Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is a late arrival to the crossover class, but Suzuki has combined its expertise in family-friendly superminis with its off-road know-how to produce this great new model.
The newcomer is a bit smaller than its main rivals, but clever packaging means it has a big boot, while ALLGRIP four-wheel drive is offered on top-of-the-range SZ-T and SZ5 trims.
The S-Cross won’t be able to keep up with a Suzuki Grand Vitara or Jimny in the rough, but Suzuki has used its off-road experience to set up the four-mode 4WD system to cope with slippery conditions when it’s needed.
Plus, even entry-level SZ3 cars will come with alloy wheels, electric windows, cruise control and manual air-conditioning as standard, while the top-spec versions get heated leather seats, a huge sliding panoramic sun roof and upgraded auto headlights.
The SX4 S-Cross feels eager and agile in the corners, too, so it's rather fun to drive on normal roads. There's good feedback from the wheel and plenty of grip, too. Body roll is a small issue thanks to the height of the car, but its not something most owners will need to worry about - and if you don't push it at all, it manages to be pretty comfortable as well.
The petrol comes with a five-speed manual gearbox or a CVT automatic, but feels strained and often underpowered when driving up steep inclines or when loaded with passengers. The diesel is much better and, although it can be a bit noisy, is a more capable cruiser.