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The all-new Suzuki S-Cross displays a refreshing re-think of its exterior design, moving away from the pragmatic face of its predecessor to one that is more refined. Power source in this ‘Allgrip’ model is the company’s 1.5 litre normally aspirated petrol engine rated at 115ps, supported by a 140v lithium-ion battery. The battery powers the integrated motor generator unit (MGU) which supports acceleration and contributes to increase smoothness in the operation of the auto-shifting manual gearbox. Requiring no off-road charging, the battery recovers electrical energy from deceleration and braking. Standard figures give a 0-62mph time of 13.5 seconds with a potential top speed of 108mph.

The new model is available in two specification levels, the higher ‘Ultra’ trim in this review featuring all-wheel drive. Suzuki’s ‘Allgrip’ system has evolved over the ten years since it was first introduced and features four modes of Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock. These are for specific road and terrain surfaces with the Lock mode designed to extricate the car from snow, mud, or sand. A limited slip differential is fitted which helps brake any slipping wheel and transfers torque to the gripping wheels.

Auto is the default setting, which delivers power to the front wheels aiding fuel economy in typical driving conditions, but if wheelspin is detected drive is quickly distributed to all four wheels. Keeping to normal road speeds with gentle acceleration, the gear system works well, but under sharp acceleration the change up the box is more noticeable. However, it does not detract from progress and this full hybrid maintains the nimbleness associated with Suzuki vehicles. For more enthusiastic progress, earlier gear selection using the steering wheel mounted paddles can sharpen response.

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Driver support packages include autonomous braking, adaptive cruise control and hill holder function as well as blind spot monitor, cross traffic alert, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.

S-Cross Full Hybrid.S-Cross Full Hybrid.
S-Cross Full Hybrid.

This top of the range Ultra specification comes with a high level of equipment which includes seven airbags (standard six, plus driver's knee unit), auto start/stop, front and rear parking sensors with reversing camera, 360 view camera, leather / cloth upholstery, heated front seats, double sliding panoramic sunroof, LED headlights and taillights, satellite navigation and auto lights and wipers.

The cabin provides spacious and comfortable accommodation for five adults, with the dash layout revised for a significant interior upgrade. Instruments remain the classic twin analogue units with clear km/h markings included and a comprehensive inset digital information panel. The central 9-inch infotainment touchscreen is now raised above the air vents with sat nav and smart-phone integration.

Luggage space remains a useful 293 litres, extending to 665 litres with the rear seatbacks folded. These have the advantage of folding relatively flat to ease loading over a level sill while the boot floor can be raised to reveal a lower compartment for safe storage of smaller items.

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In terms of running costs, the 'Allgrip' Full Hybrid has a combined fuel consumption (WLTP) of 48.7mpg and with a CO2 emission of 132gms/km, has a BIK rating of 31%. The model is listed at £32,049 and is covered by Suzuki’s three year / 60,000-mile warranty with 12 years' anti perforation guarantee and one year's pan European roadside assistance.

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