Plenty of crossovers have SUV-lookalike styling, but some don’t even give buyers the option of a proper 4×4 version.
Suzuki offers both two- and four-wheel-drive versions of the SX4 S-Cross, and at prices which are very reasonable when you look at the equipment fitted as standard.
The high-spec SZ5 model comes with satellite navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof and leather upholstery.
It may be very light for a 4×4 and have a modest towing limit of just 1200kg, but what the S-Cross can tow, it tows very well. Performance from the 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine is brisk, pulling from 30-60mph in 13.2 seconds.
At speed, the Suzuki feels stable unless the wind really picks up, and although the Al-Ko ATC sensors on the caravan detected some sway when slowing from motorway speeds, it was nothing to alarm the driver.
The handbrake kept car and caravan still on a 1-in-6 slope, and the Suzuki pulled cleanly to the top of the hill, the driver’s job made easier by the automatic gearbox.
Despite its small size, the Suzuki makes a reasonably practical tow car. We found room for almost every item from our typical load of holiday luggage, there’s a handy 12V socket in the boot, and the reversing camera is very useful when hitching up.
If you own a lightweight caravan, and enjoy touring in all weathers, the SX4 S-Cross is for you. All told, it’s a worthy winner of this year’s ‘Best Budget 4×4’ award.