SUZUKI has a reputation for producing stylish SUVs that don’t put too much of a dent in your wallet – and the latest S-Cross maintains that reputation.
I’m a big fan of the bold chrome grille, clamshell bonnet and angular lights that give it a masculine look.
But what really stood out for me when I recently tested the S-Cross was the turbocharged 1.4 Boosterjet petrol engine.
The 138bhp engine is a peppy performer, especially from a standing start where it feels quicker than its official 0-62mph time of a shade over ten seconds.
Suzuki’s engineers have set the S-Cross up to be more hatchback than SUV when it comes to ride and handling.
It’s both positive and agile on the road, and the steering has plenty of feel to it, allowing the car to be placed accurately through bends.
The ride, too, is better than average with decent bump absorption but not too much body roll. It’s the sort of car that thrives on being hustled through bends and brings a smile to your face.
The ALLGRIP system switches automatically between two and four-wheel-drive when required and the result is fine handling in all conditions and surfaces.
The cabin of the range-topping SZ5 is well-designed with a good view ensured by the raised ride height.
There are plenty of mod cons including a touchscreen system and smartphone connectivity.
Dual-zone air conditioning, automatic lights and wipers, heated front seats and adaptive cruise control are just some of the other stars making an appearance to help more than justify the £25,000-plus price-tag.
There’s no skimping on safety equipment either, with seven airbags among the features.
The S-Cross is well-built and should be economical to run thanks to Suzuki’s reputation for reliability.
Add to that list handsome looks and a generous equipment list, and you’ve got yourself a good all-rounder.
Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet SZ5 ALLGRIP
Mechanical: 138bhp, 1,373cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 10.2 seconds
Combined mpg: 38.8
Insurance group: 24
CO2 emissions: 141g/km
BIK rating: 31%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles