With the diesel engine it feels quite nippy, but the ride is firm and both engines are quite noisy
Good driving position and all the controls are easy to find
Lots of features and five stars from Euro NCAP
Feels solid enough but Suzuki has a poor record
Good boot but limited headroom in the back
Even entry-level models are well equipped
The S-Cross feels pretty good to drive. The steering feels responsive, and the car's firm suspension stops the car from leaning on tight corners, though it also picks up on the imperfections in poor urban roads, making the car feel quite jittery at slow speeds. The diesel models feel a bit better, and with either engine the ride improves as you go quicker. The diesel has much more oomph than the petrol, but both are noisy when worked hard, and the semi-automatic version is particularly vocal at higher revs. The rest of the time, though, the cabin is pretty quiet, with almost no noticeable road or wind noise.
It's easy to get comfortable in the driver's seat as there's plenty of adjustment for both the seat and the steering wheel, and both front and rear visibility are good. The cabin materials are a bit plasticky but everything feels well put together, with sensibly laid-out buttons and controls that feel solid and satisfying to use.
There's not as much space in the back as in some rivals, and tall adults will definitely notice the reduced headroom in cars fitted with the panoramic glass sunroof. The boot is a useful shape, though, and the rear seats fold down almost flat if you need more load space.
Even the entry-level trim, SZ3, comes with lots of equipment, including alloy wheels, air-con, cruise control and a USB socket, but we'd go for SZ4 to get Bluetooth, keyless entry and reclining rear seats, amongst other things. SZ-T cars add sat-nav, a digital radio, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, while SZ5 car get heated leather seats and a panoramic roof - but bear in mind that this reduces rear headroom.
The SX4 S-Cross is too new to have featured in the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, but Suzuki finished a disappointing 21st out of 27 manufacturers. At least the cabin feels solidly built, and every model comes equipped with lots of safety features, including automatic braking assistance in an emergency, stability control and seven airbags - including curtain airbags that cover the rear windows, too. The SX4 S-Cross was awarded the maximum five stars in crash tests by Euro NCAP, with 92% for adult safety and 80% for children.
The SX4 S-Cross shouldn't cost much to run; the petrol versions are competitive for fuel economy and CO2 emissions, and both the two- and four-wheel drive diesels are very efficient, which means they'll be cheap to tax, too. Don't expect to be able to haggle much of the price on such a new car; on the plus side, the SX4 S-Cross's list price is already lower than many of its rivals.