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GREENER CROSS PURPOSES (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Introductionword count: 97
In 2020, Suzuki's S-Cross compact SUV gained the brand's mild hybrid tech in uprated 48-volt form. And at the same time, also gained a fresh 'K14D'-series version of the company's 1.4-litre Boosterjet petrol engine. The electrification claimed to deliver a 20% running cost improvement but otherwise, the S-Cross recipe was much as before. So there was plenty of space for a crossover of this size, lots of kit for the money and, unusually in this class, the option of a proper lockable 4WD system in the top version. Let's check this car out as a used buy.
Modelsword count: 6
5dr SUV (Petrol -1.4 Boosterjet 127bhp)
Historyword count: 208
Electrification is a fact of automotive life these days and one day soon, every model from every brand will feature it in some way. In 2020 though, only one manufacturer had applied electrified power to every car in its line-up and its identity might surprise you: Suzuki. That sounded all very forward-thinking but there were a few caveats. We're not talking about full-electric or plug-in models here; back in 2020, Suzuki didn't have any of those. It didn't even then have a Prius-like full-Hybrid powertrain. 'Hybrid' in this case means what other brands call 'mild hybrid' technology. With this, unlike with those other forms of electrification, the car can't ever run on electric power alone at normal driving speeds. But harvested electrical energy can be used to marginally improve efficiency. The brand introduced this tech in 12-volt form back in 2016 with its little Swift and Ignis models. Here, it uprated the system to 48-volt status and fitted it to its slightly larger cars, including the S-Cross compact SUV, which is our subject here. The S-Cross Hybrid was launched in 2020 and sold in this form until late 2021, when it was facelifted and re-titled merely the 'S-Cross'. It's the 2020-2021 S-Cross Hybrid models we look at here.
What You Getword count: 317
There were no visual changes with this S-Cross model's switch to Hybrid power. By 2020, it had been on sale since the end of 2013 and the version we look at here is the model that was facelifted at the end of 2016. It remained a mid-sized 'Qashqai'-class SUV that was practically sized but somewhat forgettable in looks. Up front inside, it's an inoffensive but not unpleasant piece of design and the fixtures and fittings feel well screwed together from the Hungarian factory, although some of the materials are a bit scratchy. The centre-dash infotainment screen has graphics that look a bit after-market but it certainly includes quite a lot, with sat nav and 'Apple CarPlay'/'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring as well as a DAB tuner and Bluetooth. At the rear, the generous 2,600mm wheelbase length frees up plenty of interior room (the 430-litre boot is one of the biggest in the class). And there's very decent rear seat space too. Though the bench doesn't slide, the backrest reclines though a choice of two angles. The twin sunroofs of the top SZ5 model do rob a few centimetres of headroom though. The boot is about 20% bigger than the trunk you'd get in smaller supermini-based Crossovers from this period - Mokkas, EcoSports and so on. And you can make good use of the space available thanks to a neat false floor that lifts to reveal hidden storage. There's also a pair of lidded cubbies hidden behind the rear wheel arches, plus shopping bag hooks and a 12V power supply. Only if you need more space than the basic boot area provides might the S-Cross disappoint, for pushing forward the split-folding rear bench only increases your capacity up to 875-litres - around half what you'd get from some rivals. It does help though, that if you position the false boot floor properly, you can get a totally flat load bay.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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