Our Caffeine Brown S-Cross 1.6 has been racking up miles for the last three months and so far it has been great. It is a fantastic tool for when you are late for meetings, night drives, interstate trips, ferrying the family, as a support car for our photoshoots etc. And the cherry on the cake is the premium treatment you get every time you set foot in a NEXA showroom.
The S-Cross is a fairly large car and a suitable alternative for someone looking for a large family hatchback. It feels like a full size car on the inside and there is a hint of European-ness in the way everything feels solid and well put together. The plastics are great quality and finished in black, they look decidedly premium. The leather seats have good perforated areas and contrasting stitching is nice. The dashboard feels modern and soft to touch and all the controls fall into hand rather easily. It is also loaded with features such as keyless entry and ignition, touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth, satellite navigation, automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, projector headlamps etc. It also has a decent sized boot with 353 litre capacity and 60:40 split rear seats.
The Fiat sourced 1.6litre Mulitjet engine with 118bhp and a colossal 32.6kgm torque feels sluggish at low revs and the tall second gear doesn’t help things. Massive turbo takes forever to spool which is particularly annoying when you have to slow down for speed breakers and then wait a considerably long time to get back in the powerband. But once you get that big turbo spinning, the sense of power is overwhelming and you are into serious speeds before you know it. Overtaking is easy and effortless when you are in the right gear. The engine feels at its best in third and fourth gears where it is eager and ready for action. The S-Cross can mask speeds quite well, so you are always driving faster than you think you are. If it feels like 100kmph, you are probably over 120kmph. It is a sure way to lose your license but when used responsibly, lets you sit at high speeds all day without feeling tired.
So, any issues so far? Nothing. Even that front end has started to grow on me after a while. But if I am to nit pick, the boot light isn’t connected to the door switch and will stay on unless you manually turn it off. And that rear camera is mounted in such a way when it rains it has a water droplet sitting on it, making the image blurred. Also, if you are buying a 1.6, do yourself a favour and change the JK Elanzo tyres to something better suited for road use.