Suzuki: 2014 SX4 S Cross 1.6 LTD 2WD review

Suzuki: 2014 SX4 S Cross 1.6 LTD 2WD review

There are no pretentions when you get a Suzuki. You know what you’re getting yourself into as you can be pretty sure you’re going to drive a car that provides a large amount of bang for your buck. Of course, this comes with compromises, but as today’s cars are a hundred thousand times better than those of twenty years ago, the kinds of things we might envy are nice-to-haves rather than essential features.

suzuki-sx4-s-cross-2014-sideAs you walk towards the SX4 S Cross it’s more Vitara than Swift in the nose. The styling is a little nose-heavy and it looks better in the flesh than in photos. There’s a strong line that starts at the base of the A pillars, flows down across the top of the lights and into the grille. The grille is bisected by the bumper and continues underneath in grey with strong lateral lines. The two-tone paint finish works well, giving the SX4 S Cross a slightly elevated look.

Ground clearance is 170mm which is 5mm lower than the SX4; with a name like S Cross, and the slightly more rugged looks you would perhaps expect suzuki-sx4-s-cross-2014-rear-quartermore ground clearance. It is still, however, 30mm more than the Swift, and more than most standard cars.

It sits on 17-inch alloys with 205/50R17 tyres wrapped around it. A set of 18s would look nicer in the arches but would perhaps compromise the ride which is quite good.

The Crystal Lime metallic colour was polarising for the people I canvassed for opinions with roughly half loving it and the other half hating it. It looks sharper in white, blue or red.

The boot is ample with 440 litres of space, or you can fold the seats down for 875 litres. Rear suzuki-sx4-s-cross-2014-bootpassenger space is a breeze for two adults, and you would get three medium sized children across the back seat no problem.

There’s a bit of engine noise at high revs, and it’ll quite often be in the high rev range because there’s not a great deal of power so to get some forward momentum the engine gives the CVT gearbox a workout. There’s a 7-speed manual mode if you want to take control using the shift paddles behind the leather-bound steering wheel.

The driving feel is very much a Suzuki: you know it’s budget and a little coarse, but it still feels fairly spacious and quite well screwed together. It gets a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating and
suzuki-sx4-s-cross-2014-interiorcomes with seven airbags (including driver’s knee airbag), ABS and ESP (Electronic Stability Programme). It’s very manoeuvrable with a tight turning circle (5.2m) and it’s simple to park with the reversing camera; the image appears on the large touchscreen in the centre of the dash.

This touchscreen is the main input for the media centre. Bluetooth streaming audio and phone connectivity is supported.

It also features a good satellite navigation system that also displays the speed of the car. It’s at this point that you notice how grossly inaccurate the speedo is. When it reads 108kph on the speedo, it reads 100kph on the GPS-based satellite navigation, which should be accurate to within 1kph. It’s almost as bad at urban speeds, reading 56kph when you’re only suzuki-sx4-s-cross-2014-instrumentsdoing 50kph and 50kph when you’re only doing 44kph. All cars over-read by a little, but this is far too much and will just lead to frustrated drivers tailgating S Cross owners who think they’re doing 50kph, but aren’t. Note: we don’t endorse tailgating for expressing frustration.

The S Cross could be a really good car except that it only has 86kW and 156Nm and its lack of acceleration can be frustrating if you want to get out of a busy junction. If you want an engine that’s both powerful and frugal you have to pay dollars, and that would push the Suzuki up into a price range suzuki-sx4-s-cross-2014-navigationwhere it might not seem like the bargain of the century.

The 1.6-litre four-cylinder motor generates roughly the same power and torque as a 2002 1.6-litre Toyota Corolla, yet we’re 12 years on; although, the fuel economy is far better in the SX4 at 5.8l/100km as opposed to 9l/100km. I managed 7.5l/100km in mixed driving and I wasn’t trying to drive it frugally because that would have been irritatingly slow.

suzuki-sx4-s-cross-2014-badgeAs I said at the beginning, buying a car at this price point is purchasing a compromise. There’s no doubting that you get a lot of car for your money, and if you don’t need the engine performance the SX4 S Cross provides a comfortable, non-pretentious form of transportation.

Price: $32,990

Pros

  • Good balance of price vs features and space – keyless entry/start, sat nav, reversing camera, Bluetooth

Cons

  • Needs many more horses under the hood
  • Inaccurate speedo

Specifications

Comfort

  • Dual-zone climate control air-conditioning with pollen filter
  • Power steering
  • Electric windows
  • Electrically adjustable & folding exterior mirrors
  • Touch-screen tuner/CD/SD/MP3 with Sat Nav
  • USB and auxiliary input
  • 7 speakers
  • Bluetooth® hands-free connectivity
  • Bluetooth® wireless audio streaming
  • Reversing camera
  • Steering wheel audio controls with backlighting
  • Tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel
  • Leather bound steering wheel
  • Steering wheel shift paddles (CVT)
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless entry and push-button start
  • Remote central door locking
  • Digital clock and outside temperature gauge
  • Fuel consumption display (instant and average)
  • 60:40 split-folding locking rear seats
  • Height-adjustable front seatbelts
  • Driver’s seat height adjust

Exterior

  • Silver roof rails
  • Front fog lamps with chrome accents
  • Chrome accent front grille
  • Wheel arch with lower body mouldings
  • Silver front, rear and side under garnishes
  • Variable intermittent, rain-sensing wipers
  • Mirrors with built-in signal lamps
  • Automatic dusk-sensing headlamps with washers
  • HID headlamps with auto-levelling
  • LED position lights

Safety & Security

  • ABS with EBD
  • ESP with traction control
  • Brake override system
  • Hill-hold assist (CVT)
  • 4-wheel disc brakes
  • SRS dual front advanced airbags
  • Driver’s knee airbag
  • Side-impact beams
  • Driver and passenger side-impact airbags
  • Front and rear side-curtain airbags
  • Collapsible steering column
  • Brake pedal decoupling mechanism
  • 3-point front and rear ELR seatbelts with front height adjustments and pretensioners
  • ISOFIX child-seat anchorages x 2
  • Child-seat tether anchorages x 3
  • Child-proof rear door locks
  • Engine security immobiliser
  • Reversing camera
  • 4 rear sonar parking sensors and dash display

Environmental

  • 5.8 Litres of fuel per 100kms (combined)
  • 137 grams of CO2 emitted per kilometre

Technical specs

  • Engine 1.6 litre, 16 valve, VVT, 4 cylinder, multipoint fuel injection
  • Power 86kW @ 6,000rpm
  • Torque 156Nm @4,400rpm
  • Transmission CVT automatic with 7-speed manual mode
  • Wheels & tyres 17 inch alloys with 205/50/R17
  • Fuel type 91RON
  • Fuel tank capacity 50 litres
  • Seating capacity 5 persons
  • Luggage capacity Rear seatback folded: 875 litres
  • Rear seatback raised 440 litres
  • Overall length 4,300mm
  • Overall width 1,765mm
  • Overall height 1,575mm
  • Wheelbase 2,600mm
  • Track Front: 1,535mm
  • Rear: 1,505mm
  • Ground clearance 170mm
  • Minimum turning radius 5.2m
  • Braked towing capacity Unbraked: 600kg
  • Braked: 1,200kg
  • Curb weight AT: 1,155kg
  • Gross vehicle weight 1,740 kg


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