Suzuki has passed another milestone on its road to future mobility with the arrival in UK showrooms of the latest Full Hybrid S Cross SUV.
Using the same powertrain from its Vitara stablemate, the S Cross Full Hybrid is a logical development of the mild-hybrid S Cross introduced at the end of 2021.
That has been a runaway success for Suzuki despite constraints imposed by this year’s semi-conductor shortages and now the S Cross FH model brings added refinements within its outstanding packaging and price.
Grade for grade, the newcomer easily undercuts rivals using Suzuki’s policy of giving owners all they could want without having to pay more for each feature.
Standard equipment on the 2WD Motion trimmed models includes LED lights, smartphone connectivity, intelligent cruise control, dual zone a/c, seven-inch display screen, heated front seats and parking sensors with rear camera.
Moving to the Ultra 4WD gains leather upholstery, integrated satnav behind a nine-inches screen, full-length sunroof and 360-deg camera.
The models’ shared six-speed automated manual powertrain from the Vitara comes with 140-volt battery and inverter, Eco and Standard driving modes to maximise mileage or performance and an intelligent Motor Generator Unit to give seamless transition between petrol and electric power or demand for both.
The familiar, highly developed Allgrip FWD system is standard on the Ultra grade and a £4,800 choice with the Motion models and provides auto, sport, snow and lock settings for all conditions at the turn of a rotary knob. Unlike many rivals’ four-wheel-drive systems, Allgrip can anticipate when traction is likely to be lost at the front and compensates.
Prices of the new models rise from £24,999 to £31,549 and the only real option is £550 for metallic paint.
Suzuki anticipate 70% of S Cross sales will be the lower priced Motion and about 25% of those will choose the full hybrid model, while an even split in drivetrains is expected for the Ultra within its 30% market take-up.
So How Does It Go?
It lives up to Suzuki’s new Good.Different mantra and while not appealing to the out and out sporting driver it will easily satisfy the majority who want a lot of equipment for minimal outlay and have a car from a brand with a high rating for reliability and low ownership costs.
Fitting the larger battery back under the boot floor has slightly reduced capacity for luggage but the cabin is still a good four/ five seater.
The 4WD Ultra costs a bit more to tax because of higher emissions than the 2WD Motion and its modestly slower from a standing start but the easy off-road performance with the added traction is worth it in the winter.
Major controls are very good, with easy steering, strong brakes and a very smooth six-speed transmission.
The 17-inch wheel and tyres make some noise and the suspension is firm but not hard.
On a slightly muddy off-road course the new S Cross FH Allgrip acquitted itself well on standard road tyres and we saw it return 45mpg overall including 60 miles on motorway and secondary roads.
Suzuki S Cross Full Hybrid Allgrip
Mechanical: 115ps 4cyl 1.5 litre petrol-electric powertrain,
Max Speed: 108 mph
0-62mph: 13.5 sec
Combined MPG: 45
Insurance Group: 16E
C02 emissions: 132 g/km
Tax costs: Bik rating 31%, VED £220FY, £155SR
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles
Size: L4.30m, W1.79m, H1.59m
Bootspace: 293 to 665 litres
Kerbweight: 1378 kg
For: Very comprehensive equipment list, effortless 4WD soft-road abilities, refined powertrain, quality finish
Against: Reduced loadspace due to larger battery pack, road rumbles evident with powertrain noise low, modest performance, ungenerous warranty. By Robin Roberts Miles Better News Agency