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Suzuki S-Cross Mild Hybrid Review: As Fun To Drive As A Swift Sport?

The S-Cross has SSS vibes.
James Wong
James Wong
25 Oct 2023
Chucking it round a good road is actually fun, and you would intentionally seek out such opportunities.
What we like:
Fun to drive
All that's good about being simple and straightforward
What we dislike:
Interior might lack a little flair

There are cars like the Suzuki S-Cross that are so honest that you may not give it a second glance after a first look. But you’d want to give the S-Cross a closer inspection, trust me.

Really? Why?

Beyond its workhorse demeanour lies a brilliant driving car. In typical Suzuki style it is light, weighing in at only 1,240 kg, and that amplifies the 127 bhp and 235 Nm that the mighty 1.4-litre turbo metes out. It’s an effervescent engine and one that not only gives its peak torque between 2000-3000 rpm, it also is pretty willing to rev all the way to the redline. It may excite keen drivers to learn that this very engine is also found beneath the engine of the current Swift Sport. No wonder!

Woah! Now that changes things… What else is good?

It helps that the 6-speed torque converter automatic shifts smooth and fast. It responds  intuitively to the paddle shifters, too. Despite its simplicity, it works better than a vast majority of complicated gearboxes that have fuzzy logic that try to adjust shift styles according to driver inputs.

Is the S Cross fuel efficient?

Having a mild hybrid system, the S Cross is also reasonably frugal on fuel considering how much fun it is. With much flogging I achieved 9-10 km/l, but if one is light-footed I think 12-13 km/l is very feasible.

How does it handle?

With the car’s lack of inertia, it almost feels like a raised up warm hatch, despite its modest outputs. Chucking it round a good road is actually fun, and you would intentionally seek out such opportunities. That’s a mark of a good car, isn’t it?

OK, all good so far. How about the interior?

The inside is where one might feel the S Cross is more representative of its market positioning. It lacks a little flair I admit, but it works so well and could probably take a beating. Space is adequate for five adults, and the rear seats fold 60:40. There is 440 litres of boot space which is also shaped in a practical boxy fashion.

There is an in-house 9-inch infotainment display that’s a welcome addition, instead of third party systems which may look out of place. It of course offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Should I consider the S Cross?

The S Cross is a terrific entry level car, and it might be one of the best if you value honest-to-goodness driver engagement and soul.

Photos by New Gen Marketing


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