mReview: 2023 Suzuki S-Cross – An Unconventional Alternative

Published by on . Updated on 19 May 2024

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It’s hard to build an automotive business manufacturing just fun cars. Enthusiasts form the minority of the car buying population, and car makers need to build volume cars to sustain their operations.

To better set yourself up for success, you should try and go with the flow, creating a product that practically sells itself. And that product right now (and it has been the case for the better part of a decade) takes the shape of an SUV.

Buyers like the high-riding position and the feeling of safety it gives you. But these ‘perks’ come with their own drawbacks, though these are cons that most would-be owners are keen to overlook. For a manufacturer, it’s a fine balancing act between juggling what consumers would want to buy, versus creating a properly solid product that’d last.

Mass Appeal

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On the design front at least, it’d probably age fairly well, as it does without the fuss or the excess that a lot of modern compact SUVs are adorned with. In fact, there’s little on the outside that’d turn any potential buyer off.

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The exterior design is generally inoffensive, though it can, admittedly, look ungainly from several angles. Unpainted plastic cladding adds to its rugged looks, and helps to probably save some cost on the build without much aesthetic sacrifice.

Robust Interior

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And rugged is the appropriate adjective to describe the interior panels as well. It all feels very well screwed together, even if most of the cabin has been made out of hard scratchy plastics. 

The dashboard design is made out of many complex swooping lines, which all converge into the centre stack. Happily, Suzuki hasn’t opted to migrate all of your critical controls onto its touchscreen, with plenty of physical switchgear for your climate and for your reversing camera.

It employs the typical tablet-tacked-onto-screen infotainment form factor as most of its close competitors, and comes packed with the functionality that you’d expect of a car built in 2023. Where it isn’t quite 2023 though, is in its instrument cluster. You wouldn’t find a screen here - the S-Cross uses good old fashioned gauges, but with a digital display in the middle.

You’d be able to settle into a comfortable position regardless of the seat you find yourself in. Knee and headroom is generous even in the second row.

The Drive

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You’d find the same 1.4-litre turbocharged mild hybrid motor fitted to a Suzuki Swift Sport. Coupled to this engine is a proper torque converter automatic, so there’s no rubberband effect that plagues most of its CVT-equipped rivals.

Being a mild hybrid, the electric motor only acts as a torque fill on the initial phases of acceleration - the engine does all of the heavy lifting once you are up to speed. By no means is this a fast car, with Suzuki quoting a 0-100km/h time of 12.7 seconds, though it certainly feels sprightlier than what it’d technically do on paper.

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The over eager power steering makes the car very easy to manoeuvre, though it does rob you of the sensations transmitted through the steering rack. 

Should You Buy One?

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If you are looking for a Japanese crossover that isn’t built by the usual Japanese marques, the S-Cross is a vehicle that you need to seriously consider. It is priced sensibly, built reasonably well and with simple mechanicals, should last you a seriously long time with no mechanical woes!

Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Mild Hybrid Specifications
Price: $169,888  VES Band: B
Motor:
Turbocharged inline-four
with Mild Hybrid
Capacity:
1.3 litre
Power:
127 bhp, 235 Nm
Transmission:
6-speed automatic
Driven Wheels:
Front
Consumption:
17.5 km/L
0-100km/h:
12.7 s
Top Speed:
unknown
Fuel Tank Capacity:
47L
Dimensions:
4,305 mm x 1,785 mm x 1,585 mm
Wheelbase:
2,600 mm
Cargo Capacity:
440 L

Read More: mReview: 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross - No Reason to be Cross


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Photo Credits: ACube Creative (@weareacube)

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Read More: mReview: 2022 Suzuki Jimny - Perfectly Imperfect


Download the Motorist App now. Designed by drivers for drivers, this all-in-one app lets you receive the latest traffic updates, gives you access to live traffic cameras, and helps you manage LTA and vehicle matters.

Did you know we have a Motorist Telegram Channel? Created exclusively for drivers and car owners in Singapore, you can get instant info about our latest promotions, articles, tips & hacks, or simply chat with the Motorist Team and fellow drivers.

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