The AcrossThe Across
The Across

Why you can get satisfaction with the Across

Suzuki may be a relatively small player in the global car league but it sure manages to punch above its weight.

It beats every other motoring brand to triumph in a satisfaction league.

OK, so the UK customer satisfaction index might not be at the forefront of your thoughts as you choose a new vehicle but it illustrates that this brand is well regarded by motorists across the country.

Much of this success is down to its network of dealers who are regarded as some of the best in the business, which is some achievement given how many of the big boys are out there investing fortunes in their brands.

Suzuki might be a relatively small brand but it has a wealth of models which are well regarded in their field: Swift is a value-for-money hatchback, Vitara and S-Cross are solid and stylish SUVs and the robust and ready for action Across.

It's Across which we are testing here. If it looks familiar, that’s because it is based on the Toyota RAV4. It’s not identical but it has the same underpinnings.

And because it is essentially a cross-bred car, it lacks the distinctive styling of a Suzuki but it is still an impressive-looking model.

Suzuki can’t take on its rivals by churning out new models every five minutes so it has to act smartly, in this case by working with Toyota.

Why, exactly? Well, to save money in developing new models by using Toyota’s strength in electrification and Suzuki’s strength in creating compact vehicles.

But at the same time it allows the firms to “continue to fairly and freely compete against each other”.

One of their joint ventures is RAV4-Across. Toyota make a range of RAV4s but Suzuki is limited to one Across.

It is a well-specified model powered by a 2.5 litre engine and two electric motors which give it almost sportscar-like performance. But don’t be totally swayed: this is a capable large SUV.

At £45,000 it is incredibly expensive for a Suzuki but then again it is new territory for a company which tends to focus on smaller cars with some success.

Across is neat and chunky. It feels like a proper working vehicle rather than a polished posh off-roader but it is very capable and smartly kitted out.

It was the first model launched under the Suzuki-Toyota collaboration and is Suzuki’s first plug-in hybrid. It manages emissions of just 22g/km and a weighted combined economy figure of 282mpg. Sounds incredible but that is based on it managing 46.6 miles on electric charge. In fact, for many commuters driving say 40 miles a day you could in theory do it all under electric power.

The high-specification model offers a fabulous 4x4 system, heated front and rear seats, dual zone automatic air conditioning and a powered tailgate.

It has a 9in multi-media touch screen and feels more like a premium model than a workhorse.

The bold and sporty design of the Across is said to convey confidence from every angle.

The model has been upgraded recently to help bring charging times down.

Thanks to a standard-fit on-board AC charger, which has been increased from 3kW to 6kW, it enables a much faster charging time. For instance, if a standard 7kW home charger is used, a full charge comes down from five and a half hours to around two hours and 45 minutes.

Likewise, if a lower-rated three-pin home plug is used, the charge time is also reduced by 36 minutes to just under five hours.

There are four driving modes so drivers are able to tailor how the car uses its energy in different situations. For instance, EV mode sees the vehicle powered entirely by the electric motor even under full acceleration, while Auto EV/HV mode will cause the engine to deliver power when needed.

At the core of the plug-in hybrid system is a powerful front electric motor that delivers torque at low speeds and combines with a powerful 2.5-litre petrol engine for rapid acceleration at higher speeds.

The front electric motor draws its energy from a high-capacity lithium-ion battery mounted beneath the floor.

Paired to the electric motor is the A25A-FXS Dynamic Force engine, which functions as a charger for the battery and provides power assistance to the electric motor during high-speed driving if required.

In addition, Suzuki has given the Across a subtle styling update, including new LED lighting in the front fog lamps, rear cabin light and luggage compartment lights.

Extra lighting has been added to the overhead console and mirror controls, too.

The car’s USB ports have also been upgraded from type A to type C to offer better compatibility with newer devices.

Cabin space is designed for ample comfort in both the first and second rows but there has been no compromise in luggage space. The large 490-litre luggage compartment provides plenty of space to store luggage for a wide range of lifestyles and purposes.

For added versatility, the right-hand side of the luggage compartment is equipped with a mains voltage (220V) electrical outlet and 12V accessory socket.

The Across is also equipped with an array of convenient storage spaces including driver’s and passenger’s side trays, centre tray, cupholders and a console box.

While £45,000 sounds a lot for a Suzuki, it is in fact incredibly well-equipped and good value.

Suzuki Across AZ5

Price: £45,599

Engine: a 2.5 litre petrol engine and two electric motors. The engine and motors deliver 306bhp

Peformance: Top speed 112mph and 0 to 60mph in 6.0 seconds

Economy: 42.9mpg but with the electric motors in play you can return a notional 282.4mpg

Emissions: 22g/km

Warranty: Three years, 60,000 miles

Related topics: