I travelled to Wales recently to get behind the wheel of the new Across from Suzuki. It’s a sporty SUV which is equipped with a sophisticated plug-in-hybrid system and E-Four electronic 4×4 delivering performance well suited to a variety of driving conditions. To prove the capability of the new model, I had the opportunity to drive on road and off road; however I doubt if ever many will venture off the tarmac.
The Across joins the Swace, which is based on the Corolla Estate Hybrid, supplied from Toyota under the collaborative business agreement between the two companies. Currently there are no plans to launch new models under this venture and there are no plans to sell the Across in the Republic of Ireland. My thoughts and purely mine; with a limited number available and Toyota such a strong player in this market, there seemed little need.
The plug-in hybrid system provides unparalleled fuel economy and smooth acceleration, with CO2 emissions of just 22g/km and at the core of the system is a powerful front electric motor that delivers vigorous torque at low speeds and combines with a powerful 2.5 litre petrol engine for rapid acceleration at higher speeds. With maximum output of 134kW and 270Nm of torque, the front electric motor draws its energy from an 18.1kWh (50.9 Ah) high capacity lithium-ion battery mounted beneath the floor. This provides a class leading EV range of 75km (46.6 miles).
The 4×4 system in the Across provides genuine 4×4 performance as well as maintaining superior fuel efficiency. The system features an independent 40kW rear motor that works in conjunction with the front motor to provide front : rear torque variation ranging from 100:00 to 20:80 and the benefits of this system include enhanced stability during take-off on slippery surfaces such as snow covered roads, and confident handling when cornering on varying road surfaces. Central to the E-Four system is the highly sophisticated AWD Integrated Management (AIM), which controls not only drive force distribution, but also engine throttle control, transmission shift scheduling, Electric Power Steering (EPS) assistance and braking, according to the driving conditions. Trail Mode is an automatic lsd control feature that ensures the best possible grip and control on slippery surfaces. The system works by applying the brakes to the wheels that begin to lose grip and redirects torque to wheels that maintain grip and it also adjusts the throttle and transmission shift pattern to keep the vehicle moving.
The Across is equipped with the latest smart safety features, including driving assist functions such as Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), which use a millimetre-wave radar and monocular camera.
You will right away see the RAV4 in the new Suzuki, a bold and sporty design which conveys confidence from every angle. Robust polygonal motifs across the body form a bold physique that is further highlighted by characteristic SUV wheel arch mouldings, a sporty large open grill and a front bumper with prominent silver under garnish which gives a clue to the SUV’s all-round capabilities. Further key features include sophisticated LED headlamps with a bi-beam projector, combining low and high beams, and an LED DRL, premium quality nineteen inch alloy wheels are fitted as standard with black gloss coating and distinctive polished face.
I discovered high levels of comfort as the drives continued over some reasonably challenging roads and the cabin space has been designed for ample comfort in both the first and second rows and there has been no compromise in luggage space which will suit the person with a family or indeed one who indulges in outdoor pursuits. The large 490 litre luggage compartment provides plenty of space to store luggage for a wide range of lifestyles and purposes and for added versatility, the right-hand side of the luggage compartment is equipped with a mains voltage (220V) electrical outlet and 12V accessory socket.
In summary, this is a good all rounder that will deliver in all of the key areas.