First 5 Minutes: Suzuki SX4 S-Cross


Getting into a Suzuki S-Cross (lose the SX4 bit, Suzuki – this car’s better than that) is a neighbour-waking experience.

Not because it blasts to life with a roar or anything, but because the central locking bleeps when you unlock it. Piercingly. Seriously, Suzuki, no need.

So that put me in a slightly sour mood (nothing like the threat of neighbourhood disharmony to do that). Then I bumped my shoe, loudly, on the higher-than-expected sill. Then I dropped onto hard shiny leather seats and felt I’d stepped back into the 1990s. Then I almost fell onto the back seat when I adjusted the backrest recline (by lever, not rotary knob, Japanese style). Not a positive start.

Credit to the S-Cross, then: it soon turned it round. It may have a plain dash and may not fill you with showroom feel-good factor, but once you start to use it, this car improves hugely.

I’d eyed the big glitzy wheels with caution, expecting a dreadful ride. Nothing of the sort. I’d thumbed the starter button and been presented with a petrol engine, and my heart sunk. No need: this sweet motor is far sweeter, punchier and quieter than I expected.

Once I’d found a good driving position (loads of steering wheel reach adjust helps here) and settled down for the 100-mile commute, I was really rather content – with, on slippery autumnal 4am roads, the added support of four-wheel drive traction to keep things planted through roundabouts at Suzuki-spec revs.

I arrived in a totally different frame of mind than when I started: takes a car with depth to do that. I still haven’t seen it in daylight or anything, but I’m now looking forward to finding out more about the new Suzuki S-Cross.

Wonder if I can silence that unlock bleep, though? A few more 3am starts with that racket and while I may be taken with the S-Cross, the neighbours certainly won’t be…

Now read the MR review of the Suzuki SX-4 S-Cross on MSN Cars