Enhanced specification and greater economy are keys to the new Suzuki S-Cross Hybrid crossover SUV that launches on the New Zealand market.
The latest S-Cross, Suzuki’s largest passenger car model, is available in either two wheel drive or optional part time Allgrip all-wheel-drive, and is the brand’s most comprehensively equipped car.
Introduction of the Suzuki Smart Hybrid Vehicle system (SHVS) has lowered both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Compared to the 1.4 turbocharged JX and JLX S-Cross, the S-Cross Hybrid is up to 16.7 per cent more economical and has up to 19 per cent lower emissions. In fact, the emissions of 124 grams per kilometre for the 2WD and 133 grams for the AllGrip model are actually lower than the slightly smaller Vitara Hybrid.
In the combined fuel consumption test, the new S-Cross JLX Hybrid two-wheel-drive averages 5.5 litres/100km compared to 6.6 (tested under 3P-WLTP) for the outgoing S-Cross JLX.
The Allgrip Hybrid model averages 5.9 litres/100 km in the same test compared to 6.9 litres/100km for the S-Cross JLX Allgrip, an improvement of 14.5 per cent.
The mild Hybrid system consists of a 48V Integrated Starter Generator (ISG) that works alongside Suzuki’s proven 1.4 litre Boosterjet turbocharged internal combustion engine to help improve fuel efficiency. There is a 48 volt lithium-ion battery and 48-12 volt DC/DC converter with a greater supply of voltage than a conventional 12 volt battery.
The Hybrid system increases both regenerated energy from deceleration and the amount of electric motor assist to suppress fuel consumption and enhance performance. While charging the 10 Ah lithium-ion battery when the car is decelerating or braking, the Hybrid has other benefits. On a steady or light throttle, the battery helps power all the additional electrical systems such as safety features, air conditioning, Bluetooth and Smartphone connectivity.
At the same time, the 95 kW 1,373 cm3 K14D Boosterjet Turbo, four-cylinder, direct injection engine provides a good spread of power that is particularly strong in the useful lower rev range. The engine produces 235 Nm of torque between 2,000 and 3,000 rpm - an increase of 6.8 per cent over the standard 1.4 Boosterjet model.
Towing ability also improves, with the maximum for a braked trailer up from 1,200 kg to 1,500 kg. Electrically operated rack and pinion steering is standard along with four wheel disc brakes that are ventilated at the front. MacPherson strut front suspension is complemented by torsion beam at the rear and there are coil springs all round.
The 17 inch polished face alloy wheels are shod with 215/55 R17 tyres. The S-Cross underwent considerable testing on European roads that further enhanced the car’s handling and stability during suspension development.
Despite the increased technology and standard equipment, the S-Cross Hybrid is only marginally heavier than the non-Hybrid version, with both variants weighing 135 kgs more.
The Allgrip technology is designed to maximise the performance of the six-stage automatic transmission, engine and safety systems depending on road surfaces and conditions. Four selectable Allgrip modes allow the driver to choose between Auto for typical driving conditions, Sport for improved performance, Snow for slippery surfaces and Lock for accessing mud or sand surfaces.
HIGH SPECIFICATION IS STANDARD
Higher standard specification has made the S-Cross Hybrid an even more attractive proposition. The Panoramic sunroof with electrically operated double sliding glass panels is a first for the S-Cross model in New Zealand. Also standard are heated front seats and LED lighting with auto levelling and light-sensing LED projector headlamps that turn on with night fall or when lighting is low. LED daytime running lamps keep the vehicle visible with low electrical usage.
A 360 degree and reversing camera provides all-round bird’s eye vision and three dimensional views, provided by four external cameras. A high contrast LCD display for the dual zone climate air conditioning makes it easy to set cabin temperature while the 9 inch infotainment screen display provides information on fuel consumption, Hybrid energy flow, satellite navigation, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay.
With the standard lane departure warning function at speeds above 60 km/h a monocular camera detects lane markers and warns the driver if the Suzuki strays from its lane. Weaving alert provides audio and visual warnings should the car stray from its line or become erratic which may be due to driver fatigue.
Other standard features include front and rear parking sensors incorporating ultrasonic sensors in the front and rear bumpers and keyless entry and push button start. Blind spot monitoring above 15 km/h detects other vehicles located in or approaching the rear blind spots. When a vehicle is detected an LED icon illuminates with an audible alert.
There are seven airbags for front, side, curtain and driver’s knee, and the adaptive cruise control uses millimetre-wave radar that automatically maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Stop and go function brings the car to a full stop when needed and the hill hold control prevents the S-Cross from rolling backwards when the driver moves from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal. The AWD model adds hill descent control.
The S-Cross Hybrid is equipped with Suzuki’s dual sensor brake support (DSBS), an autonomous braking system using a monocular camera and laser sensor to detect vehicles or pedestrians in front if a collision is imminent. When that is apparent DSBS issues a warning or engages an automatic brake.
There is a leather-covered steering wheel, heated front seats, leather-effect interior garnishes, leather and leather-effect weave seat upholstery and automatic rain-sensing windscreen wipers. Electrically folding and heated door mirrors with signal lamps are standard. The host of on-board storage areas comprises a multi-position luggage area, overhead console, front center console box, adjustable armrest for small items and a rear center armrest with cupholders.
The Hybrid arrives with the S-Cross reputation of being a good family-sized car with generous passenger space and versatile luggage carrying capacity. At the same time, the option of all-wheel-drive provides a unique advantage over most rival models.
SIGNALLING A DISTINCTIVE LOOK
Sitting on a 2,600 mm wheelbase and measuring 4,300 mm in overall length, the latest muscular looking S-Cross makes a strong statement with its piano black front grille, front and rear under garnishes, wheel arch extensions and lower body mouldings and silver roof rack. Katuya Kotoda, who designed the S-Cross, sought to incorporate a high bonnet and rear deck with the aim of visually raising the car’s center of gravity.
He believes a design highlight is the front grille with headlamps that come off to give a sharp impression. Each of the headlamps and rear combination lamps uses three signature lamps to give off a distinctive look. “We had the greatest difficulty achieving an aerodynamic form, while maintaining an SUV look,” said Kotoda.
At the same time, Suzuki aimed to offer a vehicle with impressive ergonomics, a fine chassis with good handling and roadholding and a comprehensive level of standard specification.
Six of the seven contemporary colour options for the New Zealand market are finished in pearlescent paint consisting of Canyon Bronze, Sphere Blue, Energetic Red, Cool White, Cosmic Black and Titan Grey. The seventh colour is Silky Silver metallic.
With a recommended retail price of $42,990 for the JLX Hybrid 2WD and $45,990 for the JLX Hybrid AWD, the Suzuki S-Cross comes with a comprehensive three year/100,000 km new vehicle warranty and a two year powertrain warranty extension for a total of five years cover plus Suzuki’s five year roadside assistance programme.