Suzuki’s plug-in hybrid SUV costs twice as much as their next-most-expensive model
Car Reviewed: Suzuki Across 2.5 PHEV E-4 E-CVT
Eyebrows might rise at the thought of £46,629 for a Suzuki, but this model uses joint technologies in a sharing collaboration with Toyota and the RAV4.
A couple of years back, our first impressions were good, but what’s it like to live with over more than a week, totalling 300 miles?
Not only can the 2.5-litre, 4-cylinder engine’s 183 bhp plus battery power (total 302 bhp) easily and quickly propel this 2-ton car to 62 mph in a claimed mere 6.0 seconds, yet the overall fuel consumption was indicated at a very acceptable 46.1 mpg (WLTP combined 42.9), while the official WLTP emission figure is an attractively green 22 g/km. With its 55-litre fuel tank, the range might extend to a practical five hundred miles.
The remarkable acceleration is thanks to the instant torque available from the two electric motors; in this case, the distribution of electric power to the front and rear axles is 180bhp and 54bhp, respectively.
If used to excess, this power is handled by such safety features as VSC (vehicle stability control), PCS (pre-collision System) and the E-four electronic 4X4 system. One quirk: the CVT in the car’s full title would indicate that the transmission is of the automatic continuously variable type…and so it sounds; the paddles behind the steering wheel are redundant and that engine-revs sound would be power going in to charge the electric motors.
The Across re-charged itself at a reasonable rate: around a mile added for every mile driven, up to a maximum of perhaps 38 to 40 miles of pure EV — this without apparently impacting the petrol fuel consumption to the noticeable extent you find in other hybrids.
The car was enjoyable, easy to drive, and quiet, and the ride was comfortable. The Across stopped smoothly and there was only a trace of lean if the car was pushed hard around tight bends.
When you drive along a twisty, narrow, muddy lane during or after another of this country’s monsoon downpours, switch to ‘Trail’ mode and the limited slip differential deploys — at which the instrumentation goes slightly and rather oddly fuzzy.
The interior was well-built, as expected from the Japanese factory, with stylish touches and a plethora of equipment for safety and convenience. An almost endless list partly accounts for the high price tag and a 9-inch touchscreen features for infotainment.
In winter, the driver will appreciate the heated steering wheel and there’s rear seat heating as well as for the front seats, which are leather all round.
Demisting works well, too.
It’s spacious for four adults and the boot is very easily extendable thanks to the straightforward 60/40 folding rear seats. Loading is aided by both the interior remote control and outside rear kick function. Personally, this latter feature wouldn’t work for me and it seems odd that (as with some Toyotas, too) the tailgate could not be opened without the car being unlocked. Under the boot floor is a space-saver spare wheel.
There are myriad SUVs in the market, so if you have a local Suzuki dealer and like the look of the car, there’s a choice of six colours, our test car being in an attractive dark blue and appreciate Suzuki’s generous equipment range and straightforward pricing, then we think that you won’t be at all disappointed.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.
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