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Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

On the outside, the new S-Cross may look dramatically different from before, but save for the more modern infotainment system and a little bit of rubberised material on the dashboard, the interior looks largely as it did in 2013. Back then, we described it as “cheap and cheerful, but convenient and credible, too”.

About 75% of that still applies. It still feels cheap – very much so – and it’s still convenient and credible, but in the context of other cars available in 2022, it’s about as cheerful as a funeral march. Ten years ago, that may have been the norm outside the premium manufacturers, but today even at the cheaper end of the market, Dacia shows it’s possible to delight with modern design and the odd interesting material texture or colour without compromising usability or inflating the price.

It all looks very drab inside the S-Cross, but at least the ergonomics are sound. The seats are decent enough. You sit high, with a commanding driving position that will be comfortable for most people thanks to plenty of adjustment in the steering column and seat. There is no adjustable lumbar support, but that didn’t pose an issue for most testers even on long drives.

Adults on the back seat will have reasonable leg room, as the S-Cross is slightly more generously spacious here than even a Nissan Qashqai, but head room is tight with the panoramic sunroof that comes as standard on Ultra models. The backrest is adjustable, but the difference is so slight that it’s barely apparent in the photos.

The rear-seat environment of the S-Cross also feels very barren. There are no ventilation openings and no USB ports, which is quite a major omission in a family car in 2022. The boot is also adequate, but no more. It’s smaller than the Qashqai’s, and other than a movable boot floor and a 12V power port, has no special features like hooks or dividers.

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Suzuki S-Cross infotainment and sat-nav

The infotainment systems on recent Suzukis have been pretty dire: neither very capable or feature-rich, nor very simple to use. The new S-Cross has a completely new system that is still far from brilliant – it’s not the quickest to respond, and looks a little sparse and simplistic.

However, the built-in functions are actually quite logical to operate, and the navigation is better than on some much more expensive cars, with clear directions and an easy way to select alternative routes.

And as you would expect in any modern car (but something that hasn’t been the case for most Suzukis), there is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and both are wireless as standard. Frustratingly, there is no option of a wireless charger, so you’ll still have to plug in your device to stop it from dying on a longer journey. Even wired charging ports are less than abundant, with just one USB-A port and one 12V port in the cabin.