Archive | SUZUKI

All-New Suzuki SX4 S-Cross SUV Crossover Launch

Location: Fawsley Hall, Northamptonshire
Date: September 4th 2013

[thethe-image-slider name=”Suzuki S-Cross 1″]

The Lowdown:

  • An all-new and very important model for Suzuki, who are trying to break into the lucrative crossover market
  • Primarily targeted at the Nissan Qashqai
  • Suzuki have traditionally sold to private, cash-paying buyers, but now want to focus on the leasing and Motability ‘fleet’ market, which nowadays accounts for around 40% of UK sales across the board
  • The SX4 S-Cross is claimed to tick all the boxes associated with successful SUVs, unlike any other comparative model (according to Suzuki)
  • It’s also pitched as being cheaper, roomier, just as well-equipped, more economical and greener.

The Models:

  • Petrol 1.6 or diesel 1.6, both with 120PS
  • All models fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox but a CVT automatic transmission can be specified on the range-topping petrol model
  • Trims range from SZ3 and SZ4 through to SZ-T (with DAB radio, parking sensors and colour sat nav, aimed at the fleet market) and the top-of-the-range SZ5 with leather seats and a double sliding panoramic sunroof
  • The SZ-T and SZ5 models are available in either 2WD or 4WD with Suzuki’s new ALLGRIP system which comes with Auto, Lock, Snow and Sport modes
  • The fastest is the 1.6 petrol 2WD variant which hits 62mph in 11 seconds
  • The most economical on paper is the 1.6 DDiS diesel 2WD at 67.2mpg
  • Pricing starts at £14,999 for the petrol SZ3 in 2WD, upto £23,540 for the diesel SZ5 4WD ALLGRIP

[thethe-image-slider name=”Suzuki S-Cross 2″]

First Impressions:

  • Tame but nevertheless attractive design
  • No badge snobbery, so I like it even more
  • Roomy, comfortable, high quality interior, only let down by poor headroom in models with the panoramic sunroof
  • Practical boot with 12V socket and proper spare tyre
  • Loads of equipment in SZ5 models. My favourite is DAB radio. DRLs and HID headlamps also included
  • Petrol engine fine but I preferred the nippier diesel unit which proved quite good fun
  • The 6-speed gearbox can’t really be faulted and the ride and handling felt strong, too
  • Sport mode on 4WD models did sharpen things up
  • Should be reasonably good on poor surfaces owing to Suzuki’s track record in off-road vehicles

All in all, a very good car, based on my brief drives during today’s launch. My pick? The 1.6 diesel manual in 4WD ALLGRIP SZ5 trim.

Thanks once again to the Suzuki UK team for their hospitality.


Suzuki Jimny 1.3 SZ4 road test review by Oliver Hammond

Good grief – the last Suzuki Jimny experience I had was of the soft-top one we hired in Crete a few years ago! That brings back memories, including quite a few hair-raising moments on the country’s abundance of twisty and rocky country roads. Oh, and the beaches. Anyway, back to the point and here we have it, a facelifted Suzuki Jimny. No, you’re not the only one who thinks the Jimny has effectively remained unchanged for what feels like decades. But does it still carve any kind of place for itself in 2013?

2013 Suzuki Jimny 1-3 SZ4 road test review by Oliver Hammond SimonsCarSpots MyCarCoach Car Finder - photo front 34


It’s the most compact 4×4 ‘SUV’ – if you can call it that – on the market and yes, the Jimny hasn’t changed much at all over the decades it’s been knocking around. The Jimny genealogy goes back all the way to 1968 but it was in 1997 when the version familiar to almost everyone was introduced.

Hire Rental Suzuki Jimny Crete Greece

So what’s new now we’re in 2013? The Jimny’s lovable, cheery and characterful face has been mildly tweaked, with a groovy central air intake on the bonnet, a new grille and fog lights, plus alloy wheels. Yup, sorry to disappoint, but that really is about it as far as any styling updates on the outside. One day, I saw no less than eight Jimnys drive past me within 5 miles of leaving the house, so the Jimny’s army of cult followers are apparently still happy with its tried and tested styling.

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Taking it at face value, the Jimny does look quite cool, with its chunky wheels, rugged, contrasting bumpers, square silhouette and dinky little, round, beaming headlights, with the very basic, squat rear styling, side-hinged boot and spare tyre on the back giving it a mini-macho image. It would be great to see an all-new Jimny at some point in the near future – but for now, it seems Continue Reading →


Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 Petrol Manual 5-door SZ5 road test review by Oliver Hammond

Have a guess how long the Suzuki Grand Vitara has been around? If I told you the answer is twenty four years, you couldn’t help but be impressed, right? Okay, it’s not quite as long as one of the other 4×4 stalwarts, the Mitsubishi Pajero/Shogun, but the survival of the Grand Vitara tells you Suzuki must have got something right. But in a world where SUVs have fast become fashion accessories for all kinds of different people and have become more and more blingy, is the Grand Vitara now a bit old hat?

Suzuki Grand Vitara 2-4 Petrol Manual SZ5 5-door road test review by Oliver Hammond photo - lead


Compared to the majority of the latest wave of SUVs and most notably to that ultra-sexy, chic and must-have one designed by one Mrs Victoria Beckham, the Suzuki Grand Vitara is unapologetically boxy. But despite being styled as excitingly as a fridge-freezer in the minds of many people, it does have something about it. Its chunky, utilitarian outline reminds people that this ain’t a soft-roader – it’s a proper 4×4 off-roader. ‘All mouth and no trousers’ doesn’t apply to the Grand Vitara, as it can genuinely venture into the rocky, muddy unknown, where many of the more trendily-styled rivals would flop. And to be fair, some buyers actually value anonymity, so the Grand Vitara’s unlikelihood to turn heads and drop jaws is a selling point in their view.

This latest Grand Vitara model comes with indicators integrated into the door mirrors, slight tweaks to the rear to make it more modern, chunky 18” alloy wheels, tinted windows and a more butch front grille and bumpers. The spare wheel carrier on the back has also now been dropped, to try and make the Suzuki appear less ‘UN peace keeping’ and more ‘cool urban warrior’. HID headlights finish off the minutely refreshed look.

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Exciting, it’s not – but the Grand Vitara has an enviably robust look about it. You know it’s been around a while, you know you won’t come a cropper off the beaten track, you know you can trust it owing to the firm’s reliable image, and you know it won’t attract much angst, if any, from anti-SUV sections of society. Although it could now do with an entirely new design, The Grand Vitara is Continue Reading →


Suzuki Kizashi road test review by Oliver Hammond

‘A what?’ seemed to be the general consensus. Indeed, the Suzuki Kizashi is a car not many people are aware of. Having seen a Kizashi on the Alpine Course at the Millbrook circuit a few months ago, I was itching to review one – and I’m glad I did!

Suzuki Kizashi road test review by Oliver Hammond - photo - front 34b


The Suzuki Kizashi is the Japanese firm’s new D-Segment offering, meaning it’s a mid-size family saloon – and a sporty one, at that. To me, the Kizashi looks great with its muscular, chiselled, sporty and rakish exterior design. From some angles, the Kizashi isn’t dissimilar to the IS and LS Lexus models, and some may suggest I should take a trip to Specsavers but I think it’s even got a whiff of Honda and Chrysler about it, too. It’s substantially more attractive to look at than the D-segment offerings from Volkswagen and Toyota. It’s a bit smaller than a Mondeo or Insignia and its design looks equally as eye-catching as theirs in my opinion, plus it will be a whole lot more individual due to Suzuki limiting Kizashi numbers in the UK to only Continue Reading →


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