Suzuki has announced pricing and specs for the latest entrant into the ever-burgeoning small- SUV market, the S-Cross. However, its expected diesel variant is now not guaranteed to make it to Australia.
Due to arrive in showrooms next month, the S-Cross will start at $22,990 plus on-road costs for the two-wheel-drive GL variant with a five-speed manual gearbox.
That's $4000 dearer than the entry-level price point of the car it's replacing, the SX4, but is in keeping with the price tags on competitors such as the Holden Trax, Nissan Juke and just- launched Ford Eco-Sport.
It was expected to come with a 1.6-litre turbo-diesel offering, as is the case overseas. However, supply issues mean it will not be available at the car's launch here, and Suzuki Australia has said it will consider introducing it at a later date.
As such, all variants are powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine offering 86kW and 156Nm of torque. That's a drop of 26kW and 34Nm from the 2.0-litre unit in the SX4, however, its fuel consumption of 5.8L/100km is up to 20 per cent less.
This is helped by the S-Cross being 110kg lighter than the SX4, despite the newer vehicle being longer and wider - which Suzuki says allows the S-Cross to offer best-in-class space.
The luggage cargo space is 430 litres and the driver can move his seat forwards or back 51mm and up or down 59mm, accommodating most driver body shapes. The entry-level GL is the only variant available with a manual option, with the rest of the line-up getting a continuously variable transmission.
Suzuki has taken the "raise- price-add-more-features" approach, with the S-Cross' hike over the SX4 bringing with it hands-free Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, 16-inch alloys, seven airbags, steering-wheel audio controls and roof rails as standard across the range.
The GLX adds perks including keyless entry, auto headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, 15cm touch screen with sat nav, reversing camera and sensors and more, while the Prestige has leather interior and what Suzuki calls the world's first double panoramic sunroof.
While the off-road component of competitors is generally an afterthought these days - or, in the Trax case, not available as an all-wheel-drive option - Suzuki says the S-Cross will maintain the off-tarmac capabilities of models such as the Sierra and Vitara.
The mid-spec GLX variant is available in either 2WD or AWD (the AWD option costing an extra $3000), while the range-topping GLX Prestige is AWD only.
The AWD system drives the front wheels until it detects a loss of traction at the rear, while there is a range of driving modes such as Sport and Snow.
The AWD variants see a slight rise in fuel consumption, to a still-acceptable 6.2L/100km.
S-Cross chief engineer Yasushi Sasaki said the vehicle addressed the change in what drivers now expected from their cars in the 21st century.
"Daily life, and with it, what is expected of a car, has become far more complex today than it was just a few years ago," he said.
"Whether it is a family outing to the seaside, a weekend shopping tour in the city, a quick sporting trip, tackling rough terrain or cruising smoothly down the freeway, the S-Cross meets all the needs of the 'Cross-Living Generation' perfectly."
GL 2WD: $22,990 (man), $25,490 (CVT)
GLX 2WD: $29,990 (CVT only)
GLX AWD: $32,990 (CVT only)
GLX AWD Prestige: $34,990 (CVT only)