The all-new Suzuki S-Cross is a compact, easy-driving, five-door, five-seater SUV (sports utility vehicle) with stylish lines and hybrid power.

I ran the rule over the Japanese manufacturer’s versatile motor – in Ultra grade with Allgrip four-wheel-drive – on a week-long road test.

Style file
The car’s predecessor was stylish and the latest model is also strong on kerb-appeal, featuring a bold and more muscular design that enhances its presence with larger and more angular wheel arches for the 17in polished alloy wheels, and smooth, flowing lines.

The front-end design is attractive and expressive, while the rear has larger combination lamps that integrate horizontally with the rear centre trim to emphasise a sense of width, in addition to roof rails and integrated rear spoiler. 

Inside story
This all-new design is complemented with a more spacious and versatile interior than the previous model.

My top-spec motor sported leather-upholstered seats, leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel and a panoramic sliding sunroof. The cabin has a welcoming ambience – helped by the heated front seats which proved a real boon during some cold-snap motoring! Comfort is to the fore along with easy drivability, aided by good visibility and well laid-out controls.

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The S-Cross is offered in two grades – Motion and my top spec Ultra – and there is a high level of equipment including keyless entry and start, dual-zone auto air conditioning, front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree view camera, on-board navigation, three signature automatic LED projector headlamps for low and high beam, smartphone connectivity, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitor and adaptive cruise control with speed limiter.

There are also front footwell lights, automatic windscreen wipers, heated, power-folding door mirrors and a multi-information display that shows info including engine output and torque data, fuel consumption, average speed and more.

On the practicality front, you will find the likes of four cup-holders, a USB connector and 12-volt accessory sockets in both the cabin and the load area, plus a load area lamp. Luggage capacity is 430 litres with the 60/40-split seat-back in place and 665 litres with it folded down.

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On the road
The driving experience is rewarding and confidence-inspiring, with power from the petrol and electric motors delivered smoothly by the six-speed automatic transmission (fitted as an option) with the plus of Suzuki’s Allgrip Select four-wheel-drive, which is standard on the Ultra grade car.

The system has four modes, Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock, the first being the car’s default setting. 

Sport optimises engine response and cornering performance, Snow promotes traction on slippery surfaces, while Lock is for tougher conditions - extricating the car from snow, mud and sand. The modes are easily selected via a rotary switch. 

Performance figures: 0-62mph in 10.2 seconds and a top speed of 121mph. Fuel: 46.3mpg (combined.) Emissions: 120g/km CO2.

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Tech time
Suzuki’s 48-volt hybrid powertrain for the new S-Cross is very lightweight in design and its components add less than 15kg to the overall weight of the vehicle. The clever system sees the electric motor and 127bhp, 1.4-litre turbo-charged petrol engine work together to power the car in the most efficient way.

The system is smooth, seamless and self-charging, the car harvesting and storing electric charge from deceleration and braking as well as charging on-the-go while being driven at a constant speed.

With a wealth of top tech and an array of great features, Suzuki’s S-Cross delivers a truly satisfying motoring experience.

Price: £29,799 OTR (plus £1,350 for automatic transmission)