Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013-present)

The Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is a good-value crossover that’s cheap to run but has questionable looks

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Roomy boot
Reasonably fun to drive
Low running costs

Weaknesses 

Not the prettiest SUV
Big price leap between trims
Some scratchy interior plastics
Best New Discount

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Hatchback 1.0 boosterjet sz-t allgrip 5dr

Total RRP £22,789

Your quote £19,399

You Save £3,390

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross prices from £6,100   Finance from £112 per month

Suzuki has made a name for itself by building great-value cars that offer a quirky alternative to the mainstream, and one look at the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is enough to show you that this car is no exception ... it's certainly quirky.

The lumpen design is not to all tastes, but there are no complaints about the price: for the cost of a small Nissan Juke (around £15,500 new before discounts), you can have a brand new SX4 S-Cross, which provides almost as much space as a Nissan Qashqai or Ford Kuga and a similarly high driving position.

The Suzuki is a crossover, designed to provide the comfortable drive and economy of a conventional car with a higher driving position. It's available with four-wheel drive and comes with efficient petrol engines too making it, on paper, an excellent family car choice.

That remains the case on the road too because the Suzuki is as light as a small car, making it feel agile in corners where it grips securely without much leaning. It's easy to drive despite its size. The ride isn't as smooth as it is with a Qashqai, or similar models such as the Skoda Karoq and Renault Kadjar: the Suzuki can be unsettled on rough roads, but it's rarely jarring. 

Because it’s so light, the relatively small engines, which don't look all that powerful on paper, actually pull strongly from low engine speeds, and have little trouble speeding the S-Cross along. 

Part of the weight saving is down to the light materials used inside. Tap some of them and they feel hollow, which does mean that the car feels less substantial than the alternatives. There are some softer-touch materials on the dashboard and doors.

Higher-specification SZ-T and SZ5 versions look more modern, thanks to the touchscreen in the dashboard (which lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for easier in-car control of apps). Less-expensive cars have a cheap-looking radio.

It's still a big improvement over early versions of the SX4 S-Cross, which were sold until 2016. The interior is of poorer quality, the car is lower and it was also uncomfortably bouncy over pothoes and bumps. These cars are cheap, starting at £6,100 but the heavily updated current version is a much better choice.

The Suzuki's interior is reasonably spacious with ample space for adults in the front. There's more room in the back than you'll find in a small crossover, such as a Renault Captur and the back seat reclines. Legroom is more cramped than a larger model, such as a Qashqai, so teenagers and adults won't be over the moon to be seated in the back. Boot space matches the Nissan, though.

In terms of price and size the SX4 S-Cross' main competition is actually from another Suzuki - the slightly smaller Vitara. It’s also available with four-wheel drive, and costs a little less too.

Crucially, the Vitara also looks more conventional, because the SX4 S-Cross has much to commend it - as long as you can get past those looks.

Last Updated 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 15:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
430 litres
Width: 
1785mm
Length: 
4300mm
Height: 
1580mm
Tax: 
£165 in the first year, £146 thereafter

Best Suzuki SX4 S-Cross for... 

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SZ4 1.0 Boosterjet manual
An economy figure of 56.4mpg makes this version the most economical S-Cross. If you’re looking at used SX4s, the 1.6 DDiD diesel manual is the pick, with an economy figure of 67.2mpg.
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SZ5 1.4 Boosterjet Allgrip manual
SZ5 models include radar brake support, that can brake the car to avoid a frontal collision and a panoramic sunroof for a lighter interior. The more powerful 1.4 Boosterjet petrol engine will haul a family of five comfortably.
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SZ5 1.4 Boosterjet Allgrip manual
No S-Cross models are a ball of fire but this version does at least manage 0-62mph in a reasonable 10.2 seconds.
Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SZ4 1.0 Boosterjet auto
The 1.0 Boosterjet is fine in manual form but the automatic gearbox is a drag. If you must have an automatic S-Cross, it's best with the more powerful 1.4 Boosterjet engine.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross History 

  • 2013 Model launched with choice of 1.6 petrol or diesel engines, manual or automatic gearboxes, and two or four-wheel drive.
  • 2014 SZ4 replaced by SZ-T trim (digital radio, climate control, rear parking aids). Four-wheel drive renamed Allgrip.
  • 2015 New twin-clutch automatic gearbox (TCSS) introduced but dropped soon after due to low sales.
  • 2016 The S-Cross is updated with a new grille, more muscular styling and a 15mm increase in ride height. There are interior improvements and the 1.6VVT petrol engine is replaced by a choice of new 1.0 and 1.4 Boosterjet petrols offering better performance and economy.
  • 2018 SSiD diesel is dropped from the range, which is now exclusively petrol.

