August 05, 2015 @ 06:50 PM

Review: Suzuki S-Cross

This compact SUV is not the sharpest to look at but it deserves a few more glances before you completely write it off.


This compact SUV is not the sharpest to look at but it deserves a few more glances before you completely write it off.

 
I have to admit, the S-Cross did not leave the strongest impression on me when it was launched somewhere near the end of last year. It’s presence in our market was also completely overshadowed by the announcement of a very popular competitor months after. But none the less, I peg the reason why it had left a not-so-strong-impression down to bad lighting and barely any space to angle for the best photos that made the S-Cross a forgettable car. Now that we’ve brought it out into the out and open, I am definitely looking at the compact SUV with new appreciation.

Exterior (Score: 4/5)
 
Those grilles… they somehow gave the S-Cross the impression of a parrot! But, in all seriousness, I would describe the S-Cross’s design as classic, only those with a more mature taste would appreciate. It’s like wine, the longer you keep it the better it tastes, in the S-Cross case, the better it looks. The car definitely stood out in my neighbourhood as a sophisticated SUV and not as a so called “mummy-car”.

The chrome skirtings and diffusers gave the car a sporty look while the wheel rims are ones that fit the current trend of dual-tone styles. Too bad for the colour though, that Crystal Lime Metallic is Suzuki’s choice for a default colour for the S-Cross but take it from me, after doing some research the car looks best in Boost Blue Pearl Metallic 3. (Google it!) 

Interior (Score: 5/5)

This car has got everything that you can ask for! And I mean EVERYTHING! From panoramic sunroof to a large seven-inch touch-panel display, cup-holders and bottle holders that can fit the largest bottles you can find to dual climate control and stylish paddle shifters. It even had pollen filters in its air conditioning vents!

But too bad for the S-Cross, the interior is just a little too “dark”, they could have added a few colour relief, perhaps the cabin is just a little too mature to be appreciated by the modern creatures that we are. All is forgivable though, since the cabin is comfortable and spacious with barely any exterior noise to disturb the senses.
Did I mention that the car has a double sliding panoramic sunroof that the world has never seen until the invention of this car?

Power and Handling (Score: 5/5)

Now this is the surprising part about the S-Cross. Despite looking like heavy and bulky that would most probably handle like a giant lazy Saint Bernard, the S-Cross is surprisingly nimble on its stylish 17-inch tyres. While power might be found wanting from the 1.6-litre petrol engine, the S-Cross still allows you to pull spectacular (but thoroughly calculated) overtaking moves. 

Handling is sharp, the car easily takes corners and maintains a poise that another compact SUV had lacked. And it is surprisingly easy to park, I peg that down as thanks to the steering that Suzuki had tuned to perfection allowing us to park the car and not feel the entire 4300mm length of it. 

So you get a smooth and comfortable city drive and a swift highway cruiser out of the S-Cross. Speaking of which, perhaps I should not be surprise, after all, Suzuki is the manufacturer of the spunky little Swift.

Tech and Safety (Score: 3/5)

This is where Suzuki needs to start spending more time perfecting. The most telling feature is the navigation system had insisted that I was still in SS2 when I was in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. Alright so props should go to the company for fitting almost every sensor that would help make life easier into the car, I can’t help but wonder if that is a little overkill.

Cruise control is present, along with paddle-shifters behind the steering while you get auto wipers and auto head lamps. You also get all the warning instruments that I don’t usually encounter in the compact SUV range. But I found myself reaching towards the button of the parking sensors to turn it off every time I stopped at a traffic light whenever the sensors wouldn’t stay quiet thanks to a motorcycle riding or stopping too close.

Safety features are as abundant as the technology and driver assistance. You get seven air-bags and five three-point seatbelts, two ISOFIX child seat and three child seat tether. ESP and hill hold control along with break assist function. The S-Cross is really not lacking anything in almost every department.

Summary

Amazingly, the Suzuki S-Cross is one understated SUV. It certainly deserved more credit than what is currently shown to it. While the looks might still draw a debate whether it is appealing or not, the amount of features available in the interior has won me out. But what are interior features when you’ve got a car that drives enjoyably? For that is really what the S-Cross gives you, an enjoyably drive no matter if you’re in the city or on the highway!

Overall Score: 17/20

Jerrica Leong

Specifications
On Sale
Now
Price
RM129,788.00 on the road without insurance inclusive of GST
Engine
1586cc, 1.6-litre Energy Efficient M16A VVT, 4-cylinder, 16 valves, 115bhp @ 6000rpm, 156Nm @ 4400rpm
Transmission
7-Speed CVT, two-wheel drive
Length/ Width/ Height/ Wheelbase
4300/ 1765/ 1575/ 2600mm
Weight
1125kg
 

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