Suzuki SX4 S-Cross

Motion trim costs £24,999 and includes a comprehensive suite of safety systems, as well as LED lights, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and keyless entry. If you want similar kit from the Renault Arkana, you will pay more, but if active safety features aren’t as important to you, the Dacia Duster will be hard to ignore.

At £29,799, Ultra trim comes with Allgrip four-wheel drive, the bigger touchscreen, sat-nav, leather seats, a sunroof and a 360deg camera.

Although the S-Cross requires a little acclimatisation to drive, it’s quite pleasant. The engine is carried over, but then it was introduced only last year. It’s a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol assisted by a 48V mild-hybrid system. It’s suspiciously brisk, given that it officially has only 127bhp, but it sounds pretty gruff. Indeed, noise isolation in general could be better.

The six-speed manual is light and snickety, while the six-speed auto is slightly slushy but responsive enough.

With so many pseudo-sporty SUVs around, this chassis is refreshing. There’s plenty of roll and the steering is disconcertingly light, but there’s enough grip and it actually rides well, smoothing out both small and large bumps without being unduly floaty – something that’s frustratingly rare, especially in lower segments.


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