Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5
  • Boosterjet petrols are smooth and powerful
  • DDiS diesel benefits high-mileage drivers
  • 1.0-litre petrol the best all-rounder

From launch Suzuki SX4 S-Cross performance was delivered by a choice of a petrol or diesel powerplant, both 1.6 litres in capacity.

Following the 2016 facelift, the original petrol engine was dropped and replaced by turbocharged Boosterjet powerplants in 1.0- and 1.4-litre sizes.

Petrol engine range

Available from 2013 to 2016, the 1.6-litre petrol engine made 120hp with 156Nm of pulling-power. In two-wheel drive configuration with the manual gearbox it hit 62mph from standstill in 11.0 seconds with a top speed of 111mph, while the optional CVT transmission meant a sprint to 62mph in 12.4 seconds and a top speed of 105mph.

When in all-wheel drive format the figures changed again – the manual car reached 62mph in 12 seconds and did 108mph flat-out, while the CVT-equipped car took 13.5 seconds and 102mph respectively.

The two turbocharged Boosterjet engines were introduced in autumn 2016 as the petrol-engined choices.

First up is the 1.0-litre, following the trend of being a three-cylinder unit. There’s 111hp on tap and 170Nm of torque available from 2,000rpm, making it surprisingly adept at hauling the S-Cross around without sounding or feeling strained. In fact, there’s not even much of that familiar three-cylinder thrum you’ll experience in other micro-engined cars.

Three transmission options here: a decent five-speed manual with a top speed of 112mph and a 0-62mph time of 11.0 seconds flat, while those figures become 106mph and 12.4 seconds with the optional six-speed automatic. Stick with the manual but plump for AllGrip all-wheel drive and expect to see 109mph and 12.0 seconds for the 0-62mph dash.

Offering a bit more zip is the 140hp 1.4-litre, four-cylinder Boosterjet also found in the Suzuki Vitara S. Despite having 220Nm of torque at its disposal from just 1,500rpm, it’s not significantly quicker than its 1.0-litre alternative.

AllGrip is standard on the 1.4-litre and regardless of whether you stick with the six-speed manual or choose the automatic with the same number of ratios from the options checklist performance is identical – a 124mph top speed and a 0-62mph time of 10.2 seconds.

Sole diesel engine

Badged DDiS – for Diesel Direct injection System – Suzuki’s most economical SX4 S-Cross produces 120hp and a healthy 320Nm of torque from 1,750rpm also emits the least CO2 at 106g/km.

In two-wheel drive configuration, the SX4 S-Cross DDiS diesel will hit 62mph in 12.0 seconds with a top speed of 112mph. In all-wheel drive form it’ll do the same sprint in 13.0 seconds with a top speed of 109mph. Both come with a six-speed manual gearbox.

  • Safe and predictable driving experience
  • Little feel through the steering wheel
  • Trade-off is a comfy ride quality

Based on the excellent Swift’s underpinnings, the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross handles very well, notwithstanding the degree of body-roll when cornered enthusiastically and the over-assisted steering.

Seeing as buyers of family crossovers tend not to be looking for a weapon to sate their B-road driving desires those points are less important than the S-Cross’s manoeuvrability and decent levels of comfort.

The SX4 S-Cross is available as a conventional front-wheel drive car or fitted with Suzuki’s AllGrip all-wheel drive system. The latter has four driving ‘modes’; Auto decides which set-up is necessary for the driving conditions, Sport provides top performance, Snow is for more inclement conditions and Lock is used for proper off-roading – or as close as you can get to venturing off the beaten track in an S-Cross.

We’d only pick the more costly AllGrip system if we were particularly worried about heavy snow or going off-road. It’s worth noting that a far more cost-effective solution to the snow problem would be a set of winter tyres on a front-wheel drive SX4.

In terms of the underpinnings, Suzuki claims that both suspension and brakes have been tuned for UK roads and it does seem to cope well, transmitting few of the ruts you’ll experience in Britain to the occupants’ seats.

As part of the 2016 makeover the SX4 S-Cross’s ride height was raised by 15mm – not enough to negatively impact ride or handling, but the bolder stance gave the Suzuki more of a crossover look than the tall hatchback appearance it had before.