Review: Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013)

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Good value for money. Handles well. Strong and economical 120PS 1.6 petrol engine. SZ4 is very well equipped.

Rear head room isn't great. DCT transmission from 2015 to 2016 best avoided.

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013): At A Glance

Squint at the Suzuki S-Cross and you’ll see a few similarities to the Nissan Qashqai. That’s not a huge surprise – the Nissan crossover is a bestseller and it was the benchmark against which the S-Cross was measured, and the model from which Suzuki hopes to steal some of the limelight.

Indeed it delivers the same sort of package as the Qashqai but it’s more keenly priced and offers lower running costs, so it’s one to add to shopping lists if you’re in the market for a crossover.

The neat styling gives the S-Cross a silhouette that looks like a halfway house between a regular hatchback and a chunky SUV. The cabin is practical and comes with all the creature comforts you’re likely to need, but plastics are a little on the hard side.

That said, soft-touch materials make an appearance on the dash – a welcome step up for Suzuki. Unfortunately rear headroom isn’t great, but for children it should be fine. All models are well equipped – even the entry-level SZ3 gets alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, tyre pressure monitoring and daytime running lights.

Two engines are offered – a 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.6-litre diesel – both of which produce 120PS. The diesel, however, produces a noticeably higher amount of torque and is more frugal, so if you’re a regular motorway driver then it’s the one to choose.

Not only that but its extra weight means steering feels more direct and the ride isn’t quite as bouncy as with the lighter petrol engine. If you want an automatic transmission then you’ll have to take the petrol, which is offered with a CVT as an option. It’s a very typical CVT that works best when driven gently and gets loud when pushed.

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Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013) cost?

Contract hire from £185.74 per month

Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4100–4300 mm
Width 1785 mm
Height 1565–1585 mm
Wheelbase 2500–2600 mm

Full specifications

In the cabin the S-Cross is a step up from other Suzuki models thanks to a pleasing soft-touch covering on the dashboard and upmarket instrument dials, but there are still plenty of hard plastics which, while hardwearing, don’t look too plush. That said, it’s as good as the Nissan Qashqai, its bestselling rival and everything is solidly put together and hardwearing.

There’s a sizeable load area with a two-level floor, so if you’ve anything heavy to load there’s no lip to heave it over – but the boot itself is quite high up and might be awkward if you have elderly dogs or you’re not particularly strong. Another problem is the rear headroom – taller passengers simply won’t fit comfortably in models with the panoramic sunroof, but there’s a little more space if that isn’t fitted.

Equipment levels are good across the board – even entry level SZ3 models get alloy wheels, air conditioning, heated door mirrors and cruise control.

Moving up to SZ4 gets you larger alloy wheels, dual zone air conditioning, Bluetooth and some styling tweaks. SZ-T models are geared towards business buyers and get a reversing camera and parking sensors. Top of the range is the SZ5, which gains front parking sensors, a panoramic glass roof, HID headlights, LED running lights and leather upholstery.

Standard equipment:

SZ3 has 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/60R16 tyres, manual air conditioning, cruise control, CD audio with USB connector, body colour mirrors and handles, power adjustable door mirrors, heated door mirrors plus tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

SZ4 comes with 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/50R17 tyres, silver roof rails, silver front, rear and side skid plates, front foglamps, dual-auto air conditioning, rear privacy glass, Bluetooth, leather steering wheel plus keyless entry and start.

SZ-T adds DAB radio, rear parking camera, rear parking sensors and polished 17-inch alloy wheels.

SZ5 gets leather seats, auto headlights and wipers, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, power folding door mirrors, panoramic glass roof, front parking sensors, auto dim rear view mirror and heated front seats.

Child seats that fit a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013)

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What's the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013) like to drive?

Suzuki offers two engines – a 1.6-litre diesel and a 1.6-litre petrol. Both produce the same peak power figure of 120PS but the diesel has a significantly higher torque output – 320Nm as opposed to 156Nm – and it is available lower down the rev range.

That means the diesel is more tractable at low revs and, thanks to a sixth gear, it’s much quieter at motorway speed. That said, the petrol engine isn’t bad – it has a smooth gear change and it’s not a bad performer, it’s just not as good as the diesel.

