Suzuki has a tie in with Toyota, allowing the brand to have access to a couple of the latter’s hybrid models, including the RAV4 PHEV, which is badged as a Suzuki Across. Thanks to the current tax savings available on plug-in’s, the Across makes an awful lot of sense for company car employees who need a large, capable family SUV & we go to try one recently.
The Across comes in just one spec & it’s very well equipped. Like its Toyota equivalent, the Across is powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, which is paired to two electric motors, one each located on the front & rear axles, for a total of 302bhp. This gives the Across a decent turn of pace with a 0-62mph time of just 6 seconds & a top speed of 112mph. The Across also utilises Toyota’s e-CVT gearbox, which works much better in the Across & RAV4 than other Toyota models or the Suzuki Swace.
Like the RAV4, you get a generous 46 miles of pure electric motoring, putting the Across at the the top for plug-in hybrid electric range. It further benefits from being in the 8% BIK company car bracket with just 22g/km of C02 emissions. Combined economy is a claimed 282.5mpg, a figure to be taken with a pinch of salt. In July driving 300 miles on combined roads, with 200 miles of that on the motorway, we averaged 56mpg.
The trick as we found out, is to save the EV charge for urban driving, whilst going full Hybrid on the motorway & utilising EV/HV in slower moving traffic. The car’s digital display shows you just how well or how bad you’re doing in this regard & improving on this becomes a bit of a challenge for each journey as you try to do better then the previous one.
An update in April 2022 saw the Across fitted with a more powerful 6kW on-board charger, up from 3kW previously, which halves the top-up time on a conventional 7.4kW home wall box from almost 6 hours, to 2 hours 45 minutes, which compared to many other plug-ins, is quick.
If there’s enough battery charge, the Across defaults to EV mode, only switching to petrol as required. As ever plug in at home whenever you can, especially overnight as we do on our own Rolec home charger. http://www.rolecserv.com/home-charging
The Across comes with 19″alloys, a black front grille, a rear upper spoiler, rear privacy glass, black roof rails & dual exhausts. It’s a chunky SUV & does a great job of looking fit for a trek across the Kalahari Desert.
The Across dash is identical to the one found in the RAV4, so it’s slightly more upmarket than Suzuki customers may expect. Almost all of the plastics you can touch & see in the Across are of good quality. Cheaper plastics do though adorn the door pockets & centre binnacle. The instruments are clear, you get a chunky leather steering wheel & hard wearing if not exactly exciting grey, black & chrome finishes including on the seats. Suzuki updated the interior lighting to LEDs in April 2022 but it is best described as functional rather than aspirational.
The 9″ infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay & Android Auto which are both simple to access through a USB. An update in April 2022 saw the normal USB ports switched for USB-C connectors, with front & rear accessibility. It’s not the sharpest system to look at, or to use, nor could it be described as cool, but it does the job.
LED headlights, adaptive cruise control & plenty of active & passive safety technology come with the Across. You also get Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which makes light work of any motorway journey. The Across is also a proper 4X4.
Storage options include a cubby under the front armrest, four decent-sized door bins, twin cup holders, space for keys or your phone in the dashboard front, average sized glove box & rear seat pockets as well. There’s 490 litres on offer in the boot which increases to 1,168 litres with the rear seats folded. There’s plenty of room inside for four adults to get comfortable, five at a push. The rear seats are split 60:40 & access to the boot is easy as you get a kick operation boot opener & a remote control opener on the car keys as well.
The CVT gearbox can be a bit whiney on the Toyota-Lexus self charging range, but in the plug-in Across, the transition between petrol-hybrid & pure EV is smooth enough not to notice, which makes driving it very relaxing.
Around town & in slower traffic the Across really shines. Start the engine & well, there’s nothing & as you pull away the car moves forward on battery power. As your speed increases & you switch to Hybrid mode, the petrol engine kicks in. In traffic it’s sublime & ever so quiet. On the motorway there’s enough power on offer to comfortable join the carriageway at motorway speeds & plenty of power to overtake slow moving vehicles.
Some wind & road noise does enter the cabin, but its not loud enough to prevent the use of your Bluetooth device, or Apple CarPlay to make hands-free calls. It’s hard to criticise the dashboard & its functionality except to say that it’s a little bland.
We took to the motorway in Eco mode, which dulls the throttle, but increases fuel economy. Sport mode adds a bit of fun & when you put your foot down, this plug-in feels rapid, with screeching tyres from a standing start a testament to this.
Like all cars containing batteries, the Across plug-in is heavy, so it feels a little more sluggish into & out of tight corners & is a little less forgiving at slower speeds, especially when your’e driving over pot-holed roads. On the plus side, the power steering is light & it’s easy to park. It’s built for comfortable city dawdling & straight line relaxation at which it excels.
Low BIK, very well equipped, charges quickly, excellent electric range.
With a retail price close of over £46,000, the Across IS most definitely a company car proposition & not one for retail. It’s basically the same car as a Toyota RAV4.
The Suzuki Across gives Suzuki it’s second plug-in model & alongside the Swace, means it has two low BIK offerings for company car drivers. The cabin is safe & a little bland, but it’s spacious, well put together, features on trend safety & comes with the latest tech.
It’s not as sexy to look at as the cheaper Ford Kuga or Nissan Qashqai, nor is it as modern. However, it’s pure electric range of 35-46 miles puts it right at the top of the tree compared to almost all other PHEV’s, especially when you consider, it’s a large 4X4 SUV built to carry a family of five.
A Port Sunlight 4/5