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New Suzuki S-Cross Hybrid SUV with 48V Hybrid Technology as standard.

New Suzuki S-Cross with Hybrid Technology.                     

The original Suzuki S-Cross earned high acclaim for its stylish design, compact and easy-to-manage dimensions, and good on-road performance, as well as impressive off-road capability with its optional ALLGRIP Select 4×4 system. It is now replaced by an all-new model which takes advantage of Suzuki’s long established expertise in packaging vehicles above their class with flexibility, an even higher level of safety equipment, and the latest technology to meet the diverse needs of both driver and passengers.

Smooth Flowing Lines.

The S-Cross expresses Suzuki’s SUV styling heritage, and the new model makes a strong statement with its bold and more muscular design that enhances its presence with larger and more angular wheel arches, and smooth flowing lines. The front-end design incorporates a raised bonnet line, piano black front grille and new design three LED position headlamps that help portray a high centre of gravity. This theme continues at the rear with larger combination lamps that integrate horizontally with the rear centre garnish to emphasise a sense of width, in addition to roof rails and integrated rear spoiler. This all-new design is complemented with a more spacious and versatile interior, and an even higher standard of safety specification than the previous model.

Boosterjet Technology.

The innovative 1.4-litre Boosterjet petrol engine used in the new S-Cross was developed with Suzuki’s ethos of reducing weight and size with added response and smooth power delivery to achieve the characteristics that Suzuki engines are renowned for. This engine incorporates an electric Variable Valve Timing (VVT) system for the intake side, as well as latest design fuel injectors, and a high pressure fuel pump. Offering the same level of power and torque of a much larger capacity normally-aspirated engine, it delivers an effortless drive and genuine driving pleasure. Boosterjet technology is Suzuki’s own development and is characterised by improved fuel efficiency which is made possible by using a small displacement, high torque turbocharger. The Boosterjet system reduces pumping loss, thus achieving high levels of both power and fuel-efficiency. An air bypass valve is also utilised to prevent turbo ‘stall’ after the throttle has been closed and then quickly reopened.

48V Mild Hybrid System.

The new S-Cross also benefits from the introduction of Suzuki’s 48V hybrid system which is very lightweight in design, and its components add less than 15kg to the overall weight of the vehicle. The 48V Suzuki system consists of a lithium-ion battery, Integrated Starter Generator (ISG), and a 48V-12V converter to power components requiring lower voltage – such as lights, audio and air-conditioning. The ISG acts as both a generator and starter motor, is belt driven, and assists the petrol engine during vehicle take-off for a higher level of torque, with 235Nm available from 2,000rpm and up to 3,000rpm. The compact and high performance lithium-ion battery stores electrical energy recovered from deceleration and braking, and incorporates an idle stop function operated via the ISG. This battery, as well as the convertor unit, are located under the front seats to assist overall weight distribution. The new S-Cross Hybrid has a six-speed manual transmission, and gear ratios are optimised to help provide a good combination of performance and fuel economy. Additional measures added  include a shift lever counterweight to help provide a smooth, positive shift action. An optional six-speed automatic transmission is available, and this transmission also offers paddle shift control with levers located behind the steering wheel.

Test Car.

My test car was a new S-Cross SX4 Hybrid 6-speed manual, which looked stunning in its Energetic Red pearlescent paintwork. With its combination of a high bonnet line, chrome exterior trim, aluminium roof rails, sloping roof line, and bold front grille, the new S-Cross certainly is a handsome car from every angle. Standard equipment in Motion specification is comprehensive and includes seven airbags, 17-inch painted alloy wheels, three signature LED projector headlamps for low and high beam, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Monitor, Adaptive Cruise Control with speed limiter, keyless entry & start, dual-zone auto air-conditioning, heated front seats, and front & rear parking sensors. The 48V Hybrid system in the new S-Cross benefits from the introduction of electric motor idling when the clutch is disengaged and engine speed is approximately 1,000rpm. This feature essentially replaces fuel injection with power from the electric motor to then control and maintain engine idling at vehicle speeds below 16km/h, and when stationary. The optimised gear ratios in the manual transmission provide a good combination of performance and fuel economy, while additional features include a shift lever counterweight to help provide a smooth, positive shift action every time. Superior rigidity and ride comfort are provided by way of a rear suspension with a beam design – a closed section consisting of a pipe crushed to form a ‘U’ shape. The spring rate of the coil springs, as well as damper tuning, have also been optimised during development to further improve handling, stability and overall driving dynamics. Ventilated disc brakes at the front of the new S-Cross, and solid disc brakes at the rear provide superior braking performance at all times. Lane changing at speeds above 16km/h is made safer with the standard Blind Spot Monitor function. The system has two rear-mounted side radar sensors that are capable of detecting vehicles located in, or approaching, the rear blind spots on either side of the vehicle. This potentially life-saving system illuminates an LED warning icon in the relevant exterior mirror when a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, and if the driver ignores it and indicates to change lanes, a flashing LED icon is accompanied by a warning sound alert. The 1.4-litre petrol engine in the new S-Cross produces 127bhp (129PS) and a healthy 235Nm of torque, and this enables a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 9.5-seconds. Fuel consumption as low as 5.3l/100km (53.2mpg) is possible on a WLTP combined driving cycle, with annual road tax costing just €190 (manual) or €200 (automatic).

Verdict, Pricing & Warranty.

The new Suzuki S-Cross is a very likeable and commendable SUV in every respect. It performs every task asked of it in a confident and capable manner, it comes very well equipped, and is practical and versatile too. Spirited performance, excellent fuel economy, and a strong torque output should be enough to satisfy even the most demanding of drivers in the mid-size SUV market segment. The new S-Cross is priced at just €29,365 (including delivery) for the six-speed manual version, with the six-speed automatic variant priced at €31,395 (including delivery). A 3-year/100,000km warranty comes as standard, along with roadside assistance for complete peace of mind motoring.

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