In-depth reviews

Suzuki Across plug-in hybrid engines, drive & performance

The Toyota-sourced 2.5-litre plug-in hybrid drivetrain in the Suzuki Across works very well and offers hot-hatchback pace. The car handles well, too, but the ride is imperfect

Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance rating

3.5 out of 5

0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
6.0s112mphFour302bhp

Like its Toyota equivalent, the Across has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine at its heart, which is boosted by electrification to the benefit of both performance and economy. The engine alone is fairly brawny, with figures of 182bhp and 227Nm of torque, but with a pair of electric motors providing assistance, there’s something of a performance car lurking within.

The motor at the front, assisting the engine, makes 180bhp and 270Nm, and the motor driving the rear axle another 54bhp and 121Nm. You can’t just add all the figures together for a total, but Suzuki quotes peak power for the full system of 302bhp. Power to the front wheels is also sent through Toyota’s e-CVT continuously variable gearbox, which blends those petrol and electric outputs according to driving conditions.

Suzuki Across plug-in hybrid 0-62mph, top speed and acceleration

In the past, ultra-low running costs were frequently associated with lethargic performance, but that's no longer the case in the era of the plug-in hybrid: the Across' total power output of 302bhp sees it sprint from 0-60mph in a hot-hatch-like six seconds. And if you're not trying to hit that number, the car does its utmost to stay in electric mode for as long as possible, unless you really floor the throttle.

Handling

Both the RAV4 plug-in and the Across have Toyota's 'E-Four' all-wheel-drive system as standard, so remain grippy and confidence-inspiring on damp roads. The steering is good, too, being crisp and well weighted, while the body resists roll well. Inside, the environment remains quiet whether you're in petrol or electric driving mode. Comfort has taken a hit, though, as the battery pack adds a not-insignificant 300kg to the overall weight of the car, with implications for ride quality.

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