The CarAdvice garage can sometimes seem like a merry-go-round. With so many cars coming in and out for videos and reviews, it’s great when a new long-termer joins the fleet because it's an opportunity to take our time to really get to know it.
The 2015 Suzuki S-Cross GLX is our latest addition and appears destined for a few adventures thanks to a few add-ons specifically geared for outdoor activities. We’ll get to those in a moment...
The S-Cross has been available in Australia since December 2013 and is offered in four model grades: the entry-level GL; our test car, the GLX; the GLX AWD; and the GLX Prestige.
The range starts from $22,990 driveaway for the manual GL, $23,990 for the automatic GL and steps up to $27,990 driveaway for the GLX (after $1000 cash back), $33,990 driveaway for the GLX AWD and $34,990 driveaway for the top-of-the-line GLX Prestige.
While medium and large SUVs have traditionally been the choice for active outdoorsy buyers, the small SUV segment has exploded recently on the back of the arrival of fleets of fresh metal. Leading the charge has been the Hyundai ix35 (recently replaced by the larger Tucson), Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Qashqai, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and the Subaru XV.
The S-Cross isn’t among the top sellers, however, accounting for less than 2 per cent of the segment so far this year.
More of a crossover than a traditional boxy SUV, the Suzuki S-Cross combines SUV and passenger car traits, with styling like a jacked-up hatchback.
Our GLX pairs a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The engine produces a modest 86kW at 6000rpm and 156Nm at 4400rpm, with drive sent to the front wheels.
Combined cycle fuel consumption is rated at a reasonable 5.8 litres/100km. It will be interesting to see how close we get to that mark over the course of our time with the car.
We've had a bit of time to zip around town in our S-Cross so far and the feeling among the CarAdvice editorial team is that the drivetrain leaves a lot to be desired. It's far from spritely off the mark and struggles and complains loudly on steep hills.
It handles corners well but the ride over bumps and potholes around town lacks refinement.
Though the interior looks a little dated, it's well kitted out with push-button start, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, a reverse-view camera and rear parking sensors, and a touchscreen multimedia system with Bluetooth connectivity.
It's a decent improvement over the base model that only scores Bluetooth and cruise control.
The GLX and above also get 17-inch polished alloy wheels, HID headlights, front fog lights and rain-sensing wipers.
The Prestige trim adds a sunroof and leather seats, in addition to the 4 Mode All Grip AWD system that is also standard in the GLX AWD.
To encourage us to get out and about with the S-Cross and really put it through its paces, Suzuki has fitted a tow bar kit ($486), roof racks ($433), bike carrier ($298) and cargo tray ($103) as options.
That brings our as tested price to a total of $29,310, plus dealer costs to fit the options.
I’m thinking mountain biking, a trip down the coast, and perhaps to start with a drive into the countryside.
That should give us a good mix of situations to test out this little crossover and see if it comes to life out on the open road.
In fact, our first adventure was heading out for the accompanying photoshoot, getting the S-Cross just a little muddy.
As always with our long-term reviews, please let us know if you have any queries or requests you would like us to cover in more detail.
Odometer reading – 2107km (fuel and trip computers reset upon collection.)
Click the Photos tab for more images by Christian Barbeitos.