Fiat 500L Trekking vs Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

The supermini-based Fiat 500L Trekking is the latest to jump on the SUV bandwagon. Can it uproot the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross?

SUVS have huge appeal these days. Wherever you look, there are cars that embrace the chunky styling and tall ride height synonymous with off-roaders. And buyers can’t get enough of them, so manufacturers are keen to jump on the SUV bandwagon.

Fiat 500L Trekking review

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross review 

Take Fiat, for example. The only four-wheel-drive model it currently sells is the Panda 4x4, but in an effort to quickly expand its SUV portfolio, it’s introduced the 500L Trekking.

It’s based on the 500L MPV that was launched in 2012, and while it retains that car’s running gear, it gets a raised ride height, chunky styling add-ons, all-weather tyres and a revised traction control system that’s designed to optimise grip for slippery conditions. So where does this new model fit in?

To measure its abilities, we’ve lined up a car that was a revelation when we first tested it – the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross. It has the space, performance and pricing to give the Trekking a tough work-out, so can the newcomer chop it down to size?

Head-to-head

Practicality

While the Suzuki has the bigger boot with the seats up, the Fiat has more user-friendly touches. The back seats split 60:40, and slide back and forth. Both cars have false floors, but the 500L has more room underneath, while bag hooks on either side of the boot opening are a handy addition.

Running costs

Both cars have 50-litre fuel tanks, but the SX4 has a longer range as it’s more efficient. Band B road tax means you’ll pay £20 a year compared to £105 for the Fiat, while company car tax costs are also cheaper for the Suzuki.

Options

If you’re keen to customise your car, the 500L is the model to go for. There’s a wider variety of exterior colours, including contrasting white or black roofs, plus you can upgrade the audio to a £600 HiFi by Beats stereo. Another party piece is the Lavazza 500 Espresso Experience. This £150 option adds a coffee machine that sits between the front seats, and includes a pair of bespoke coffee cups designed to fit into the 500L’s cup-holders.

1st place - Suzuki

It's another victory for the SX4 S-Cross. While it can’t quite match the Fiat for cubby storage, and is pricier, it’s worth the extra forits lower running costs and better performance. Add in more standard kit, a decent boot and engaging handling, and it’s a tough act to beat.

2nd place - Fiat

The Trekking is the best model in the 500L range. Its chunky add-ons give the awkward looks a lift, and its interior is more stylish than the SX4’s. Yet the engines aren’t up to scratch – even the most powerful 1.6 Multijet is overworked, and running costs are higher, too.

   Suzuki SX4  Fiat 500L 
   S-Cross SZ-TTrekking 
On the road price/total as tested£19,749/£20,179£19,590/£21,440
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£9,124/46.2%£7,050/36.0%
Depreciation £10,625 £12,540 
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£670/£1,339£742/£1,485
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,261/£2,102£1,781/£2,969
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost19/£319/B/£2015/£309/D/£105
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£120/£220/£150£164/£234/£164
       
Length/wheelbase 4,300/2,600mm4,270/2,612mm
Height/width 1,575/1,765mm1,679/1,800mm
Engine  4cyl in-line/1,598cc4cyl in-line/1,598cc
Peak power/revs  118/3,750 bhp/rpm104/3,750 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs  320/1,750 Nm/rpm320/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission  6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel50 litres/space saver50 litres/space saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down)430/875^ litres343-400/1,310 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,305/565/1,500kg1,440/N/A/1,100kg
Turning circle 10.4 metres 10.7 metres 
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/1yr AA3yrs (60,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers12,500 miles (1yr)/14921k miles (1yr)/160
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.29th/19th 30th/28th 
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars92/80/72/5 94/78/65/5 
       
0-60/30-70mph 9.7*/9.2 secs13.5*/13.8 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 3.4/4.8 secs 4.8/6.3 secs 
50-70mph in 5th/6th 6.2/7.6 secs 8.2/11.3 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 111mph/1,800rpm109mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 52.0/37.8/10.4m*69.9/51.0/12.1m*
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph68/48/63/69dB72/51/63/68dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range59.6/13.1/656 miles42.2/9.3/464 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 55.3/76.3/67.2mpg50.4/68.9/60.1mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 12.2/16.8/14.8mpl11.1/15.2/13.2mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket127/110g/km/17%179/122g/km/19%
       
Airbags/Isofix/parking sensor/cameraSeven/yes/rear/yesSix/yes/rear/£270
Auto box/tyre monitor/stab/cruise ctrlNo/yes/yes/yesNo/no/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/no/no £300/part/£175
Met paint/panoramic roof/keyless go£430/no/yes£850/£550/no
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yes£500/yes/£100/yes

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