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Bigger, More Refined Suzuki SX4: S-Cross Makes NZ Debut

27 January 2014

Bigger, More Refined Suzuki SX4
S-Cross Makes New Zealand Debut

Suzuki has launched its first-ever model in the C-segment crossover market with the arrival of the new SX4 S-Cross five-door hatchback.

Six versions of the five-door S-Cross go on sale in New Zealand from January 18, with the choice of two and four-wheel-drive and both manual and CVT automatic transmissions. Both the GLX and higher level LTD models are generously equipped as standard.

Larger than the current Suzuki SX4, the S-Cross combines distinctive styling, generous cabin space and increased load capacity with improvements in both efficiency and fuel economy. Engine refinements, superior aerodynamics and the use of high-tensile steel in the bodywork have also lowered the car’s CO2 emissions.

Remarkably, despite the greater dimensions and added equipment of the S-Cross, overall weight of the vehicle reduces. Improved aerodynamics assists in the quest for lower fuel consumption. In two wheel drive form, both the 5-speed manual transmission and continuously variable transmission (CVT) return 5.8 litres/100 km in the official European combined cycle test.

The S-Cross AllGrip (four wheel drive) manual and CVT returns 6.2 litres/100 km and emit a low 146 grams/km of CO2.

Improved body rigidity
Better aerodynamics are due to more streamlined shaping of the front bumpers, fog lamp bezels and wheels, low-drag door mirrors, improved under-body airflow, a smoother roof line and a minimal grille opening that reduces unnecessary air intake. Body rigidity strengthens, with a stiffer suspension frame and front struts.

Typical of the car’s attention to detail are the new fully covered, flat wiper blades that help cut wind noise, and a special windscreen washer system that sprays fluid over a large area of glass while saving fluid.

Engineers have made further improvements to the efficient double overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder M16A four cylinder engine. This is based on the highly successful 1.6 litre Swift Sport motor and has a silent chain camshaft drive.

Running on a compression ratio of 11 to 1, the motor produces 86 kW of power at 6,000 rpm and 156 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. The 1,586 cm3 power unit gains from weight savings and a reduction in friction. There are lower-tension piston rings, lighter pistons and connecting rods, a thinner crankshaft, narrower bearings, a two-stage oil pump with pressure-relief valve and reduced loading of the valve springs.

The S-Cross has a lighter exhaust manifold, higher efficiency fuel pump, lighter exhaust pipe, revised engine mounts and a lighter radiator and fan.

Quieter, greater refinement
Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels are reduced with new pendulum-layout engine mounts for lightness and low vibration while the engine intake and exhaust systems are optimised for lower noise. Suspension bushings have been improved to suppress inputs of tyre vibration, and the car boasts better sound absorption, suppressing noise penetration via the doors and load area.

Handling stability is enhanced with a lighter, more rigid suspension resulting from considerable testing on European roads. The front suspension comprises MacPherson struts with increased rigidity for the mountings, and a torsion beam set-up forms the rear suspension. Spring rates have been optimised and four wheel disc brakes, ventilated at the front, are standard on all versions.

A new generation four wheel drive system with AllGrip technology is available on the selected S-Cross models. This has four driver-selectable modes, and can be set in Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock which provides constant high torque distribution to all wheels.

The power transfer unit and rear differential have new, high-torque designs, and the rear differential’s four mountings are fitted with larger capacity bushings for better NVH performance. Noise and vibration are minimised because of greater rigidity in the transmission case.

AWD in the S-Cross is lighter than the Grand Vitara’s 4WD system. The on-demand mechanism uses an electronically controlled magnetic dry clutch with ball bearings in a run to manage torque distribution to the rear axle.
When a signal is sent to the magnetic clutch the balls move, forcing the clutch plates together. The action depends on conditions and the mode the system is set to. In a default Auto mode, it remains in fuel-sipping front-wheel-drive unless significant slip is detected between the front and rear wheels.

Sport mode automatically diverts 20 percent more torque to the rear in response to sharper throttle inputs. Snow mode is intended for all unpaved surfaces and is ideal on loose surface and gravel back country roads in New Zealand. Snow mode, along with a recoded ESP, defaults to 4WD.

Lock mode replicates a locking differential by sending an equal amount of torque to each wheel. So while most drivers will usually leave the transmission in Auto mode, the other three settings provide extremely versatile drive trains to suit all conditions.

A new built-in oil cooler improves the cooling performance for the CVT during hard driving. This transmission has a seven-speed manual programme controlled from steering wheel paddles on the LTD version.

More space for families and luggage
Increased interior dimensions will give greater appeal to families, and access to the front and rear improves with wider door openings. The split folding rear seat backrests can be set at either of two angles for added load carrying. Even with five occupants seated, the S-Cross provides 430 litres of luggage space, and loading width through the rear hatchback door increases 75 mm to 1,120 mm.

The steering wheel has a 36 mm telescopic adjustment and 40 mm adjustment for height, while driver’s seat height adjustment is standard on all versions.

A prominent speedometer and tachometer flank the multi-information display detailing fuel consumption readout, driving range, outside air temperature and (in AllGrip models) the driving mode. Incorporated into the multi-function display is a gearshift indicator that assists the driver in changing gears optimally for better fuel economy.

Rear parking sensors are standard on the LTD models and good all-round visibility stems from an elevated ride height.

Convenience is to the fore with a 12 volt accessory socket in the luggage area along with four tie-down hooks, two net hooks and a shopping bag hook. LTD models include dual-zone automatic air conditioning, keyless entry and push button start, rain-sensing automatic wipers, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, automatic dimming rear vision mirror and automatic headlamps and headlamp levelling. The auto lights include short tunnel non-activation with sensors detecting darkness and aided by a “forward-looking” sensor that detects light beyond the tunnel.

5-star Euro NCAP safety rating
The S-Cross has been awarded a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, making it one of Europe’s safest cars. It did particularly well in pedestrian protection, and scored a maximum rating overall, performing well in adult protection, child safety, pedestrian protection and safety assist.

Body structure and occupant restraint systems on the S-Cross meet current and anticipated crash safety standards. The car has Suzuki’s Total Effective Control Technology (TECT), a concept for occupant-protecting impact absorption and low weight.

Active safety equipment includes Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) which promotes stability, brake over-ride, and seatbelt reminder for front and rear seats. Passive safety equipment includes seven airbags and a pedal-release system to mitigate the extent of any leg injuries in the event of an accident.

Cruise control is standard on all variants and the audio system includes CD, MP3 and USB functions. The new S-Cross range offers outstanding value given the increase in size and specifications over the current SX4. GLX manual at $27,990 includes 16 inch aluminium alloy wheels and Bluetooth capability, with the CVT adding $2,000 to this recommended retail price.

The $32,990 LTD version with CVT adds satellite navigation and reversing camera, and the 16 inch alloys are replaced by 17 inch polished rims.

In the AWD trim, the $30,990 S-Cross GLX manual has 16 inch alloys and Bluetooth, and with CVT is $32,990. The range-topping AllGrip LTD CVT with 17 inch alloys, satellite navigation and reversing camera is $35,990. All models come complete with 5 year, unlimited kilometre roadside assistance and a 5 year / 100,000km warranty package.

All these prices exclude on road costs.


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