IT’S a funny thing the Suzuki car brand. They either get it very right (think the new Vitara or the Swift Sport), or simply neither good or bad, and the 2016 Suzuki S-Cross GLX Prestige is just that – an average car that makes a great second family car.
There’s some exceptional good bits of kit in this car, with the GLX Prestige absolutely packed with features as standard, including a dual panoramic sunroof, leather, 17-inch alloy wheels, reverse-view camera and rear sensors, 6.1-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, and rain-sensing wipers.
You also get dual-zone climate control, leather steering wheel, Bluetooth audio streaming, and key less entry and start. But it falls over here, with poor rear headroom, and no rear air vents among the faults we found in what we would expect in a ‘prestige’ model, and the touchscreen system is average at best (integration is painful).
You’ll also be impressed to know that although we were gingerly in our approach, the S-Cross is actually not bad off road for a micro SUV – we managed to get it down some rocks and mud to do the photo shoot in the middle of the Watagans, surrounded by trees and forest.
Where it slides though is the fact its a 2014 designed car, with 2014 specifications that’s really just the continuation of the existing model with some ongoing tweaks (see our update at the foot of this story for some potentially exciting news though).
It’s also expensive at $34,990 plus on-roads for the top of the line model (as tested here), with some significantly better choices for the same price (including the new Vitara) and a raft of competitors that includes the Skoda Yeti, Holden Trax, Subaru XV, Nissan Qashqai, Mitsubishi ASX and Ford EcoSport.
Let’s talk about the engine and gearbox too though, because they’re both not that great. Under the hood there’s a 1.6 litre petrol engine that puts out 86kW of power and 156Nm of torque, coupled with a CVT gearbox and all-wheel drive – the complete package lacking in oomph in terms of power delivery.
The 47 litre fuel tank manages a reasonable 5.8L/100km (it’s VERY economical). But like all Suzuki cars, the build quality is exceptional so you know you’re getting a good reliable car from that perspective, that’s cheap to maintain and cheap to run.
It has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and the usual safety kit including seven airbags. It’s got a big boot (one of the class leaders) too for those long trips away, providing its just the kids in the back (no rear headroom remember).
Overall, the 2016 Suzuki S-Cross GLX Prestige would make a great ‘going away’ car if your main car was too big, or not suited to trips away with your family of two adults and two kids (it’s why it rates 3.5 stars for Family Friendliness. It’s an average car that makes a nice little luxury second car, if that makes sense.
UPDATE: The 2017 edition of the S-Cross – when it’s launched in late 2016, will come with the 1.6 litre turbo from the current Vitara Turbo. It gets a more stylish look and improved body shape (not dissimilar to the current shape just slightly larger and more stylish, with significant improvements in safety and technology (areas where the current model struggles)).
Our test vehicle was provided by Suzuki Australia. If you’d like to know more about the 2016 Suzuki S-Cross GLX Prestige, contact your local Suzuki dealer.