What is it?
With the exception of the Jimny, whose presence in the UK range became as embarrassing for emissions-conscious executives as it was endearing to the man or woman on the street, Suzuki’s passenger car line-up is now exclusively electrified.
Quite some achievement, and it all happened in the blink of an eye, with mild-hybrid powertrains rolled out to the Ignis, Swift, Vitara and S-Cross in the space of just a few months. The most ‘electrified’ of all the Japanese marque’s models, however - if you’ll permit such a clumsy superlative - is this: the Across, and it may not have escaped your notice that it’s not really a Suzuki at all. The first badge-engineered car to be born from a new agreement between Suzuki and Toyota, the Across is all but identical to the RAV4 on which it is based, save for the addition of a less aggressive front end, bespoke wheel designs and a smattering of Suzuki badges.
More interesting, though, is that the Across takes its power from a new four-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid powertrain that has yet to be rolled out to European RAV4 models and that makes its debut Autocar appearance here. Comprising a 173bhp 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder mated to a pair of electric motors - one with 180bhp on the front axle and another with 54bhp at the rear - the system endows the Across with 302bhp, making it Suzuki’s most powerful production car by nearly 200bhp and giving a 0-62mph sprint time of just 6.0sec.
The economy statistics are equally eyebrow-raising: the Across can manage 46 miles of electric-only travel from a charge, achieves a combined 282mpg, emits just 22g/km of CO2 and - crucially - attracts a benefit-in-kind rating of just 6%, undercutting the Ford Kuga PHEV, Citroën C5 Aircross Hybrid and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. One final headline figure, then: £45,999. That’s what you’ll pay for this one-trim-only SUV, which slots it straight in at the higher end of the segment, making it a far cry from the brand’s other, more value-oriented models.
Elsewhere, things are somewhat more familiar. The cabin is lifted directly from the RAV4, meaning there’s a 9.0in infotainment touchscreen with hybrid-specific displays, a nice chunky Tonka-toy-style gear selector and just the right amount of buttons, knobs and switches.