Test Drive by Graham Breeze
The future really is looking bright for Suzuki after record sales in 2016 and the promise of a lot more to come.
We bought 38,190 units in 2016 in the UK, that’s 3,700 more than in 2015 and while that only represents a 1.42% market share - just outside the top 20 manufacturers - it’s a huge boost for the Japanese company.
The motoring press has been quick to recognise the leap in quality and performance, throwing awards in the company’s direction.
The new Ignis is a World Car Of The Year finalist; Celerio is What Car’s Best Buy City Car; Vitara is What car’s Best Buy; Swift is What Car’s Best Buy Hot Hatch and Baleno is Scotland and Ireland’s Small Car Of The year.
And I get the impression it won’t be too long before the bouquets are being hurled in the direction of the S-Cross after recently testing the model in 1.4 Boosterjet 4x4 SZ5 mode.
The S-Cross first went on sale in October 2013 as Suzuki’s first ‘C’ segment crossover model and now the facelifted model has more distinctive and upright front end styling, offering a stronger and bolder road presence.
Ground clearance has been increased by 15mm to 180mm and new design headlamps help provide both higher efficiency and a sharper look. At the rear, newly designed LED rear combination lamps are used to provide a cleaner and more contemporary style.
There’s also a distinctive new interior design utilising an updated soft-touch dashboard pad, framing highlights for the centre panel and newly designed seat fabric for SZ4 and SZ-T models. Suzuki do still need to improve the quality of materials used in the cabin though.
S-Cross claims ample room for five occupants and while the back is spacious enough you really wouldn’t want to travel as one of three. A double sliding panoramic glass sunroof is fitted as standard on the SZ5 model with one of the largest opening areas in its category at 560mm.
All SZ4 models are equipped as standard with seven airbags, ESP, Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, air conditioning, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with speed limiter, air conditioning, heated door mirrors, black protective skid plates and black wheel arch extensions.
SZ-T adds LED Projector Headlamps, satellite navigation, polished 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking camera, front and rear parking proximity sensors, Dual Zone automatic air conditioning, front fog lamps, rear privacy glass, silver roof rails and silver rear skid plates.
Equipment for the top of the range SZ5 model includes Radar Brake Support (RBS), leather seat upholstery, heated front seats, double sliding panoramic sunroof and aluminium roof rails.
A range of six exterior colours are available for the UK market; Superior White is available as a solid colour with Silky Silver Metallic, Mineral Grey Metallic, Cosmic Black Pearl Metallic, Sphere Blue Pearl Metallic and Energetic Red Pearl Metallic available as a £430 option.
Having already heaped praise on the 1.0litre Boosterjet version it was no surprise to find the 1.4 option was equally impressive in the SZ5 with Allgrip all-wheel drive. The engine really is a revelation.
This model will set you back £24,199 but you get the performance to match the price. There’s a top speed of 124mph, 0-62mph in 10.2seconds, 49mpg and CO2 levels of 128g/km.
The S-Cross is not the best looking car you’ll see, some even described it as ugly, but it grows on you. You really have to drive this Suzuki to appreciate just how good it is.