The Suzuki Across is a spacious and economical plug-in hybrid SUV.
It pairs a 2.5 litre petrol engine with an 18.1kWh battery and electric motor. That’s a decent size battery for a plug-in hybrid and it really does make the car a nice bridge between conventionally powered and fully electric cars.
If the Suzuki Across looks slightly familiar that’s because it’s the sister car to the Toyota RAV4. It sits above Suzuki’s other SUVs: the Ignis, S-Cross and Vitara.
While Toyota offers a few different versions of the RAV4, Suzuki offers just one Across model. It’s a top of the range version, with plug-in hybrid engine, four wheel drive, lots of standard equipment and a price tag of £45,599.
Its official range is 46 miles on electric power alone. I managed nearly 40 miles, across Dundee and Angus, and there was still a bit of juice in the battery at the end. Drive it at 20-30mph around town and it should get you even farther.
Essentially, if you charge it up every night you can drive 40 miles a day and never touch the petrol in the tank. That makes for very low cost motoring.
There are electric motors on the front and rear axle, making the Across fully four-wheel drive. The two electric motors and the petrol engine have a combined 302bhp. That’s a lot of horsepower.
Put the foot to the floor and the Suzuki Across races off the line, going from 0-62mph in 6.0 seconds. Because the electric motors generate their power instantaneously, there’s no delay between flooring the pedal and racing forwards.
It’s somewhat surprising to see what looks like a humdrum Suzuki SUV zooming away faster than a hot hatch.
Even in fully electric mode, without the power of the petrol engine, it still has plenty of oomph and doesn’t struggle with a full complement of passengers and luggage.
Officially, the Suzuki Across’s fuel economy is 42.9mpg but that figure is almost meaningless. If you drive the car mainly on shorter, battery powered journeys you’ll barely use any fuel at all.
If you use your car for very long journeys you’ll be relying on the petrol engine and economy will be much worse than a diesel SUV.
Cleverly, there’s a button that will hold onto the charge so you can keep the battery full for urban driving at the end of a long motorway run.
The Suzuki Across looks like a mid-sized SUV but it’s very cleverly packaged. Sitting inside it feels like being in an SUV that’s one size bigger. There’s plenty of leg and head room front and back, and a very spacious boot.
Standard equipment is good. Seats are part-leather, heated and electrically controlled. There’s keyless entry and start, a rear camera, dual zone climate control, heated steering wheel, and most of the other bells and whistles you’d expect.
The only real criticism is none of it feels as tactile and high quality as you’d expect from a £45,000 car. You could never be fooled into thinking you’re sitting in an Audi or Mercedes.
That aside, there’s very little to criticise the Suzuki Across for. It’s easy and comfortable to drive. Suzuki hasn’t tried to match the best in class when it comes to handling, instead opting for softer suspension that makes longer journeys very relaxing.
The four wheel drive system and high ground clearance mean if you live up a farm track or regularly go camping you can be confident the Across will get you there in all weathers.
The Suzuki Across is not a car that will be bought by badge snobs. You can get a diesel powered Audi Q5 or BMW X3 for the same money.
But if you use the Suzuki’s superb electric-only range and keep it charged up you’ll have a car that’s kinder for the environment and costs buttons to run.
Model: Suzuki Across Hybrid
0-62mph: 6.0 seconds
Top speed: 112mph
CO2 emissions: 22g/km