Suzuki S-Cross Review & Prices

The Suzuki S-Cross is comfortable and dependable, but it feels cheap inside and the hybrid engine is awful

Buy or lease the Suzuki S-Cross at a price you’ll love
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RRP £26,699 - £33,249 Avg. Carwow saving £1,875 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£24,949
Monthly
£228*
Used
£15,100
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wowscore
6/10
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Roomy back seats and boot
  • Long warranty and great reliability record
  • Boosterjet engine is fun and frugal

What's not so good

  • Slow, clunky and inefficient hybrid system
  • Dated infotainment
  • Interior feels cheap

Find out more about the Suzuki S-Cross

Is the Suzuki S-Cross a good car?

The S-Cross is one of Suzuki’s two compact SUVs - it’s meant to be the sensible sibling of the more fun and stylish Vitara.

In terms of size and pricing, it’s a natural alternative to cars like the Toyota Yaris Cross, Volkswagen T-Cross and Skoda Kamiq. Suzuki’s USPs for the S-Cross are that it’s a little larger and roomier than cars of a similar price, that it’s a little bit more rugged and hardwearing, and that you can have one with four-wheel drive - which is very rare among compact SUVs these days.

In that respect it’s a bit like one of those supermarket-brand TVs - you often get a great deal of features for your money, but you don’t have to look too far to find out where the corners have been cut.

Where this is most obvious is on the inside. The S-Cross’ interior is well laid-out and easy to use, but material quality is universally cheap, scratchy and nasty. Even where there’s leather, it feels thin and rigid rather than soft and buttery. While there are no concerns about build quality - everything’s screwed together extremely solidly - it’s certainly not a luxurious experience even compared to bargain-basement SUVs such as the Citroen C3 Aircross.

Then there’s the technology. You don’t get high-tech features like a digital dashboard or head-up display, but you can probably live without those on a budget SUV. However, the infotainment screen is really poor to use, with a dim screen and clunky interface.

It’s pretty practical and should last a long time, but I’d steer clear of the S-Cross - especially the hybrid version

The interior is pretty roomy, though, with a 430-litre boot being bigger than you’ll find in a VW T-Cross or Skoda Kamiq. 

Suzuki offers two engine options in the S-Cross, which are very much a tale of two halves. The entry-level unit is a 1.4-litre turbocharged mild-hybrid petrol engine which is paired up to front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox. It’s pretty perky, has more than enough performance, and returns great efficiency.

There’s also a self-charging hybrid variant which is one of the worst engines available on a modern SUV - more on that further down in the driving section of this review.

Whichever Suzuki S-Cross you consider, though, you can be sure of a painless ownership experience. Suzuki’s cars are known for their reliability and dependability, and they now come with one of the longest warranties in the business. 

You can also be sure you’ll get plenty of standard equipment. Every S-Cross has an extensive kit list with heated front seats, keyless entry, LED headlights and a raft of safety features. 

If you’re interested in a Suzuki S-Cross, check out how much you can save by browsing the latest new Suzuki S-Cross deals available on Carwow. You can also get a great price on a used S-Cross, or other used Suzuki models, through our network of trusted dealers. And when it’s time to sell your car, Carwow can help with that, too.

How much is the Suzuki S-Cross?

The Suzuki S-Cross has a RRP range of £26,699 to £33,249. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,875. Prices start at £24,949 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £228. The price of a used Suzuki S-Cross on Carwow starts at £15,100.

Our most popular versions of the Suzuki S-Cross are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.5 Hybrid Motion 5dr AGS £26,700 Compare offers

The Suzuki S-Cross starts at just a little over £26,000, which splits the difference between true compact SUVs like the Volkswagen T-Cross which are closer to £20,000 and mid-sized ones like the Nissan Qashqai that edge nearer to £30,000. The S-Cross sits in between these two vehicles in terms of size. If you wanted a compact SUV with an equivalent equipment list to the entry-level S-Cross, though, you’d achieve close to price parity.

The top-end Ultra trim does step up to a more hefty £29,000, which we don’t think is much worth it. You can add the self-charging hybrid engine and four-wheel drive, which comes with an automatic gearbox, for an additional £1,750. 

Performance and drive comfort

Comfortable over bumps, but the hybrid engine is very poor

In town

The S-Cross has two engine options. The entry-level mild hybrid one is great - it’s paired to a slick manual gearbox, has plenty of power, and is a pleasure to drive around town.

The self-charging hybrid, on the other hand, is a dog. It’s mated to a clunky automated manual transmission - not even a proper automatic - that changes gears laboriously and never seems to be in the right ratio at the right time. Even at slow speeds around town it feels underpowered, and the engine’s very coarse and noisy when it’s revved.

And unlike the self-charging hybrid system on a Toyota Yaris Cross, the Suzuki flatly refuses to drive itself on pure electric power for more than a couple of moments - making it almost pointless.

However, regardless of which engine you get, the S-Cross is very light. That means the suspension can cope more easily with lumps and bumps, resulting in it being pretty comfy even on poor road surfaces or over speed bumps.

On the motorway

On a faster road your S-Cross experience is once again very dependent on your engine selection. The mild hybrid variant has plenty of power for such a light car, and copes well with overtakes even fully laden. The full hybrid - with just 115hp on tap and barely any torque - feels as out of its depth on the motorway as a city car of half its price. 

The gearbox needs to change down for even a slight motorway incline, often dropping two or even three gears at 70mph leaving the engine screaming.

Refinement in general isn’t fantastic, with the hard plastics in the cabin allowing wind and road noise to echo. However, the car is comfortable here too, and visibility - even over your shoulder - is good. The active safety features are nicely unobtrusive, too, so you don’t have to play an endless game of keep-away with lane assist.

