Suzuki’s “Go Unique” slogan, with a leaner product line and a more distinctive sales focus, has seen the launch of a range of models that includes the Touring Vitara, the compact and agile Swift and Ignis, and the world-famous Benguet crossover Jimny, etc. Although still largely niche in terms of overall sales and share, each of these models is full of character and intriguing. With the launch of the third generation of the SX4 overseas in 2021, the S-Cross will be officially renamed and launched in Taiwan and will be available as a Suzuki Indonesia version in the Southeastern area.
The new S-Cross has a more modern exterior design, giving it a younger and more dynamic visual image.
The younger SX4 has a more ambiguous and playful history than the Vitara, which inherited its “GIS” heritage. However, the new S-Cross has been given a new look for the third generation. In addition to the front end, which has changed from a more streamlined and rounded structure to a larger, flatter and more square design, the water tank cover has replaced the previous chrome-plated straight waterfall shape with a simple horizontal banner that connects the left and right headlamp clusters. The more modern, full LED lamps are combined with a low-profile grille and a rigid front bumper design, giving the car a new look even if the size remains largely unchanged.
The tail lights are also large, with their internal design, a more squared-off rear line and an interplay of materials/colors creating a distinctive look. In the past, the larger light clusters and the flat, rounded lines of the rear of the S-Cross looked stable, but the more traditional look might have given the car a more mature and subjective feel. Although the S-Cross may not be any more compact in terms of size than the second-generation model, the S-Cross is still young, dynamic and sporty, thanks to the internal structure, the right amount of blacking and the same unity of trim that runs from side to side.
Light Cafe counterpart
The 1.4-liter Booster Jet turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine is enhanced by the addition of a 48V MHEV motor frame and a 4WD Allgrip for enhanced handling potential.
Like Swift, Ignis, and Vitara, the new S-Cross also introduces a 48V MHEV light fuel-electric architecture to improve fuel efficiency in line with the stringent environmental regulations and Cafe regulations. The engine has a maximum horsepower of 129.2ps (92kW)/5,500rpm and a maximum torque of 23.9kgm (235Nm)/2,000rpm, combined with a proven six-speed manual gearbox to provide sufficient power. In addition, in accordance with the needs of the consumer market, the S-Cross has been revised to include an Allgrip version, which offers Normal/Sport/Snow and Lock modes. Although the measured fuel consumption is slightly affected at 17.4km/L, it is a worthwhile ‘investment’ option overall.
No change, no change
The usual 430L/440L and the maximum 1,230L of storage space when lowered are sufficient for the needs of mid-sized SUV users. The rear seats are simple but still spacious and comfortable. With the same body structure, the revised model has the same passenger space and storage capacity as the pre-facelift model. The 4WD Allgrip version comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard, giving rear-seat passengers a wider sense of visibility while driving, which is generally expected for everyday use.
The new S-Cross is also more intuitive to use, thanks to its traditional button and knob configuration. The new 9″ touchscreen interface is a significant upgrade in terms of layout and functionality. The front cockpit still retains some of its traditional design, including the gear lever, air conditioning adjustment interface and the dual-pointer LCD main driver’s dashboard, but the big changes are basically in the centre console display. In terms of safety features, seven SRS airbags with high rigidity are standard, and ADAS including ACC, DSBS, BSM, LDWS and Blind Spot Warning provide better protection for drivers and occupants. The new 360-degree panoramic view is also available, which should satisfy all the needs of mainstream consumers.
Sense of Progress
The new Suzuki S-Cross has been significantly upgraded in terms of appearance and equipment, but more realistically, the price has been raised from the original $890,000 to $980,000. Or perhaps, with stricter environmental regulations, more complex electrical and mechanical systems, lithium-ion battery packs and even more radar and electronic components, each of which is a costly pile-up that cannot be ignored, will the S-Cross be able to carve out a niche for itself in a mid-size SUV market that has already been bloodied? Perhaps die-hard Suzuki Tiger fans will tell you the answer.