First Drive

First Drive: Suzuki Across

The story:
A tie-up with Toyota has brought gifts including Suzuki’s first plug-in hybrid model, the RAV4-based Across, as well as the Corolla Estate-based Swace hybrid. The Swace’s excellent electric-only range means a low BiK banding, but it’s also Suzuki’s most expensive model.
Key rival:Peugeot 3008 PHEV
On sale:Now

Suzuki’s first plug-in hybrid is a rebadged version of the Toyota RAV4 PHEV.

There are styling differences between the two, with the Across getting a larger one-piece grille and narrower headlamps than the Toyota.

The new SUV offers emissions of just 22g/km and an electric-only range of 46 miles, which puts it in the 6% BiK band for 2020/21, rising to 7% for the next tax year, thanks to its powertrain that combines 2.5-litre petrol engine and 18kWh battery. It’s an EV range that none in class can match (apart from the RAV4) with the Peugeot 3008 PHEV the only other small SUV or crossover in the same BiK band.

It’s as fast as it is efficient too, with the 0-62mph sprint taking just 6.0 seconds. The Across handles better than a relatively heavy SUV has any right to, and is more entertaining than might be expected on twistier roads.

First Drive - April 2021 - Suzuki Across - Image 1Suzuki is offering just the one trim on a car that is well equipped. Leather heated front and rear seats, dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel and auto powered tailgate are all standard, while metallic or mica paint are no-cost options.

There’s plenty of space for passengers and luggage, with the 490-litre boot hefty enough, although it’s the tax savings that will draw users to this PHEV. Despite the high P11D price, a 40% taxpayer will be paying just over £90 a month.

paul barker

The verdict

Not a cheap option, but the running costs certainly stack up thanks largely to the excellent powertrain that offers an EV range figure of 46 miles.