If you passed the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross in the street, it probably wouldn’t make that much of an impression on you. It’s not the sort of car that will make you take a sharp intake of breath and whip out the camera phone. None of its rivals probably will either. But there really is more to the S-Cross than meets the eye.

The latest round of changes were part of a revamp in late 2016, which also sees the addition of Suzuki’s Boosterjet turbo petrol technology to the S-Cross range.

Visually the S-Cross now has a more SUV-like stance on the road. Suzuki has raised the suspension by about 1.5cm, and the front end is now higher and more upright with a bold chrome bar grille and new lights front and back.

Inside the basic cabin layout is the same but there is a new soft touch plastic dashboard pad, which looks better, and gives the S-Cross a more high quality feel despite the hard plastics that still feature above and below, and in the door panels. The cabin design is plain but inoffensive, and you quickly feel at home here. It’s also right up to date in terms of technology: a smart looking touchscreen sits in the centre of the dash with navigation, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review Ireland
The interior of the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

The S-Cross range starts at a reasonable €20,995 for a 1.0-litre petrol model, rising to €26,995 for a 1.6-litre diesel. In terms of interior space, the S-Cross feels spacious and is comparative to the likes of the Opel Mokka X, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur and larger crossovers like the Honda HR-V and Nissan Qashqai. There is seating for five and a 430 litre boot with a low, flat loading sill. There are manual and automatic gearboxes, and the option of all wheel drive.

The big news with this new update is the addition of Suzuki’s new 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engines. The 1.0-litre is fantastic in the smaller Suzuki Baleno hatchback and I’ve also sampled the 1.4-litre Boosterjet in the Suzuki Vitara S.

The 1.0-litre is a success in the S-Cross too. It’s a joy to drive – responsive and refined with plenty of low down grunt to zip around town. It’s also efficient with 48mpg easily achievable. The S-Cross has excellent road manners and is very enjoyable to drive. It has the same ‘fun factor’ as the smaller Vitara with nicely weighted steering and good body control in the corners, but the S-Cross feels more mature, comfortable and refined compared to the Vitara.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Review Ireland
The S-Cross is a fine crossover to drive with Suzuki’s new 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo petrol engine

There are three trim levels to choose from in Ireland: SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5. Standard equipment includes Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, air conditioning, four electric windows, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control with speed limiter, and electric and heated door mirrors. The SZ-T model on test had keyless entry and start, parking sensors, parking camera, dual zone climate control, LED lights, auto lights and wipers, navigation, rear privacy glass and 17-inch alloys so it’s good value for the 1.0-litre at just under €25,000.

The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross looks relatively innocuous among the sea of crossovers and SUVs on our roads but it’s a great all-rounder, being both practical and good to drive. The Boosterjet engine really transforms this car into something interesting, so if the looks don’t do it for you, the engine certainly will.

Model tested: Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.0 Boosterjet SZ-T
€24,995 (Range starts at €20,995)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
11 seconds
CO2 emissions:  
Motor tax:
€200 per year

If you are looking for a petrol crossover, you might also like this review of the Peugeot 2008.

Caroline Kidd