Looking seriously cross: the 2014 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review [Video]
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Being a company with a history in SUV style vehicles, the 1st Suzuki SX4 S-Cross actually pioneered the compact SUV crossover segment before Nissan’s Qashqai, not that you’d generally guess that. With the 2nd generation 2014 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross they have come back with a machine that rectifies the 1st models shortcomings. The result is a family orientated crossover that is sure to make Suzuki’s name in this segment.
A key thing with the 2014 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is the way that it clearly focuses itself as a family car while adding a little bit of lifestyle appeal rather than the usual class gambit of being ‘sporty’. This is evident in the way the 2014 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross looks – inoffensive, solid and curvy. There is definite improvement from the original model due to having more clearly defined SUV-ness as well as being generally a size bigger than before. The size is interesting as it’s kind of an in between size since it’s bigger than the likes of the Vauxhall Mocha or the Ford Ecosport. The tailgate opens up to reveal 430ltrs – almost double its previous size. The floor is also repositionable according to height above a storage area underneath. Set up high it can form a completely flat load bay which is also full of handy features such as a 12 volt socket and bag hooks. The cargo space can be extended to 875ltrs with the back bench folded down, which is naturally useful but not quite as impressive as you think it’ll be. Moving forwards, the back seats can be adjusted to prioritise boot space or legroom. There’s decent space in the rear seating area, though the headroom might be taxing for the tall people out there, especially with the sunroof that eats into the headspace while also offering the widest opening of anything in the class.
The front cabin is inoffensive but effective in design. There’s nothing spectacularly wow-worthy here – there’s a bit of a plasticy feeling around and practicality is touch and go with a shallow door bin and a rather limited glove box. But there are some good sized bins behind the handbrake and in front of the gearstick to make up for this and there is a certain beautiful simplicity about the minimalistic button layout that a lot of cars can probably learn from. It’s also worth investing in the infotainment system as a better way to access the entertainment systems and satnav.
Again the family focus is more family than sporty behind the wheel of the 2014 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, with a softly set ride that can soak up pretty much anything the roadways can throw at it. The body roll is well controlled on tough corners and the cornering nicely crisp, though it’s worth noting the 2WD variants sometimes lack a bit of traction out of corners. To avoid this it might be an idea to invest in winter tyres during the colder months or straight up going for the Allgrip 4WD. This part time setup works through an electronically controlled clutch pack which distributes drive between the front and back axles. It’s controlled by you from a switch by the gearstick. There are several modes – Sport (self-explanatory), Auto (in case you don’t know what to choose), Snow (which is more or less any slippery, muddy surface) and Lock (sends torque to front and rear axles to get out of a tight spot should you encounter it). It’s unlikely you’ll be taking this off road in any major way because there is a limited amount of ground clearance.
Under the bonnet, the 2014 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross there are 2 1.6ltr 120ps DDIS engines – a petrol and a diesel. The Petrol unit is pleasant to drive and will suit those who don’t want to tow or use it for anything a bit heavier duty. It’s well worth getting the 2014 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross with the diesel engine as although it reaches 62mph in 11 seconds (1 second behind the petrol unit) it’s got double the torque at 320Nm and can tow like a train at 1500kg (braked). These come with a pretty slick 6-speed manual transmission.
All in all, what’s the lowdown with the 2014 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross? The strapline for this vehicle’s marketing sums this up as ‘perfect for families without being just a family car’. This is probably quite an apt description. After being supersized and generally tweaked around, the resulting 2nd generation Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is a much more competitive vehicle. It’s also much more cost effective than its comparable rivals and crucially delivers many of the Qashqai qualities people love, if you’re ok with how it looks. If you don’t mind the somewhat less than class leading total cargo space and a slightly underwhelming cabin ambiance then this Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is well worth a look.
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