you can shake a stick at.
In addition there are seven airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and brake assist, cruise control and more.
There’s a rear parking camera which in the JLX Turbo model is capable of a panoramic 360 degree perspective.
On the outside there’s a distinctive black front grille with chrome accents and what they describe as square wheel arches which aren’t really square at all but semi-oval. The silver roof rails soften the exterior.
On the inside the rear seat backs can be adjusted to increase the cargo space and the front seats are heated. There’s dual-zone climate air conditioning as well.
The centre console houses the multimedia system that has wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth audio and telephone.
Having said all that, what’s it like on the road? In two words, jolly good. It never gives the impression of a “boxy” drive, it’s smooth, relaxed and yet has the extra power you need from the turbo. All models are just under 1.4 litres with four cylinders.
It looks like an SUV and drives like a car because it’s not huge but neither is it small, it really is a Crossover. It has all the hallmarks of a mid-sized sedan but with the advantages of SUV configuration.
The Suzuki S-Cross is well worth the investment that starts at $35,990 for the JX 2WD. Sure, it’s in an increasingly crowded market segment but, it stacks up well.