On paper the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross has a lot going for it, with four-wheel drive, a long list of standard kit and a competitive price. However, in practice it’s not good enough to challenge the best cars in the lightest weight division.
In crosswinds the S-Cross moved around more than it should have, and when pushed in the lane-change test it was easily unsettled. On the third and fastest run it couldn’t complete the manoeuvre.
The 1.6-litre diesel pulled car and caravan from 30-60mph in a respectable 15.3 seconds, but was very noisy. The brakes were poor, short of bite in regular towing and needed 11.7m to stop the outfit from 30mph on a dry track. That’s the second-longest stopping distance in this weight class.
In the hill-start test the handbrake only held if pulled on very firmly. Otherwise the car pulled over the hill without fuss.
In day-to-day driving the S-Cross corners well, although the ride is on the firm side. The cabin is reasonably roomy, and we found space for all of our typical luggage load bar the Aquaroll.
The car has a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, and stability control and seven airbags are standard. Together with a long list of equipment – including a reversing camera, a panoramic sunroof and leather seats – that makes the Suzuki good value.