Suzuki has always been highly regarded as one of the most affordable and reliable vehicles on the market. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I tested the now discontinued Celerio model, which cost something in the region of £6,000 brand new.
Since the announcement of Brexit cheap motoring no longer exists, even for Suzuki, who’s most affordable model in the UK starts at over £15,000.
I can see perfectly the look on a colleagues face if I told them that I had just spent north of £46,000 on a Suzuki. It would be akin to mine when I realised that at a glance, the Suzuki ACROSS is more expensive than the Toyota RAV4 which this vehicle essentially is.
In collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation, two hybrid vehicles have been very lightly restyled and rebadged as Suzuki’s. Adding a family friendly estate car to its fleet, the Suzuki Swace (Toyota Corolla) ticked many boxes during my week with it and I would certainly welcome one as a full-time vehicle to my driveway.
The Suzuki Vitara isn’t a large family vehicle, and despite offering more room inside, the new Suzuki S-Cross doesn’t offer the sheer size of many SUV’s from rival manufacturers.
With the Across being largest vehicle now on offer from Suzuki, it gives this popular brand a direct rival for the likes of the Range Rover Evoque P300e, Peugeot’s 3008 hybrid4 and Vauxhall’s Grandland X PHEV.
All of which are priced similarly, with an equal spec Rav4 being more expensive than the Suzuki, the Across offers least emissions and better EV range than the others, as well as being considerably cheaper in regards to company car monthly BIK liability, Suzuki definitely remains affordable.
On navigating Suzuki UK’s website, which is without doubt one of the most simplistic and easy to use portals I have ever come across, it reveals that the Across is available in just one trim. Meaning you’ll get it all.
This all singing and dancing model comes with a choice of six paint colours and with just a handful of optional extras, ordering one could not be easier.
This very high specification model includes E-Four electronic four-wheel-drive-system, leather heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, 9-inch multimedia touch screen and a combined electric and petrol motor output of 306HP seeing you from 0-62mph in an impressive 6 seconds.
A bold and sporty design is bolstered by characteristic SUV wheel arch mouldings, a sporty large open grille and front bumper, sophisticated LED headlamps with bi-beam projector (combining low and high beams) and LED daytime running lights.
Premium quality 19-inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard finished in gloss black with a polished face. Within the cabin of a Suzuki, it has almost always been a durable experience rather than a luxurious one, but the collaboration that brings the Across to market changes this dramatically.
Luxurious comfort isn’t something I thought I would never say in the same sentence as Suzuki, but this one is quality and well-crafted. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink all there for connectivity to whichever Smartphone you use.
With an abundance of room for both front and rear passengers, the boot offers an equal amount of space to accommodate varying lifestyles. A mains 220-voltage electrical outlet is accompanied by a 12-volt accessory socket in the boot for convenience.
The plug-in hybrid system provides unparalleled fuel economy and smooth acceleration. The heart of which is a powerful (134kW) front electric motor which combines an 18.1kWh battery with a potent 2.5-litre petrol engine in perfect harmony.
The state-of-the-art four-wheel-drive system, fed from the engine via a CVT transmission, incorporates an independent 40kW motor at the rear of the Across to enhance stability and agility no matter the terrain.
Equipped with the latest smart safety features, the Across offers confidence and peace of mind for both driver and passengers on every journey. Some of the key safety features include driving assist functions such as pre-collision system, lane tracing assist, dynamic radar cruise control, road sign assist, blind spot monitor and rear crossing traffic alert.
My week spent with the Suzuki Across was a comfortable and pleasurable one. It didn’t flinch once when asked to cope with the demands of a young family life and its driving mannerisms are some of the best I’ve ever experienced for a plug-in SUV.
Words: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY