4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Suzuki's first PHEV offers low BIK and 46 miles of battery power

Suzuki Across SUV (20 on) - rated 4 out of 5
Enlarge 9 photos

At a glance

New price £45,599 - £45,599
Lease from new From £668 p/m View lease deals
Used price £31,890 - £37,620
Used monthly cost From £796 per month
Fuel Economy 282.4 mpg
Road tax cost £480
Insurance group 43 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Long battery-only range of 46 miles
  • Low CO2 emissions and good economy
  • Quick acceleration, secure roadholding

CONS

  • It's an expensive car, but still good value
  • Toyota RAV4 may be cheaper to finance
  • Only one model available with no options

Suzuki Across SUV rivals

Written by Richard Kilpatrick on

Here it is, the new Suzuki Across SUV. That sense of deja-vu you're feeling is entirely reasonable, as the Across is almost completely identical to another popular SUV from Toyota, though the Across has some small differences and crucially, is the cheapest option for this particular car.

Toyota and Suzuki’s global ‘business agreement’ will see the two companies share their expertise of hybrid technology and small cars respectively, and the Across is the first product of that alliance. Suzuki has a long history of working with other manufacturers, but usually making cars that are branded by others.

It is essentially a Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid that’s been given a new face to better fit in with its Suzuki siblings.Unlike the Toyota, which has a cheaper self-charging version, it's a stand-alone model with one trim level, no significant options and no lower-cost version without plug-in tech.

Ultimately, though, the Suzuki Across is the most affordable way to get Toyota's 302hp, all-wheel-drive plug-in SUV.

What exactly is the Suzuki Across?

Like the Toyota RAV4 on which it’s based, the Across is a large, five-seat SUV intended to compete with the likes of the Honda CR-V, Skoda Karoq and Mazda CX-5.

While the RAV4 is also offered as a basic, self-charging hybrid (one that can’t be plugged in) Suzuki’s only offering the Across in plug-in guise. That means the Across can be driven for up to 46 miles without touching a drop of fuel, thanks to an 18.1kWh battery pack - but you're not tied to the plug.

Under the bonnet there's a 2.5-litre petrol engine, working as a generator and to supplement two electric motors. The forward motor is more powerful than the one found in the self-charging models of the RAV4. and because there’s a motor on each axle, the Across is four-wheel drive – a Suzuki hallmark, though this E-Four system (as Suzuki and Toyota call it) won’t be as effective for off-roading as Suzuki’s usual AllGrip mechanical setup.

What’s the difference between this and the RAV4 plug-in?

Very little. Obviously, Suzuki’s restyled the front grille and headlights, but the remainder of the car appears identical – right down to the alloy wheels, which hint at the Across being equivalent to the Dynamic specification of RAV4.

Toyota only offers the plug-in in Dynamic or Dynamic Premium specifications, so Suzuki is clearly pitching the Across towards the top end as well. Unlike Toyota, though, there's no self-charging version at lower cost to tempt people into the showroom.

If you buy the Suzuki Across over the Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid, you lose three obvious items, and one you can't see.

There's no wireless charging mat for your phone, the infotainment lacks sat nav, and you don't get a two-tone roof. Very minor stuff, really.

But you also lose two years and 40,000 miles of warranty, and the hybrid powertrain & battery warranty is only five years, rather than up to 15 years on the RAV4, if you follow the service schedule.

It's a really generous spec, though. There's a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen – with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, powerful Bi-LED headlights, lane-keeping aids and rear cross-traffic alert also come as standard. It even has heated seats all round and a heated steering wheel.

Is the Suzuki Across good to drive?

Yes. It's an accomplished all-rounder with the ability to potter around in serene, electrified refinement or bounce around country roads like a slightly wobbly rally car. This is mostly thanks to the combined 306hp output and clever electric-motor based all-wheel drive system.

It's far from the last word in sporty handling, but it is an extremely pleasant and safe place to enjoy your drive, with ample talent and capability to deal with unexpected situations, poor weather and congestion alike. Competence is one thing, but it's also fun when you want it to be - something Suzuki is generally good at, but Toyota has only recently rediscovered (as you might expect, the RAV4 is the same to drive).

Suzuki claims an all-electric range of 46 miles and CO2 emissions of 22g/km. That latter figure is lower than any of its plug-in rivals including the Ford Kuga, Kia Niro PHEV and Mitsubishi Outlander. The headline economy figure of 282.4mpg (weighted combined) is something you'll only see if you plug in your plug-in regularly, but the more realistic 42.8mpg combined is quite impressive for an SUV of this weight and performance.

What do you get for your money?

The Suzuki Across is fully equipped and is far from cheap for a Suzuki. But plug-in hybrid SUVs are still thin on the ground, and its £45,999 cash price is in line with its rivals, aside from the good value Ford Kuga. The Across will appeal to company car drivers, as it attracts very low benefit-in-kind tax thanks to its low official CO2 emissions and 46-mile range range on battery alone.

Effectively, you get everything including the kitchen sink as standard. There's adaptive cruise control, a half-leather interior, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control and an electrically-powered tailgate as standard.

Options are limited to just a few decorative accessories and roof rack/towing kit, and even metallic paint is included.

There is a catch, though, as Suzuki's warranty is less generous than Toyota's, and the residuals on the finance are much lower despite these cars being identical. The Across could shape up to be an excellent used buy as a result.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Suzuki Across including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Suzuki Across SUV rivals