Few people will buy a family-friendly, value-segment crossover hatchback for its handling prowess, yet a lot of rivals come with a remarkably stiff suspension set-up, ending up with neither convincing ride comfort nor particularly engaging handling. The Suzuki S-Cross bucks that trend with surprisingly supple suspension.
Sadly, handling is nothing to write home about. Roadholding is adequate at best, and the steering can be disconcertingly light and mute. When you row the car along a bit harder, the steering does weight up, but there’s no hidden dynamic allure to be found here.
As expected with the soft suspension, there is plenty of body roll for a modern car, but that does allow the chassis to remain largely unperturbed by bumpy roads. Ultimately, it’s reasonably well damped and doesn’t get floaty, so it’s no real cause for complaint.
One of the S-Cross’s distinguishing features is its ‘Allgrip’ four-wheel drive. Suzuki is proud of the fact that it’s offering four-wheel drive in combination with both manual and automatic gearboxes. Indeed, all-wheel drive is a rarity among similarly priced cars, and is usually only available with one transmission option.
Suzuki projects that about 35% of S-Crosses will be specified with Allgrip, but it clearly won’t be a necessity for most people. But if you live in an area that sees a decent amount of snow in the winter, or if you plan light off-roading on unsealed tracks or grass, it’s good that Suzuki is offering a relatively affordable all-wheel-drive car.