The all-new Suzuki S-Cross has made its global debut in Europe ahead of its launch in select markets overseas in the coming weeks. With the first-gen SX4 S-Cross having come out all the way back in 2013, the second-generation model makes its world premiere almost nine years later, and going by the pictures, this one doesn’t adopt its predecessor’s crossover philosophy. Suzuki has stressed over the point of the new S-Cross being a proper SUV, and not a crossover like the original was, and you have to say it surely looks the part.
While the outgoing S-Cross looked soft, rounded and more like a beefed-up large hatchback, the 2022 S-Cross bins that design philosophy and opts for a more upright, SUV-like front-end, with the large piano black grille, double-bar chrome band sporting the big ‘S’ logo and three LED position lamps in the headlights adding some attitude to the S-Cross’ face; something the original always lacked. It has faux skid plates at the front and rear, squared (and lightly flared) wheel arches, an upswept window line, chunky 10-spoke alloy wheels, clear-lens tail-lights linked by a chrome bar to enhance visual width.
All in, it’s a certain step-up from the outgoing S-Cross, but interestingly, despite looking visually bigger, the new S-Cross is identical to the original in terms of dimensions, measuring in at 4,300 mm in length, 1,785 mm in width and 1,585mm in height, with a 2,600 mm wheelbase.
Suzuki says the new S-Cross is even more spacious on the inside than the original, and the boot capacity, at 430 litres, is notably higher than the current S-Cross’ (353-375 litres). The big change inside is a completely redesigned dashboard which appears to incorporate a leather-covered panel and soft-touch materials. Taking centre stage on the dash is a 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with in-built navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality. However, some elements – including the steering wheel, analogue instrument cluster and switches for the dual-zone climate control system – appear to be carried over from existing Suzuki models.
Other notable additions include 360-degree cameras and a large panoramic sunroof. Also included on the new S-Cross for the first time are advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) including adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane departure prevention and rear cross-traffic alert.
Under the new S-Cross’ hood is the 1.4-litre BoosterJet turbo-petrol engine paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Peak power output is rated at 129 hp, and torque is rated at 235 Nm, with the mild-hybrid system’s electric motor adding as much as 13 hp and 50 Nm under acceleration. In Europe, the S-Cross will also be offered with Suzuki’s AllGrip Select all-wheel-drive system with different drive modes. Gearbox options will include a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic, and Suzuki has confirmed it will also offer a strong hybrid version of the new S-Cross – which will have a bigger battery and more powerful electric motor to enable pure-electric drive – in Europe sometime in 2022.
Maruti Suzuki launched the first-gen S-Cross in India back in 2015, and while it has been the carmaker’s flagship model since, it has generally languished at the bottom of sales charts, with buyers choosing to go for more butch-looking midsize SUVs available for the same money. While there is no official word on it yet, Maruti Suzuki could well bring the bolder-looking second-gen S-Cross to India, but it remains to be seen if the S-Cross will still have a place in Maruti’s portfolio, given that the next-gen Vitara Brezza is likely to move upmarket, and Suzuki is already developing a new midsize SUV in collaboration with Toyota as part of its global alliance.