2023 Suzuki S-Cross Review

By Alexi Falson on 13 Jul 2023
image for 2023 Suzuki S-Cross Review
Overall Rating
out of 10
  • Capable all-wheel drive system as standard
  • Entertaining to drive, user-friendly around town
  • Generous boot for the segment
  • Genuine light off-road credentials for the segment
  • Price puts it on par with more premium rivals
  • Begging for a hybrid variant
  • Cabin lacks refinement
While the Suzuki S-Cross has always been out-sold by its smaller siblings like the Jimny, Vitara and Swift, the company is hoping its overhauled S-Cross will capture a greater slice of the compact SUV segment.

The upgraded S-Cross receives a new styling package, added features and safety tech and an all-wheel drive system as standard, though it comes at a $10,000 premium over its predecessor.

Just how well has Suzuki justified the price rise with the latest generation S-Cross? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Check out the Best Small SUVs Coming to Australia in 2023

Suzuki S-Cross Competition

Suzuki S-Cross

Honda HR-V
Kia Seltos
Toyota Corolla Cross
Hyundai Kona
Subaru Crosstrek
Mazda CX-30
Haval Jolion
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Nissan Qashqai

Starting Price: $40,490

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How Much Does It Cost?

The Suzuki S-Cross range is priced from $40,490 here in Australia for the entry-level S-Cross, while the range-topping S-Cross Prestige is priced at $44,490.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you.

What Features Does the Suzuki S-Cross Have?

The base model Suzuki S-Cross comes riding on 17-inch alloys and receives automatic LED headlights with daytime running lamps, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry & start, roof rails, fog lights, dual-zone climate control, a rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors and a 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Stepping up to the S-Cross Prestige adds a larger 9.0-inch infotainment display with wireless Apple CarPlay, a panoramic sunroof and a surround-view camera.

2023 suzuki s-cross prestige interior

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys

  • Automatic LED headlights with daytime running lamps & fog lights

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel

  • Keyless entry & start

  • Roof rails

  • Dual-zone climate control

  • Rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors

  • 7.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • 9.0-inch infotainment display (Prestige)

  • Leather upholstery (Prestige)

  • Panoramic sunroof (Prestige)

  • Surround-view camera (Prestige)

Is the Suzuki S-Cross Comfortable to Drive?

Suzuki’s cars have long been celebrated as some of the most entertaining on the market for the money.

While prices for the S-Cross have moved north, thankfully, its charming driving nature has been carried over to the next generation, which makes for a great drive that remains relatively comfortable on a mix of Australian roads.

Power comes supplied by a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 103kW of power and 220Nm which feels far more engaging behind the wheel than it sounds on paper, while the six-speed automatic behaves itself on a mix of town and country driving.

“The S-Cross carries on the long-standing tradition of Suzuki’s fun-loving and charming driving dynamics - with off-road abilities that blow small SUV rivals out of the water”

The perkiness of the engine, combined with its agility and the added support of an AWD system means that the S-Cross is a pleasure to drive on an open road, something that is not often said about a small SUV package.

Around town, the S-Cross is incredibly user-friendly, with a compact turning circle and lightweight steering rack that allows you to squeeze into any car park you can find with ease.

One area that the S-Cross really steps out from its rivals is when sealed roads stop, with the AWD system fitted with a 50:50 locking mode that helps to keep traction on loose surfaces, and more ride height than most of its rivals.

The end result is a small SUV designed for the city that really isn’t afraid to get its toes dirty - blowing most of its rivals out of the water when it comes to light off-roading.

2023 suzuki s-cross rear

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The Suzuki S-Cross’ 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder is relatively fuel-efficient for the amount of power it produces, with official fuel economy figures standing at 6.2L/100km.

In isolation, these figures aren’t bad, though a number of its rivals - particularly those with hybrid powertrains - offer more impressive fuel economy figures, which is something to keep in mind when whittling down your shortlist.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

The quality of the interior and the amount of space inside the S-Cross is an overall mixed bag that, unfortunately for Suzuki, makes its rivals look and feel like a better option for the money.

Up front, there’s acres of headroom and a great deal of visibility out of the large windscreen that makes it particularly user-friendly to drive, though the design itself fails to inspire.

The same goes for the S-Cross’ technology package, which positions a compact 7.0-inch display atop the dash in the base model, growing to a more respectable 9.0-inches in the Prestige.

Having said that, it is a practical design, with a set of large door bins on both sides of the cabin, storage at the base of the centre console, a pair of cup holders and a large storage area inside the folding arm rest.

The design and materials struggle to justify its price tag and match key rivals; though it does have segment-leading boot space figures”

The base model picks up cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped wheel, while upgrading to the Premium variant adds leather accents which give it a more premium nature.

Second-row legroom is fine but nothing exceptional, and receives the usual set of ISOFIX anchors and three top tether mounts for child seats, and is able to adjust to fit more cargo in the boot.

On that note, the S-Cross boasts some of the largest cargo figures for the segment, with total boot space figures of 430L that expand to 1230L with the second row folded, making it a beast in its segment when it comes to lugging around bulky cargo.

Space and practicality a priority? Check out our explainer of the Difference Between Compact SUVs and other SUVs here.

Is it Safe?

The Suzuki S-Cross is safe and well-equipped when it comes to active safety gear, with all the important kit packaged into the base model as standard, with the exception of a surround-view monitor for the Prestige variant.

The S-Cross has received a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and is fitted with autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, a rear-view camera with front & rear parking sensors, lane-departure alerts and six airbags as standard.

Our Verdict: Is The Suzuki S-Cross Worth it?

The main problem with the S-Cross isn’t the vehicle itself, but Suzuki’s aggressive pricing, which positions it against higher-spec rivals that offer more gear and a more premium interior design.

Having said that, the S-Cross holds its own when it comes to the entertaining driving nature that we’ve come to expect from Suzuki, its user-friendly town driving and is relatively fuel-efficient; though a hybrid variant would be a great addition.

2023 suzuki s-cross front

If you’re tossing up your best options in the ever-crowded world of small SUVs, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying specialists who can give you their favourites, and find you the best possible price.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty with capped-price servicing and roadside assist

  2. All-wheel drive system as standard

  3. 6.2L/100km combined cycle fuel economy

  4. Five-star ANCAP safety rating

  5. 430L boot space


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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