Running costs should be low – the 1.6-litre diesel has official economy of 67.1mpg in two-wheel drive form and 64.2mpg with all-wheel drive. That equates to emissions of 110g/km and 114g/km respectively – plus Suzuki models tend to do well in Real MPG. The petrol manages 51.3mpg as a two-wheel drive regardless of transmission and 47.8mpg or 49.5mpg as all-wheel drive with the manual or automatic, respectively.

Thanks to a raised, upright seating position and well-placed controls the S-Cross is easy to get comfortable in and has good visibility without feeling like a full-sized SUV. Indeed it’s a very car-like vehicle to sit in, drive and manoeuvre – it’s not nearly as chunky and unwieldy as a true 4x4, which is good news for those who live in towns and struggle to find large parking spaces.

Steering isn’t heavy, but it’s well weighted if a little numb. The S-Cross rides reasonably well – the suspension does make a bit of a din when tasked with crossing potholes and lumps and it is somewhat bouncy, but at low speed the car is perfectly comfortable and corners neatly. Having said that it’s important to point out that the heavier diesel engine makes the S-Cross feel more planted – the petrol-powered car is more prone to bouncing around over rough roads.

An all-wheel drive option is offered regardless of engine choice, but it’s geared towards improving traction on slippery surfaces like icy or snowy roads rather than heavy off-roading. Gravel tracks, mud and fields should be fine but ground clearance would likely pose problems if you tried to traverse a particularly rutted or uneven track. Suzuki has a solid reputation for producing small 4x4s, so the system should prove capable and reliable.

It’s easy to use, too – there’s a dial for selecting the mode – there’s an auto mode for everyday use, a sport mode, which sharpens the throttle response and helps with spirited driving, a mud/snow mode and a lock setting for getting out of particularly slippery situations. Typically the S-Cross will act like a front-wheel drive car and will only send power to the rear wheels when slip is detected.

The automatic option is a CVT and can be bought with either all-wheel drive or two-wheel drive. It’s a typical CVT – if you drive gently it’s relaxed and offers effortless drive, but if you push it hard the engine feels disconnected – it makes a lot of noise and doesn’t do much else. If you need an automatic, though, it’s perfectly fine. 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.0 Boosterjet 53 mpg 11.0 s 113 g/km
1.0 Boosterjet ALLGRIP 50 mpg 12.0 s 119 g/km
1.0 Boosterjet Automatic 50 mpg 12.4 s 119 g/km
1.4 Boosterjet ALLGRIP 46 mpg 10.2 s 127 g/km
1.4 BoosterJet ALLGRIP Automatic 46 mpg 10.2 s 128 g/km
1.6 51 mpg 11.0 s 127 g/km
1.6 ALLGRIP 48 mpg 12.0 s 135 g/km
1.6 ALLGRIP Automatic 50 mpg 13.5 s 130 g/km
1.6 Automatic 37–51 mpg 11.5–12.4 s 125–149 g/km
1.6 DDiS 51–69 mpg 11.0–12.0 s 106–127 g/km
1.6 DDiS ALLGRIP 64–66 mpg 13.0 s 114 g/km
1.6 DDiS ALLGRIP TCSS 63 mpg 13.0 s 118 g/km

Real MPG average for a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

31–80 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's a good Suzuki SX4 equivalent for coping with narrow and winding roads?

I'm living in Cumbria; windy roads, mountain passes, narrow lanes and lots of potholes. My Suzuki SX4 is a brilliant 4WD car. However, it is not made anymore. What would be a similar car to look at for a suitable replacement? I'm looking for a car which is not too wide (for those narrow lanes) really high clearance, (for tracks and occasional off-road) and, if possible, 4WD capability too. I don't need fancy, I need practical.
I'd stick with Suzuki. They make robust vehicles and most of the range is available with 4x4. You could look at a Swift or Ignis, or if you'd prefer something bigger (and with more ground clearance), consider an SX4 S-Cross or Vitara. Or there's the go-anywhere Jimny, but it's an acquired taste on the road. Also consider a Dacia Duster.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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