Bodystyle, dimensions and technical details

The original Suzuki SX4 was quite a funky-looking alternative back in 2006. It came out at a time when the compact crossover was still a very new concept. We like to think the Nissan Qashqai was the original crossover hatchback, which abandoned any off-roading pretence in favour of fuel economy and family friendliness, but the SX4 came out in the same year.

The second generation, which became the SX4 S-Cross, had a bit of a looks problem, however. It was longer, less quirky and, crucially, looked less like an SUV. With the 2016 facelift, it lost the SX4 prefix in its name but not its awkward looks.

This 2022 restyle is a very thorough job, however. The bluffer front end with squarer LED headlights looks far more confident and bold. The rear is all but unrecognisable too, incorporating an oh-so-fashionable light bar. Suzuki has even gone to the trouble of restyling the glasshouse, with a different shape to the rear quarter windows. On the outside it’s all-change, then, but the interior has sadly had a lot less attention lavished on it, as we’ll come to.

Under the skin, not much has changed either, but then the whole Suzuki range got a mechanical overhaul only last year, with most models becoming ‘hybrids’. They’re only mild hybrids, but at least in the case of the S-Cross, Suzuki does use a 48V system, so the starter-generator can add some meaningful power to the crankshaft under initial acceleration, unlike the cheaper 12V systems found in cars like the Nissan Qashqai. A full hybrid version is reportedly in development.

As such, the only engine available in the S-Cross is the excellently named 1.4-litre ‘Boosterjet’ turbocharged four-cylinder with 127bhp and 173lb ft. The integrated starter-generator contributes up to 13bhp and 39lb ft, but does so at lower rpm while the petrol engine is still building power to make the power delivery feel more immediate, rather than adding to peak power or torque.

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As before, there is a choice of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. The automatic is a torque-converter unit rather than a dual-clutch transmission as one might expect in a car like this.

Suzuki is also fairly unique in that it offers four-wheel drive on all of its cars with the exception of the Swace (which is a rebadged Toyota Corolla Touring Sports). Yes, even the titchy Suzuki Swift and Ignis can be had with four driven wheels. In larger cars like the S-Cross, four-wheel drive is less unusual, but it’s often not available on the cheaper and lower-powered models.

In the S-Cross, four-wheel drive is linked to the upper trim level of two: Ultra, with a Motion version offered underneath it. That does also mean that if you want richer equipment such as Suzuki’s bigger infotainment system, you’re forced into a much more expensive all-wheel-drive car.