On a twisty road

At the risk of sounding like a broken record - on a twisty road, the mild hybrid S-Cross is quite good fun, the self-charging hybrid isn’t.

All models are super lightweight with a surprising amount of feedback through the steering wheel - you can have confidence to chuck the S-Cross into bends and you’ll still be able to tell what the front wheels are doing. 

Full hybrid models have four-wheel drive, which can be useful if you live rurally or have to navigate particularly muddy country roads. It’s a shame that Suzuki no longer sells a mild hybrid S-Cross with four-wheel drive, as this was the sweet spot.

Space and practicality

Quite roomy for a small SUV, but not much storage space for small items

The S-Cross’ front seats are pretty basic. They adjust in the usual three dimensions, including seat height, but you don’t get adjustable lumbar support or electric adjustment with memory like you do on other top-spec compact SUVs. That means they’re unlikely to be very comfortable for all drivers, though we found them just fine.

Storage space in the front is a bit lacking too. The cupholders are quite small, and the slot underneath the climate controls isn’t quite deep enough to hold a modern smartphone securely. On manual models your charging cable can often foul the gearlever, too. At least the glovebox and door bins are big, and there’s a useful sunglasses holder in the roof.

Space in the back seats

Space in the back is good for two adults - there’s plenty of legroom and headroom, even with the panoramic sunroof that top-spec models get. It’s not really wide enough to carry three people in comfort, but that’s to be expected - not many cars in this size range are.

Rear passengers get a fold-down centre armrest with a couple of cupholders, plus small door bins that can take a bottle of water. Worth noting is the unusual arrangement of the middle seatbelt - there’s a conventional lap belt, while the shoulder strap comes down awkwardly out of the ceiling - it can easily catch out those who don’t know what to look for.

Boot space

With 430 litres of boot space, the Suzuki S-Cross stacks up favourably next to the Skoda Kamiq (400 litres) or Toyota Yaris Cross (397 litres). However, larger SUVs around the same price do beat it, such as the 504-litre Nissan Qashqai or 580-litre Citroen C5 Aircross.

The full hybrid model has just 293 litres on offer, though, as it loses the additional space under the boot floor that the mild hybrid has to make space for the batteries.

A two-position boot floor in mild hybrid models allows you to balance overall boot space with a flatter loading floor and no lip when you lower the rear seats. Speaking of the rear seats, they split and fold 60:40, leaving a nice unobstructed path for longer luggage.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

Solidly built but not very plush or stylish

The Suzuki S-Cross doesn’t really have much style on the inside. While the closely-related Suzuki Vitara has a bit of flair to it, in the S-Cross it’s all very staid and monochrome.

The dashboard features a good amount of physical switchgear, including a full climate control panel which is nice to see and very easy to operate. The steering wheel is a bit of a button-fest, though, with some key controls relegated from the spokes to poke out awkwardly behind the wheel. 

There’s a 7.0-inch infotainment screen mounted high up on the dash, and this is easy to see. It’s not the best display we’ve ever used, though - it has a fairly dim screen and an ugly interface, though it’s responsive enough. You’ll probably want to make use of the standard-fit Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

You also don’t get much in the way of posh features. No Suzuki S-Cross has a digital dashboard, for example - something that’s a feature on all but the lowest Volkswagen T-Cross models. Top-spec Ultra cars do get a rather special panoramic sunroof, though, which floods the cabin with light and opens almost all the way back - in contrast to most roofs like this which can barely open a little slit at the front.

MPG, emissions and tax

Officially, the mild hybrid S-Cross returns 53.2mpg, while the full hybrid car clocks in at 47.8mpg. 

In practice, those figures are close to attainable for the mild hybrid model, which can easily return over 50mpg on a run and averages closer to 45mpg around town. However, the full hybrid doesn’t come close - we struggled to crest 40mpg during a week with one, in stark contrast to the 60+mpg that’s easily achievable in a Toyota Yaris Cross.

CO2 emissions are mid-range, and slightly better for the full hybrid - though not enough to bring it down a bracket of company car tax. Neither of these models are as good for the wallet of a company car user as a plug-in hybrid Renault Captur, for example. 

Safety and security

Euro NCAP doesn’t rate many Suzuki models - in fact, it hasn’t rated one since 2018 - making it difficult to compare the S-Cross’ safety to alternatives. 

However, Suzuki does include a lot of safety equipment on the S-Cross as standard. Seven airbags, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and blindspot monitors all come in the basic package, and its lane-keeping assist is one of the least obtrusive we’ve tested - though still managed to steer us back when we genuinely needed it to.

Reliability and problems

Suzuki’s reputation for reliability is excellent. In customer satisfaction surveys, it often ranks near the top of the bunch, both for the general dependability of its cars and for the attitudes of its dealers and service centres when it comes to fixing a problem should it arise.

The S-Cross hasn’t been a problematic car for owners, and you have to look back as far as 2016 - and this car’s predecessor - to find an official recall.

Suzuki’s warranty is one of the best in the business. It’s known as a service-activated warranty, and works a bit like Toyota’s - you get three years and 60,000 miles of cover as standard, but if you continue servicing at a Suzuki main dealer, you’ll unlock up to seven years and 100,000 miles of coverage - the same as Kia offers. Only Toyota has a better offer, with ten years but the same mileage cap under the same service-activated terms.

Buy or lease the Suzuki S-Cross at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £26,699 - £33,249 Avg. Carwow saving £1,875 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£24,949
Monthly
£228*
Used
£15,100
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers Compare used deals
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