Quite decent, the kind of solid-enough car that doesn't excel in any single department but neither does it let itself substantially down anywhere, either.
On first acquaintance, it's a much sharper looker than the current SX4; the nose is a bit low, but it's smart enough. Suzuki has fairly obviously looked to the Qashqai for its side profile and overall proportions. Which is no bad thing when you look at the UK new car sales charts.
The best-seller in the UK is tipped to be the 1.6-litre turbodiesel with a six-speed manual gearbox sending drive through the front wheels only, and it's the model we've tested here. It's a solid engine, not the briskest but neither does it sound like it's ever being worked too hard.
The torque band is quite narrow and it's not particularly tractable as a result; you'll be reaching for the gear lever to change down if the engine speed drops below 2000rpm and for it to change up only 1500rpm or so later. Still, it's a nice slick shift.
That slick feeling continues throughout much of rest of the car's controls. The steering is nicely weighted for its intended purpose as well, and has that nice habit of pointing where you want it; too often in this class the steering is too light.
The body control is better than a Qashqai's, as is the handling. Predictably, there is some body roll, but it's well controlled and the S-Cross never has you lurching all over the road no matter how hard you push it. It's here where a bit of the Swift magic begins to shine through, although the smile it raises never develops into a big grin.
That's because there are a few niggles with the ride quality. It just doesn't feel supple enough at low- or medium-speeds. It doesn't crash around, but you feel far too much of the road than you should in a car you know has been set-up by a team that made the Swift one of the most supple superminis around. The softly-set-up Qashqai beats it in this department as the damping on the S-Cross is just too harsh.
These ride problems don't tend to manifest themselves on the motorway, however. Here, the S-Cross feels smoother and more refined, if a touch noisier than we'd like.
If you've spent any time in a Swift, much of the S-Cross's interior will be familiar to you. The design is pleasant enough, although the quality of the materials could be better. Ergonomically, it's sound; the controls are intuitive and you're not baffled by the sheer amount of buttons and switches.
Forward visibility is good, rear less so due to the design of the C-pillars and sloping roofline. The driving position is high and commanding in the spacious front cabin. Rear headroom is compromised by the fancy sunroof, and we weren't able to test one without it.
The boot is big, with a wide opening and a good usable space for plenty of big bags and a dual-level floor allows you to squeeze in a few extra boxes of Cornflakes for a camping trip.