Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

The Essentials

  • Price from £14,999
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 67.2mpg
  • What is it? The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is a practical car for small families; it's also cheap to run and decent to drive. The range includes both two- and four-wheel drive models.

Great

  • It comes with plenty of equipment as standard, and the boot is very practical
  • It's cheaper to buy than rivals, and running costs are low too
  • It's pretty good to drive

Gripes

  • The cabin materials feel a bit cheap
  • Rear headroom is tight for taller passengers, and the sunroof makes this worse
  • The car can feel jittery on urban roads and other poor surfaces at slow speeds
  • Drive

    With the diesel engine it feels quite nippy, but the ride is firm and both engines are quite noisy

  • Inside

    Good driving position and all the controls are easy to find

  • Safety

    Lots of features and five stars from Euro NCAP

  • Reliability

    Feels solid enough but Suzuki has a poor record

  • Space

    Good boot but limited headroom in the back

  • Standard and extras

    Even entry-level models are well equipped

  • What's it like to drive?

    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.

  • What's it like inside?

    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.

  • How reliable is it?

    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.

  • Should I buy one?

    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.