Our Fleet Test Drive: Suzuki S-Cross: first report
14 January 2015
Author: Tony Rock
|Equipment:|| 6 airbags, Bluetooth, aux in and USB input, DAB, heated seats, hill hold, space-saver tyre, cruise control with speed limiter, dual-zone aircon, LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloys|
|Options:|| Metallic paint (£430)|
Suzuki hasn't been a big fleet player in the UK, but the firm is now focusing on corporate sales with new products - starting with the S-Cross.
We've taken on the new small SUV with a view to discovering how far Suzuki has come with its diesel engine technology and build quality, and to find out if the vehicle itself has potential to be a Qashqai-rivalling company car.
Just 5% of Suzuki's business in the UK is with fleet drivers, but the S-Cross is a key part in increasing that to as much as 20%. That's still below the industry average of 50%, but it's a steady move in the right direction.
The firm asked us to run this four-wheel drive version due to it being with us through the winter. The Allgrip wouldn't be a first choice for fleets, but it will be good to test out Suzuki's 4x4 credentials as the weather becomes colder.
As an added bonus, there's actually no benefit-in-kind tax penalty from the 4x4 system. While Allgrip adds
4g/km of CO2 to the S-Cross' emissions output, the £1800 cheaper front-wheel drive version at 110g/km would still sit in the 18% BIK bracket anyway.
Our SZ5 is the top-of-range and is absolutely packed with equipment, including heated front seats, operated by the two switches in front of the gear stick, hill hold control, a nice modern touchscreen with satnav and rear parking camera.
The quality of the camera does look a bit grainy on first inspection, but that could have been more to do
with a dull grey morning. Our car also has a full-length sunroof, which will brighten up the cabin.
A key strength of the S-Cross is the size of the boot, which comfortably fits in a single buggy. At 430 litres, it has the same amount of space as the Qashqai and trounces the Vauxhall Mokka (362 litres) and the Dacia Duster (408 litres).
This model is towards the top of Suzuki's S-Cross price range, but it's competitive on P11D when put up against the Qashqai which is £28,445 for a 1.6-litre diesel 4x4. However, if you were really on a budget there's the Dacia Duster 1.5-litre diesel 4x4 at £15,310.
In this trim and engine combination the S-Cross also looks very competitive on running costs, at 53.1p per mile compared with the Qashqai's 60.8p due to the considerable price advantage.
We will put the S-Cross to the test over its six months with us to see if it can live up to those figures, but on first impressions the build quality and numbers look impressive.
- Impressed with build quality and running costs
- Design is a generation behind