Suzuki is truly a brand apart in the automotive world, combining a keen sense of rationality and original services that very few offer. If not at all for this fake SUV with real station wagon air, almost bypassing the penalty with a light hybridization of 48 V, while offering four-wheel drive at a still accessible price. Extensively revamped after nine years in service, the S-Cross is hugely popular in the mountains and, we predict, will remain so.

The weight of the years required a facelift, and this one, ambitious, went around the body to change the appearances, in particular the grille, more virile, surmounted by a more horizontal and masculine bonnet. What’s familiar with the precariousness of the Vitara? Maybe not, because it retains a more adventurous side while the S-Cross develops the practicality of a station wagon. The tailgate, with its projecting strip of lights and its contrasting lower extractor, attempts to blur the massive rear.

Auto – Suzuki Vitara Hybrid, electrified adventurer

It opens with a slightly flashy feel onto a generous trunk (430 l), the floor of which is positioned at two levels. The bench seat folds down into two unequal parts and allows the seatbacks to be tilted for the comfort of passengers, seated offshore. The vast glass surfaces, which have become unusual on modern cars, are enhanced on this top-of-the-range Privilege version by a glazed sunroof with blackout curtain to brighten up the dedicated charcoal black upholstery.

The dashboard has an air of deja vu, but is now enriched with a 9-inch HD multimedia screen (7 at entry level) while the steering wheel is adorned with many functions previously remote. In the Privilege mid-range, the air conditioning becomes automatic, as does the switching on of the headlights and windscreen wipers, and the front seats are heated. Cruise control is adaptive to the speed of the vehicle in front and there is automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. For geeks, they can play on Android Auto or Apple Car Play with more serenity. Above, with the high-end Style, you can even play with a 360-degree camera, useful off-road.

On the technical side, the central console accommodates, behind the mechanical or automatic gear lever, the control of the All Terrain system so sought after in the region as soon as the altitude gets involved. Here, the system basically drives only the front wheels and engages, depending on the information received from the sensors, the rear wheels. This gives you the best possible traction when it’s needed and the economy of two-wheel drive when it’s not.

The platform, combined with 48V light hybridization, keeps the Suzuki S-Cross light (from 1,195 kg) and contains its CO2 emissions from 119 g/km. As for the all-wheel drive version, it barely passes 1,300 kg empty, for emissions of 133 g/km.

To avoid the effects of the penalty, the 48 V micro-hybridization comes to give a boost, mainly at start-up. Incidentally, it makes it possible to lower official consumption and exposes the automatic version to a penalty of 280 euros. Our six-speed mechanical gearbox in the test is liable for 150 euros, negligible in relation to the 4×4 performance of the S-Cross.

The S-Cross will not upset the canons of fashion, in particular a reference in this field, the Peugeot 2008, to which it can be compared. But, the French does not have four-wheel drive, it is rather a Dacia Duster 4×4 that will have to be looked at, much cheaper but without the automatic transmission option. The mechanical version we have is more in the mountain target and claims lower consumption of its valiant 4-cylinder 129 hp. It may not seem like much, but the S-Cross has survived – by what miracle? – a light car and has thus preserved a good weight/power ratio and an agility unknown to current anvils.

On the other hand, the help of hybridization expected from idle speed is too long for our taste and we will play the clutch before it really expresses itself within the limit of its 10 kW and 53 Nm additional torque. Passed the first, the engine shows itself on the other reports in phase with the appropriate regimes to provide a pleasant driving side.

The AllGrip control allows you to select a Sport, Snow or Lock program to block the transmission of torque to the four wheels at 50-50, for example very useful in the mud. In the winter relief, the Suzuki is not afraid to go frolicking in the snow by doing much better than the SUVs of operetta. Set rather soft, the suspensions provide good comfort and are faithful as long as they are not abused. In town, the Stop

In the second half of the year, a plug-in hybrid version of the S-Cross, associated with the automatic gearbox and capable of temporarily running 100% electric, will support a truly updated offer.