the SX-4 Cross keeps body roll well under control and it can press on through ‘B’ roads with more vigour than we expected...
Ride and Handling
Despite the higher centre of gravity when compared to a normal family hatchback the SX-4 Cross keeps body roll well under control and it can press on through ‘B’ roads with more vigour than we expected. We found the steering direct but a little too light and would have preferred more feedback.
The ride quality is excellent and it makes a good job of soaking up poor road surfaces and isolating you from all but the most vicious of pot holes.
We found that the CVT gearbox felt a bit strained at times, especially when tackling the hills around our home in Devon. The CVT system features a paddle shifts on the steering wheel which allow access to seven manual ratios, something that you may need to use to get the best out of the car.
The four-wheel-drive system has four modes, - ‘auto’, ‘sport’, ‘snow’ and ‘lock’ - which are selectable from a rotary dial on the transmission tunnel. These modes control how the ESP and traction control system work in-conjunction with the engine and transmission. Normally the car sits in ‘Auto’ mode which typically gives you front-wheel-drive until traction is lost when it can slip into four-wheel-drive. ‘Sport’ is designed for more ‘spirited’ driving, when engaged the engine is jacked up by an additional 500 rpm, with the ALLGRIP system delivering up to 20 per cent more torque to the rear axle. ‘Snow’ places the car into four-wheel-drive and optimises the car’s systems to improve traction on slippery surfaces. ‘Lock’ keeps the SX4 Cross in four wheel drive with more torque being applied to the rear wheels.
What is it like to live with
Getting in and out is relativity easy, there is a sill to get over but it is not particularly high.
The steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach, but we weren’t impressed that the driver’s seat features a lever recline, which always makes it difficult to get a comfortable position, especially when sharing the car. The front two seats feature two-stage heating and there is a fair amount of room up front. The rear will seat two adults, without too many complaints – although should accommodate three agreeable children with ease. The rear seats have a two stage recline to help occupants get comfortable.
There is keyless entry but you do have to touch a button on the door to lock or unlock it – it also has keyless start.
All round vision is good although the front ‘A’ pillars are quite thick, and there is a parking camera on the SZ5 model we were testing - plus front and rear parking sensors.
We liked the panoramic sunroof which has dual sliding glass panels which reveals a combined length of 1,000mm and offered a soothing ambiance to the interior. Beware that it does eat into the head room, so if you are tall you may wish to check it out.
With the rear seats in place the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross can accommodate 430 litres of luggage. With the 60/40 split rear seats down this increases to 875 litres which is not particularly large and it is quite shallow. You get more space with the Nissan Qashqai at 1,585 litres with seats down but with the seats up it will accommodate exactly the same. There is a skinny spare wheel under the boot floor and 12V socket in the boot.
The petrol models can tow up to 1,200 kg (braked), with the diesel powered cars this increases to 1,500 kg (braked).
The SZ5 model that we were testing was equipped with auto-on bi-xenon projector headlights, auto-wipers, leather upholstery and a double sliding panoramic sunroof.