2023 Suzuki S-Cross Review: How Cross can you get?

Lionel Kong
Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

Suzuki is famed for building fun, reliable, and durable cars, and the S-Cross appears to be all that, but skyrocketing COE prices are making car buyers thinking harder and expecting much more

2023 Suzuki S-Cross

Launch Date: June 2023, S$169,900 with COE and VES (Aug 2023)
Five-door, Crossover SUV, five seats
129hp, 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine with 48v mild-hybrid assist, VES B, 5.7L/100km

Simple, but up-to-date layout
Lively engine
Roomy interior for its size

Vague steering feel
Some design elements feel dated


Suzuki has a crossover SUV on sale in Singapore again, in the form of the new S-Cross. The Japanese brand was for many years synonymous with awesomely effective small cars as championed by the Suzuki Swift, but we should not forget the other Suzukis like the Liana, Ciaz RS, and other larger cars like the Vitara

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

So, as far as real practical numbers go and because of the current high COE situation, compact cars are making little headway right now, and the fact is even larger, would-be mainstreamers like the Suzuki S-Cross here are unlikely to sell in numbers that we once saw the Suzuki Swift move. But as a small SUV-type family car it does seem like a decently specified alternative to something like the Honda HR-V.

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

It’s made in Hungary, and powered by a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance. A look back at the technical specifications confirms that this is the exact same engine and motor combo from the Suzuki Swift Sport that arrived here in 2021. While the official documentation doesn’t go into much detail, the ‘hybrid’ aspect of the S-Cross is not as exciting as you can get from something like a Volkswagen Golf eTSI. In the case of the Suzuki S-Cross, the electric motor is triggered only when the car is accelerating, adding its torque output to the 1.4-litre engine and its turbocharger. 

As such, despite its shiny ‘hybrid’ badge, it really isn’t a full hybrid and don’t expect it to go as far as a Toyota Prius on a single tank of fuel. In other words, the badge says ‘hot water’ but in reality it’s just mildly warm water, and there’s a big difference.

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

In all the usual cruising conditions, the petrol engine is doing all of the work. There’s the by-now quite standard automatic engine shut-off when stopped for sometime at traffic lights, but like in the Volkswagen Golf mentioned earlier, the air-conditioner compressor is attached to the engine, and after a minute or two of being stopped without the engine running you’ll notice the air in the cabin starting to get more humid. 

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

Officially, the car takes a leisurely 12.7 seconds to hit 100km/h from a standstill, but in real-world use it strangely feels quite a bit quicker. Incidentally, the maximum power output is rated at 129 horsepower, keeping it just within the Category A COE price bracket. The whole powerplant is connected to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission that features paddle shifters for manual override on the steering wheel as standard.

The little electric vehicle from China arrives in Singapore at a new dealership!

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

The interior is typically Suzuki, which means a great feel of durability without feeling cheap. The nine-inch, high resolution centre screen has all the stuff you would expect, including driving range estimation as a detailed fuel economy computer. Smartphone connectivity is standard as you would expect for 2023 too. An interesting feature is that the instrument panel is still largely analog. The needles still sweep around the dials, and for drivers that like this traditional approach the S-Cross delivers. Between the tachometer and speedometer however is a multi-function, highly legible digital screen, so it’s not all old-school.

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

Cabin space is good for five occupants and feels quite similar to what you get in the Citroen C4, but while the French car trades on funky, forward-thinking interior design, the S-Cross is all about the tried-and-tested. All the switches are where you expect them to be. The gear lever is a normal chunky stick, and there’s even a manual handbrake lever. It’s very well-equipped with safety features too, including the helpful lane departure and front collision warning. The LED headlights shine out very nicely after dark, plus you get adaptive cruise control as well, allowing you to follow traffic on a smooth flowing highway easily. 

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

A good-sized boot with configurable split floor allows for versatile load carrying as you would expect of a crossover SUV. 

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

One aspect of the S-Cross that is slightly disappointing is how the steering is devoid of feel around the centre, then gradually weighting up only when turned quite far. This makes it easy for the car to wander slightly as the centre detent on the steering is almost non-existent. Whether this is because of a low steering caster angle or the effect of its standard-fit Continental tyres cannot be confirmed. 

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

Still, its lively turbo engine and electric motor combo makes it more fun to drive than other appliance vehicles like the larger Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid. The S-Cross’ average recorded fuel economy of 6.7L/100km makes the specification figure of 5.7L/100km feel optimistic, but compared to much of the competition it is still a reasonably economical car. 

Suzuki S-Cross in Singapore

Yet the final question is, should you buy it? There’s a lot about the car that’s reasonably up-to-date, combined with a user interface that feels like it was made for drivers comfortable with previous-generation layouts. You won’t get lost in a nightmare of endless touchscreen menus, that’s for certain. The asking price also isn’t high by 2023 car price standards, but if you like your car to feel as cutting-edge as possible then the S-Cross isn’t likely to tickle your fancy. Yet we bet that this is going to be a solidly dependable car that will last.

Suzuki S-Cross

Drivetrain typePetrol-electric mild hybrid
Engine1,373cc, inline four, turbocharged
Power129hp at 5500rpm
Torque235Nm at 2000-3000rpm
Gearbox6-speed automatic
Electric MotorNot stated
BatteryLithium ion, unknown capacity
System PowerNot stated
System TorqueNot stated
0-100km/h12.7 seconds
Top SpeedNot stated
VES BandingB / neutral
Fuel Efficiency5.7L/100km
AgentChampion Motors
PriceS$169,900 with COE
Verdict:A combination of new-gen tech with traditional driving feel and layout, this smallish family SUV is just what you ‘ll get if you like your cars to be familiar and dependable


corssover SUV s-cross SUV Suzuki urban suv

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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