Understanding Suzuki SX4 S-Cross car names 

  • SX4 S-Cross
  • Trims
    SZ5
  • Engine
    1.4 Boosterjet
  • Drive
    Allgrip
  • Gearbox
    Auto
  • Trims
    Suzuki’s trim names aren't the most logical. There are three: SZ4, SZ-T and SZ5. The T stands for technology (it has a digital radio and a sat nav but then so does SZ5 above it).
  • Engine
    The number is the engine capacity in litres (1.4 is quite normal for a mid-power petrol car) while Boosterjet is Suzuki’s name for its turbocharged petrol engines.
  • Drive
    This is the type of drive – two-wheel (the front wheels only are driven) or four-wheel (what Suzuki calls Allgrip) – the model has
  • Gearbox
    Depending on the trim and the engine, you can have your S-Cross with a five or six-speed manual gearbox, or a six-speed automatic that does the gear changing for you.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Engines 

Petrol: 1.6 VVT (2013-16), 1.0 & 1.4 Boosterjet (2016-on)
Diesel: 1.6 DDiS (2013-18)

At launch in 2013, the S-Cross was offered with a choice of two engines: a 1.6 VVT petrol (VVT stands for variable valve timing that makes an engine more efficient) and a 1.6 DDiS diesel. Both produced 120hp. The petrol is reasonably economical but slow, especially when teamed with the automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.

The diesel engine (badged 1.6 DDiS) is just as slow and that’s with a manual gearbox – there’s no auto option. At least it’s reasonably economical. Both are quite cheap to tax, too, since they were current before the tax system was changed in April 2017.

In 2016, the petrol engine was replaced by a new generation of small-capacity petrol engines in 1.0 and 1.4-litre capacities. To give them more power they have a turbocharger which Suzuki calls the Boosterjet. From the table below you can see how much more efficient they are than the old 1.6 petrol.

The diesel soldiered on until itself being dropped in the summer of 2018, so it's now only available on the used market. However, the latest petrol engines are efficient.

Fuel

Official fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

1.6 VVT (on sale until 2016)

Petrol

47.8mpg - 51.3mpg

120hp

11.0-13.5sec

102 - 111mph

1.6 DDiS (on sale until June 2018)

Diesel

64.2 - 67.2mpg

120hp

12.0-13.0sec

108 - 111mph

1.0 Boosterjet

Petrol

53.3 - 56.4mpg

111hp

11.0-12.4sec

106 - 112mph

1.4 Boosterjet

Petrol

49.5 - 50.4mpg

140hp

10.2sec

124mph

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Trims 

SZ4, SZ-T, SZ5

When the S-Cross was launched in 2013, the starter trim was SZ3. It has since been dropped leaving higher-spec SZ4 as the base level. This means that the S-Cross is well equipped as standard with things such as 16in alloy wheels, air con, Bluetooth connectivity and a digital radio. It’s only available with the 1.0 Boosterjet engine and a manual gearbox but for a lot of buyers, that will be enough.

For those who crave more, there’s the mid-spec SZ-T. It’s still only offered with the 1.0 Boosterjet but this time in manual, automatic and Allgrip manual versions. Additional equipment over the SZ4 includes a sat nav, parking aids, bright LED headlights, dual-zone climate control that automatically controls the interior temperature, larger 17in alloys and rear privacy glass. It also has silver-effect exterior trims to give it a posher look. All of this kit comes at a price, however, with the cheapest version costing £3,250 more than the SZ4.

SZ-T trim has been available in roughly the same form since its introduction in 2014.

SZ5 throws the sweet trolley at the S-Cross adding features including heated leather seats, a panoramic sunroof and safety aids to SZ-T’s already comprehensive specification. It gets the powerful 1.4 Boosterjet engine and is available in Allgrip manual or automatic form. Prices start at £4,000 more than the cheapest SZ-T in two-wheel drive or £2,200 more than the SZ-T with the same Allgrip four-wheel drive system.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross Reliability and warranty 

Suzuki has a reputation for building reliable cars although criticisms of early S-Cross’s build quality meant that it was only ranked 62 out of 150 in Auto Express’s 2016 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey.

The more recent 2018 survey didn't include the S-Cross, but Suzuki finished a creditable 7 out of 26 manufacturers for reliability.

That Kia Sportage comes with an industry-leading seven-year warranty compared with the S-Cross’s three years’ cover. So if a Sportage does let you down later down the line, at least you won't face expensive repair bills, unlike with the S-Cross.

 

Used Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 

Used cars are effectively divided into two groups: early models and those made since the extensive 2016 update. The older and blander models sell for much less than the more recent cars.

There are currently 15 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross' available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £6,100 to £15,995.

Monthly finance payments start from £112 per month.

There are some real bargains to be found in nearly-new models.  - a saving of around 25% on the new price.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross: used car prices1 year old2 years old3 years old

Best for performance Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet

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Best for families Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SZ5

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Best for economy Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.0 Boosterjet

£11,604£11,604N/A