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 5dr auto

Total RRP £22,094

Your quote £18,454

You Save £3,640

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross prices from £8,190   Finance from £126 per month

If you like the idea of an mini-SUV with a raised driving position, a good level of equipment and the possibility of four-wheel drive, but your budget won’t stretch to something like a Nissan Qashqai or Kia Sportage, the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross could be for you.

There are SUVs from the class below at a similar price, like the Renault Captur, but most aren’t available with four-wheel drive, while higher specification models are just as expensive. Not only that but they’re more cramped and have smaller boots.

The main competition for the S-Cross is actually from another Suzuki - the slightly smaller Vitara. It’s also available with four-wheel drive, and prices that begin £1,500 lower (£15,999 compared with £17,400).

Back to the S-Cross though. The looks won't be to everyone’s taste, especially the slatted chrome grille, acquired in 2016 when the model was comprehensively facelifted.

The S-Cross had been launched three years earlier, in 2013, but in that time many more SUVs came onto the market and compared with them, the S-Cross began to look ordinary. In response, Suzuki gave it a more muscular look, raised the car’s ride height 15mm and fitted that controversial grille. Inside, it improved the quality of the interior trim, and gave it a new entertainment system and a reclining rear seat backrest. It also replaced the old and slow 1.6 VVTi petrol engine with a choice of up-to-date, turbocharged petrol units with better performance and economy.

This facelifted S-Cross is very different from its predecessor, which you should bear in mind when deciding between them. The diesel engine soldiered on until the middle of 2018 when Suzuki dropped it, leaving just the two petrol engines.

The S-Cross is reasonably good to drive and feels more like a hatchback than an SUV. It weighs as much as most superminis, so feels agile, a sensation enhanced by the direct and well-weighted steering. It doesn't lean as much in corners as rival SUVs and crossovers, and is grippy and secure-feeling.

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, have little trouble powering the S-Cross. They’re economical, too.

When Suzuki raised the S-Cross’s ride height with the 2016 facelift, it also made the suspension more comfortable. This later model is more composed over ruts and bumps than the earlier one, which feels firm and bouncy.

Depending on the trim level (there are three: SZ4, SZ-T and top-spec SZ5), there’s a choice of two-wheel-drive or four-wheel drive, referred to as AllGrip. In two-wheel drive the S-Cross feels perfectly secure. Allgrip comes into its own if you need to get through a muddy field, or want to navigate through some snow and ice. Saying that, a two-wheel-drive S-Cross on winter tyres would perform just as well. Whether Allgrip is worth the extra price and slight reduction in fuel economy depends on how you intend to use the car.

The plain-looking interior of the current S-Cross does at least benefit from new soft-touch materials on the dashboard and doors, while SZ-T and SZ5 trims have a large display screen that makes the dashboard look more modern. Explore lower down the dashboard and doors and you’ll find some scratchy plastics. Tap other areas of the trim and they sound hollow, too, but they’re why the car is so light.

It’s a reasonably roomy interior with ample space for adults in the front and more space in the back than you’ll find in a supermini but less than is available in a larger SUV like a Nissan Qashqai. The back seat reclines, too.

The boot is a good size. In fact, it’s a big as a Nissan Qashqai’s, and if you need to carry larger loads you split and fold the back seat.

As an alternative to more familiar compact SUVs, the SX4 S-Cross has much to commend it, as long as you can get past those looks.

Last Updated 

Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 15:15

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
430 litres
Width: 
1785mm
Length: 
4300mm
Height: 
1580mm
Tax: 
Post-April 2017 models £165 in the first year, standard rate from the second. Pre-April 2017 models £20-£140

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 but it’s a close run thing with the Allgrip version achieving 53.3mpg and even the more powerful 1.4 Boosterjet, 50.4mpg. These differences could easily be eroded by driving style. 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
All SX4 S-Cross models are family friendly with a decent level of safety kit including seven airbags, stability control and tyre pressure monitoring. However, the SZ5 goes the extra mile with the addition of radar brake support, a system that identifies an obstacle ahead, warns the driver and, if necessary, applies the brakes. In addition, it inherits the parking aids from the SZ-T below it. All this and it has the more powerful 1.4 Boosterjet petrol engine, so will haul a family of five comfortably, and a panoramic sunroof for a lighter and airier interior.
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, in either manual or automatic forms. If you’re considering an older, used version, the quickest is the 1.6 VVTi petrol at 11.0 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 real drag. If you must have an automatic S-Cross, have it with the more powerful 1.4 Boosterjet engine, although you will have to pay for the privilege because it’s only available with top-spec SZ5 trim.

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, dual-zone aircon, 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 facelifted with a new grille, more muscular styling and a 15mm increase in ride height to give it greater presence. The rear seat backrest now reclines, and the interior trim and entertainment system are improved. The 1.6VVT petrol engine is replaced by a choice of new 1.0 and 1.4 Boosterjet petrols offering better performance and economy. The 1.6 SSiD diesel engine, two-wheel drive and Allgrip drive, and manual and automatic gearboxes continue to be offered. Recalls ordered concerning possible rear axle failure.
  • 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 

1.6 VVT (2013-16), 1.0 & 1.4 Boosterjet (2016-on) petrols; 1.6 DDiS (2013-18) diesel

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. This decision means that whether you are a low or high-mileage driver, you’re stuck with petrol.
Suzuki’s defence is that its new Boosterjet engines are sufficiently economical.

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

1.6 VVT (on sale until 2016)

Petrol

47.8mpg - 51.3mpg

120hp

0-62mph: 11.0 - 13.5s

102 - 111mph

1.6 DDiS (on sale until June 2018)

Diesel

64.2 - 67.2mpg

120hp

0-62mph: 12.0 - 13.0s

108 - 111mph

1.0 Boosterjet

Petrol

53.3 - 56.4mpg

111hp

0-62mph: 11.0 - 12.4s

106 - 112mph

1.4 Boosterjet

Petrol

49.5 - 50.4mpg

140hp

0-62mph: 10.2s

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 the S-Cross’s build quality contributed to it charting at 62 in Auto Express’s 2016 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey. Still, that was better than the Vauxhall Mokka and popular Kia Sportage.

That last car comes with an industry-leading seven-year warranty compared with the S-Cross’s three years’ cover. It suggests that length of cover is not necessarily an indicator of quality but on the other hand, 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 

The 2016 facelift was a major event in the S-Cross’s life and used values reflect that with a late pre-facelift model being worth a lot less than an early facelift car.

There are currently 32 Suzuki SX4 S-Cross' available on BuyaCar, with prices ranging from £8,190 to £20,644.

Monthly finance payments start from £126 per month.

There are some real bargains to be found in nearly-new models. 2018 models start from as little as £13,200
 - 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

N/AN/AN/A

Best for families Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SZ5

N/AN/A£8,999

Best for economy Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 1.0 Boosterjet

£13,200£13,200N/A