From £45,5999
Engine options, speed, acceleration and refinement

The Across (and the RAV4 PHEV by association) is a rare breed of plug-in hybrid in that it does what it says on the tin regarding electric range. With its 18.1kWh battery topped up, Suzuki claims it can travel nearly 47 miles on the combined WLTP cycle.

On a test route that incorporated an even mixture of A-road, motorway and stop-start urban driving, our testers were able to extract 48 miles of electric range from the Across before its hybrid petrol powertrain sparked into life. Given that some PHEVs undershoot on their advertised EV range by up to 40%, that should be considered a real selling point.

The Suzuki’s dual power sources combine to impressive effect, delivering a 0-60mph time of 6.4sec on the one hand and a real-world EV range of 48 miles on the other.

Driven in pure EV mode, performance is more than swift enough. Throttle response is spot on, and acceleration potent enough to easily keep pace with traffic. Interestingly, in this mode, the petrol engine will only step in when the battery is totally flat; even if you hit the kickdown switch, it won’t be roused – and nor would you be likely to need it to be. However, for those who would prefer to know the petrol engine will step in if they suddenly need a larger wave of acceleration, in Auto EV/HV mode it will do just that.

In standard HV mode (where the petrol-hybrid system takes priority), performance is even punchier. On Millbrook’s mile straight, the Across was able to hit 60mph from a standstill in just 6.4sec, while the run from 30-70mph was accomplished in 5.8sec. That’s quick no matter how you look at it.

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With instant torque fill provided by the Suzuki’s electric motors, roll-on acceleration feels effortless, even if the influence of the e-CVT and the piston engine’s propensity to rev means it doesn’t always sound that way. Keep your foot down and the petrol motor does make itself heard, delivering a not especially pleasant, slightly thrashy soundtrack. It is efficient, though. Even with a flat battery, you can still expect to see a fuel consumption figure in the mid-40s.

Jump on the brakes and the Across will haul itself to a stop fairly quickly, but you really get a sense of its weight in the process. Our car required 51.2m to pull up from 70mph in damp conditions, three metres fewer than a 2.0-litre diesel BMW X3 needed in the dry.

Its friction and regenerative braking systems could be blended slightly more intuitively, and the brake pedal could do with a dash more consistency. Generally, though, the Across is an easy-driving and quietly satisfying machine that needs little in the way of setting up, fiddling with or customising to your taste.