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2023 Suzuki S-Cross Mild Hybrid Review Singapore

The 2023 Suzuki S-Cross Mild Hybrid is a compact crossover that shares a drivetrain with the Suzuki Swift Sport and is armed with the same 1.4 litre turbocharged engine that is paired with a 48V mild hybrid system. With an extensively updated front grille design, the S-Cross comes equipped with Apple Carplay, paddle shifters, and adaptive cruise control.

Practical & Rugged Exterior

Built as a sort of compact crossover that isn't quite considered an SUV yet, the S-Cross possesses rugged and sporty looks. Compared to the previous S-Cross, also known as the SX4, this new Mild Hybrid version feels less like a utility people carrier, and has inched closer toward looking like an SUV. It's a good look, and while certain portions of the car still look a little rudimentary, there are aspects of the design like the front grille where considerable effort has been applied to the car. As a result, the car looks modern enough for today's market. Appropriate use of plastic cladding around the car also helps the car look sporty and durable - which is a good thing.

What's also nice about the S-Cross is that it looks quite unisex in a sense - as compared to say the Yaris Cross' slightly more feminine design. While I did love the pink wrap on the Yaris Cross that we drove last year, I'd probably not want to have to drive a pink compact crossover around Singapore if I could help it. Granted, there are other colours available, but from a design perspective, I'd be inclined to pick the S-Cross's rugged exterior over the softer form of other compact crossovers on the market.

No Frills Interior

Inside the car, things are kept really simple and this can be a good or a bad thing depending on who you ask. Unlike most modern interiors, the S-Cross' interior still feels very analog, and possesses quite a fair bit of buttons that would otherwise have been chucked into the infotainment unit by most other automakers. There is even a mechanical handbrake for you to practice your handbrake turns. The car is also still drive by cable - which I irrationally like and enjoy for no good reason. That said, this simple interior and does still come with some creature comforts in the form of a touchscreen infotainment unit, as well as paddle shifters for the more spirited drivers amongst us.

Objectively, the S-Cross possesses a simple interior that should provide good durability over time and will cater best to buyers who are after a fuss free ownership experience and decent driving dynamics. If you're after a more modern experience and place emphasis on the luxury factor of a vehicle, you'll probably want to look elsewhere.

Drives Surprisingly Well

Looking at the car, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the utilitarianism of the vehicle would translate into a utilitarian ride - but that is not the case. Around town, the engine is extremely punchy and moves off the line with more enthusiasm than most of its segment mates and main competitors. Once off the line, the mild hybrid system does a great job and smoothening out the rest of the drive to take you up to cruising speeds, ensuring that there are little to no dead spots in the torque band. Steering feel is organic and direct, and although there is some lean in the car when you put it round a bend, the car sorts itself out well and is generally quite pleasant to drive.

Up at cruising speeds on the expressway, the S-Cross is also commendable and despite just being 1.4L in engine capacity, the S-Cross is a 4 cylinder, which provides it a certain composure at higher speeds. Compared to key competitors like the Yaris Cross, which packs a 3 cylinder engine, the S-Cross feels much more composed at higher speeds and will sit at 120km/h quite happily if you allow it to and does so at a lower RPM than you'd expect from a compact vehicle. Consequently, this means that the S-Cross cruises like its a much bigger car - a good thing in our books. Last but not least, ride quality in the S-Cross is also decent and provides a firm but comfortable ride that is well calibrated to its drivetrain and abilities.

Who Will it Appeal to?

As one of the most affordable options in its segment currently, the S-Cross is going to work well for somebody who wants a decent driving car with a good drivetrain, and does not want to spend too much money. Buyers should be aware that the interior of the S-Cross is quite utilitarian, but if you're ok with that, the S-Cross should prove to be quite the bargain based off its driving capabilities.


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