Suzuki S-Cross Full Hybrid


    Friday evening, a rare weekend without commitment. The chance at last to swap the all-encompassing silence of this particularly dark corner of The Far Unit Unknown for a little more culture, and significantly more electric light. Bags packed the night before, a quick change, and drawn like moths we headed for the city.

       One last decision to make: What car to take?

     There was Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid on the drive that evening; something that would’ve made the two and quarter drive north seem effortless, if perhaps a tad expensive – sub 30s mpg has a tendency to do that.  And where does one park such a thing without drawing any unnecessary attention? Plus a Flying Spur, Hybrid or otherwise, doesn’t fit in a standard multi-storey slot either. Trust me, I’ve tried before. Honestly, something frugal and discreet is more preferable, not to mention practical too. 

    Fortunately, during the Bentley’s all-too brief stay here Suzuki also delivered – an S-Cross Full Hybrid Ultra Allgrip AGS to be exact.

     Granted, a Suzuki S-Cross is never going to rival one of Crewe’s finest when it comes to luxury. What can? Nevertheless, “our” Ultra Spec S-Cross Hybrid came equipped with seven airbags, adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, roof rails, parking sensors, LED headlamps, and 17 inch alloy wheels. Not to mention heated front seats, keyless entry and start, and a 9.0in DAB/Sat-Nav touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – surely enough to keep everyone informed and entertained. Ultra spec S Cross (Motion starts at £26,749; Ultra at £31,549) also benefit from a panoramic sunroof the size of a pair of patio doors, part leather trim (eat your heart out Bentley!) a brilliantly clear 360 degree parking camera, and the all-important (for some) lockable Allgrip four-wheel drive system which affectively turns the S-Cross into an automotive mountain goat. Come winter Suzuki’s little four-wheel drive cars will go almost anywhere you point them. Not that we’d be needing two driven axles this particular evening.

     OK, you could argue that some of the plastics all that equipment is wrapped-up in tend to err on the hard and scratchy side, and Suzuki’s doors do shut with more of a hollow clang than they do a solid-sounding clunk, but on a car that will cost less monthly on PCP than Bentley charge for deep-pile boot carpet that’s just being picky. Suzuki’s reputation for reliability is the envy of many a motor maker.

    And then there’s the hybrid system.  The S-Cross Full Hybrid gets the 1.5-litre (K15C) engine that was intially introduced on the Vitara Full Hybrid model earlier in 2022. The higher-powered Suzuki Hybrid system consists of a 140V lithium-ion battery and inverter, Motor Generator Unit (known as MGU), a 12V lithium-ion battery as well as a conventional 12V lead-acid battery to power components requiring lower voltage such as lights, instruments and heating / air conditioning.

    The full Hybrid system has two switchable modes, Eco and Standard. One switch enables the driver to change between the two modes depending on conditions and also increases the frequency of EV driving. In Standard mode operation, the MGU assists the petrol engine to allow for – as Suzuki puts it - more spirited driving.

     Not that the S-Cross is the kind of car you hustle along; the steering is far too rubbery feeling for such things, and the suspension has definitely been set-up for comfort rather than cornering. 0-62mph takes 13.5 seconds, and just 101 lbft of torque at 4,400rpm makes for – shall we say - relaxed progress. The automatic ‘box can be caught sleeping too; it’s best to reach for the paddle-shifters when attempting to overtake.

     But, the S-Cross Hybrid will return 48 mpg, it will cruise – albeit only for a short distance – at 70mph on electric power alone, it will seat 5, and if you fold the rear seats down you can carry a washing machine in the back of it (The washer wouldn’t fit in the Bentley, neither would 5 people, thanks to it being in 4-seater spec.).

   It was never my intention to compare the S-Cross Hybrid with the Flying Spur Hybrid, they occupy such very different worlds – as do their prospective purchasers. Nevertheless it just-so happened that they were here at the same time, and when all said and done they do the same thing – they’re even both four wheel drive.

     It’s a privilege, I’m all too aware, to have been able to do such things. But should the opportunity arise again, let’s just say I know which one I’ll be taking into town come Friday night.   



Suzuki S Cross 1.5 Full Hybrid Ultra Allgrip AGS

Engine: 1,462 cc (K15C) 4-Cyl petrol hybrid

Power:  114 bhp @ 6,000rpm

Torque: 101 lbft @ 4,400rpm

Transmission:  6-speed AGS automated manual, with selectable and lockable ALLGrip four-wheel drive

Performance: 0-62mph 13.5 sec

Max Speed: 108 mph

MPG: 48.7 Combined (WLTP)

CO2: 132 g/km

Price: £31,549 otr.




Liam Bird Liam Bird

I'm Liam Bird, a freelance Motoring Writer based in the South Shropshire Marches. I currently write car reviews and road tests for a number of regional lifestyle magazines and newspapers which are distributed throughout Cheshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, most of Wales and beyond.

As a member of the Welsh Group of Motoring Writers I'm as happy behind the wheel of a super-mini as I am in the latest super-car. I have press accreditation with most of the major motor manufacturers, meaning that as well as always being on the look out for further commissions, I always have a number of cars arriving each month ready to review.

Read More from Liam Bird