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Suzuki SX4 S-cross 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T review

Date: 28 November 2016   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Category: SUV
P11D price: £19,444
Key rival: Nissan Qashqai

Three years after the launch of the SX4 S-cross, Suzuki has refreshed its Nissan Qashqai rival for 2016. It's fair to say that the current version has struggled to stand out against the competition, and the Japanese carmaker is hoping that with these latest revisions the pendulum will back in favour of its SUV.

A new front face is among the big changes for this revised S-cross, as are a distinctive grille and bumper design.

Ground clearance has also risen, by 15mm to 180mm, giving the S-cross a more rugged look, and there are new lights and interior fabrics.

Small petrol engine

Suzuki's Boosterjet petrol engine technology, first seen in the Vitara S last year as a 1.4-litre unit and several months later when a 1.0-litre joined the new Baleno, has arrived with this facelift, and it's the latter engine that we're testing here.

On paper you would be right to be sceptical: offering up just 111hp and 170Nm of torque, this little engine officially takes 11 seconds to complete the 0-62mph sprint.

However, the new 1.0-litre offers 9% more torque then the outgoing 1.6-litre petrol and is surprisingly capable out on the road; even on the motorway the little engine never really sounds strained. It doesn't feel especially quick, but there's enough low-down torque to gain some momentum on the slip road, and the long-geared five-speed manual is well suited to the engine.

Sid

The underpinnings are based on the excellent Swift hatchback, so overall the car is good to drive, especially in the city, and offers plenty of grip. The ride quality isn't great on country lanes and there's a fair amount of bodyroll, though.

Temperamental systems

Available in the same three-trim line-up as before, here we're testing the revised S-cross in SZ-T spec, which is tailored specifically for company car drivers.

Standard equipment is generous and includes plenty of useful features like front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, cruise control, keyless entry and start, satnav, 17-inch alloys wheels and dual-zone climate control.

The infotainment system can be a little temperamental to use at times, though, occasionally turning itself off or becoming easily confused if you ask too much of it. The screen could also offer a better resolution and it's not the easiest system to navigate around, either.

Inside

However, these niggles are quickly overlooked when you consider the price, with the range starting at just £14,999. Our test car costs £19,499, which is still very good value.

Interior quality for the most part is very good, with only a few cheap plastics lurking. The doors and boot lid feel a little on the flimsy side too, and there are a couple of features, like the trip computer, that look quite dated.

There's plenty of leg and headroom on offer for four adults to travel in comfort and boot space at 430 litres betters rivals like the Skoda Yeti and mirrors that of the Nissan Qashqai.  

Whole-life costs

On the running costs front this 1.0-litre petrol has some enticing figures. Official fuel consumption is pegged at 56.4mpg while CO2 emissions are low at 113g/km. On test we managed to achieve 46mpg on a variety of journeys, including a significant stretch of motorway, which is very good.  

With a pence-per-mile figure of just 46.8p, the S-cross is cheaper to run overall than its main rivals, and a residual value of 31.5% is competitive too.

Suzuki SX4 S-cross 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T

Model price range: £14,999-£24,349
Residual value: 31.5%
Depreciation: £13,319
Fuel: £5,645
Service, maintenance and repair: £2,136
Vehicle Excise Duty: £60
National insurance: £1,690
Cost per mile: 46.8p
Fuel consumption: 56.4mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 113g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £62/£123
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space: 430 litres
Engine size/power: 988cc/111hp

Verdict


A practical and family-friendly SUV choice with strong whole-life costs. Revised styling should also help improve appeal
7/10
  • Strong whole-life costs
  • Versatile petrol engine
  • Generous equipment levels
  • Interior quality
  • Temperamental infotainment system

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