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Used Suzuki SX4 S-Cross review

The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross isn’t as well-known in the market as its main rival, the Nissan Qashqai. It should be. If you’re looking for a mid-size, family-friendly SUV, it should definitely be on your list due to its combination of style, space, equipment and value.

Looks?

The first generation of the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross was, perhaps, to some eyes a little forgettable. If we’re being kind. The second version - that arrived in the UK in 2016 - strikes a much more memorable pose. Up front, its confident looks are dominated by that big shiny chrome grille and large, distinctive headlamps.  

 Tough-looking black bumpers, silver side sills and a raised ride height add to the hang-tough stance. If you do want to head into the wild, seek out a 4-wheel-drive variant, which Suzuki calls ALLGRIP. The 4-wheel-drive technology is only available on the SZ5 top trim. For everyday driving, though, the front-wheel-drive version will easily and safely do everything you need it to. 

Its confident looks are dominated by that big shiny chrome grille and large, distinctive headlamps.  

What’s it like to drive?

The SX4 S-Cross’s high-riding driving position gives you good visibility and a feeling of additional confidence, whether you’re tackling narrow country lanes or looking for a space to park in a busy town centre. The SUV’s ride and handling strike the right balance. Over rough and bumpy roads the suspension keeps you comfortable inside the cabin.  

The steering feels nice and precise, and when you turn the Suzuki into a sharp corner, the body stays level and controlled and doesn’t sway around. Great if your passenger is sipping their latte macchiato.  

Suzuki launched the SX4 S-Cross with a 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre petrol engine and a 1.6-litre diesel. It later dropped the diesel option. In 2020, the company added a more environmentally-friendly hybrid model. Even if you choose the smallest, least powerful engine, it still delivers lively performance.  

Over rough and bumpy roads the suspension keeps you comfortable inside the cabin.

Inside?

Some cars come with a huge and quite confusing choice of trim levels. That’s not a problem you will have with the SX4 S-Cross. The SUV was launched with 3 trim levels - SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5. As with the engine choice, there isn’t a version you need to avoid. Even the entry-level SZ4 comes nicely kitted out with alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB digital radio, dual-zone controls and headlights that turn themselves on automatically.  

You might want to think about spending a little more and go for the SZ-T, which adds sat-nav, more speakers, keyless entry and nicer trim, plus you can connect your smartphone to the car. Opting for the range-topping SZ5 gives you heated leather seats and a large panoramic sunroof. 

If you opt for the SZ5, you and your passengers will enjoy a cabin flooded with sunlight – well, on those days the sun bothers to make an appearance. There is a slight downside. The sunroof results in a little less headroom, although it’s still pretty good.  

Without the sunroof, the amount of headroom is excellent and leg room is impressive front and rear in all models, which will keep tall teenagers happy. You’ll be happy behind the wheel too, thanks to rake and reach adjustable steering and a height-adjustable seat.  

Practicality

We all do it. We all promise ourselves we’ll get everything sorted the night before heading off on a long journey. Then we end up rushing to the car with an armful of stuff, dropping half of it on the pavement. When we do get the driver’s door open, we drop our possessions on the seat and wonder where it’s going to go. Happily, with the SX4 S-Cross you’ll find a place for everything.  

The glovebox is large, as are the door bins front and rear. You also get twin cupholders up front and there are lots of stowage cubbies throughout the cabin. The boot is spot-on too. It’s large, with a nice square opening, and can easily hold 2 large suitcases.  

Running costs and reliability

The SX4 S-Cross is solidly built, with lots of hardwearing plastics. Suzuki models always tend to fare well in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys, so the SX4 S-Cross should prove a trustworthy choice. If you’d prefer to have some additional peace of mind, you might want to consider cinchCare.  

The earlier diesel engine is best for fuel economy, though it’s not available with the revamped 2016-onwards model. The 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine is also an economical choice. Suzuki claims an official 56.4mpg, which means you should get 45mpg with careful driving.   

What cinch loves

Everyone seems to be behind the wheel of a medium-size SUV these days, but you don’t see that many SX4 S-Cross models around. We love that sense of exclusiveness, and we love the Suzuki’s looks – there’s a lot more character here than you get with some rivals.

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Perfect for

Town and country drivers

Parents

Verdict

Good

Choose the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross and you can be confident you’ve ticked all the boxes your head requires. It’s affordable to purchase and run, reliable, spacious and practical. And it has qualities to please the heart too, thanks to its sharp styling, sense of exclusivity, nice driving manners and good equipment levels. 

This review was