In pre-politically correct times ‘The man in the street’ was a term used to describe the
ordinary male (person). In 2006 I was in Japan watching early SX4 vehicles roll off the
assembly lines at Suzuki’s Hamamatsu plant, noting its bland physical characteristics.

This MITS manner was reinforced on an extended drive of the small sports utility vehicle
on the company’s test track, with its performance providing an uninspiring driving

Little has changed over the years, with the SX4 generally flying under the automotive
radar, while its siblings – Jimny, Swift and Vitara – led the way in design and innovation.
The latest S-Cross could be about to change the order of things.

The second generation SX4 in 2013 took on the S-Cross suffix and an optional all-wheel
drive system named AllGrip. It has four selectable driving modes – Normal, Sport, Snow
and Lock.

Following a facelift in 2016, the third generation first saw the light of day in 2021, and has
now been given a makeover for the model year 2023, in the form of a freshened cabin and
restyled exterior, plus new technology.

The 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine stays pretty much the same but now puts its
power to ground through a new AllGrip all-wheel drive system. There is a price to pay –
$40,490, plus on-road costs, $10,000 more than the base figure. A Prestige model, with
even more goodies, tips the scales at $44,490. I enjoyed time with the latter.

Like all present-day Suzuki cars, the S-Cross is covered by a five-year, unlimited kilometre
warranty and five-year capped-price service scheme, the latter at 12 months or 10,000-
kilometre intervals.

Updated S-Cross styling retains the somewhat angular look of days gone by, while most
modern rivals show off slick coupe-like looks. Included here are a new front and back,
doors, bumpers and lighting.

Up front the two-storey grille is dominated by the stylised Suzuki ‘S’ and leaves oncoming
drivers in no doubt as to the car’s pedigree. A sleeker bonnet, black diamond lattice grille
and redesigned automatic LED headlights have the SUV standing tall, while square wheel
arches wrapping polished alloy and silver highlights on the bumpers make for a more
robust profile than before.

Quality leather appointments are not enough to detract from the firmness of the seats.
Little lateral support is forthcoming too. On the upside, the steering wheel adjusts for rake
and reach.

Behind the wheel is an instrument cluster comprising two analogue gauges with a digital
trip computer between, which includes a speedo. Dual-zone climate control adjustment is
within easy reach.

The S-Cross AllGrip is the same dimensions as its predecessor, which is enough to keep
an average build adult in some comfort, especially in the rear.
The boot opens up to an expansive 430 litres with the seat backs up, extending to a
voluminous1230 litres with seat backs folded. Hardwearing fabric material covers the deck
and extends up the walls. There’s also an underfloor boot-wide compartment.

A 9-inch touchscreen is a step up from the 7-inch system in the base model. A clear colour
display supports factory-fitted satellite navigation, camera with all-round view and digital
radio info.

Apple CarPlay customers enjoy wireless communication, while Android Auto folk have to
make do with wired connectivity.

Lift the bonnet. There’s nothing (new) to see here. Those familiar with the previous model
will recognise the engine, a 1.4 litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor producing
103 kW and 220 Nm, mated with a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission,
now taking in the new Suzuki all-wheel drive system, AllGrip.

Standard safety comes with autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning,
driver fatigue monitoring, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear
parking sensors.

The featherweight BoosterJet engine has a spring in its step, with plenty of low-down
torque and a well-matched torque-converter auto. Plastic paddle shifts are best ignored.

However, the spicy motor and well-sorted ride and handling package were good enough to
throw the S-Cross assuredly around on corners, while feather-light steering pointed the
nose in the desired direction and slow-speed parking in tight spots was low on trepidation.
A claimed combined urban / highway fuel consumption figure of 6.2 litres per 100
kilometres translated in test car terms to 8 litres per 100 kilometres in city traffic and 5
litres per 100 kilometres on the open road. Not too much of a financial burden on the
recommended 95 RON juice.

Getting to grips with a wide range of conditions under foot, the car’s multi-mode all-wheel-
drive system offers Normal, Sport, Snow and Lock stages, running predominantly from the
front wheels in Normal to 66:33 split in Snow.

Front bias helps keep the vehicle on a straight course on ice. Snow also firms up stability
control, while leaving traction control unfettered in snow. Lock serves up a steady-as-she-
goes 50:50 split.

Sport takes charge from the rear, partly freeing stability control, while calling on
transmission operation to be more responsive. All are to hand via a knob on the centre
console behind the gearshift lever.

The S-Cross is far from my favourite Suzuki, with the aforementioned Jimny, Swift and
Vitara, atop the podium positions. However, with the spritely performance of the latest
generation, the S-Cross is making a gallant effort to grab the attention of people like me.
It’s beginning to work.
Note that Suzuki Queensland is a separate entity to Suzuki in the rest of
Australia, but it’s expected that the two entities will be very much the same. If you’re in
another State or Territory and considering buying a Suzuki we suggest you talk to the
dealer of your choice about the new model.
The 2022 S-Cross is being released in Queensland with two specification lines: GL-Plus
and GLX with the GLX also having the option of a sunroof. The model names elsewhere
are All Grip and All Grip Premium respectively with the latter having the sunroof as
Looks: 5/10
Performance: 8/10
Safety: 6/10
Thirst: 7/10
Practicality: 7/10
Comfort: 5/10
Tech: 7/10
Value: 4/10


S-Cross GL Plus / All Grip: $40,490
S-Cross GLX :$43,490 (Queensland only)
S-Cross GLX Sunroof /All Grip Prestige): $44,490
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Suzuki dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Suzuki S-Cross AllGrip 1.4L turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol, 6sp
automatic, AWD SUV)

Capacity: 1.372 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders inline
Maximum Power: 103 kW at 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 220 Nm 1500-4000 rpm
Fuel Type: Unleaded petrol 95RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 6.2 L/100km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed torque converter automatic, multi-mode all-wheel drive

Length: 4305 mm
Wheelbase: 2600 mm
Width: 1785 mm
Height: 1585 mm
Turning Circle: 10.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 1290 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 47 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Derek Ogden

On graduating with an honours degree in applied science in London, Derek Ogden worked for the BBC in local radio and several British newspapers as a production journalist and writer. Derek moved to Australia in 1975 and worked as a sub-editor with The Courier Mail and Sunday Mail in Brisbane, moving to the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1980 where he continued as a production journalist. He was the paper's motoring editor for more than 20 years, taking the weekly section from a few pages at the back of the book to a full-colour liftout of up to 36 pages. He left the publication in 2009.
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