Comparative test. The 2022 Suzuki S-Cross challenges the Dacia Duster

The Suzuki S-Cross must live in the shadow of his little brother Vitara. Only 12 cm longer, less financially accessible and less assertive, he struggles to find a place in the sun. Despite the underwear identical to his predecessor, which appeared in 2016, this second generation available from January 2022 changes style to try to seduce. Its 4.30 m length makes it one of the largest urban SUVs, but also one of the most welcoming in the segment. The all-wheel drive available in the posh finishes allows you to off-road escapades prohibited for many rivals, but its traction version here on trial allows you to further adjust your prices.

Comparative Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid vs Dacia Duster TCE 130
The Suzuki S-Cross must face a Dacia Duster with an unbeatable price/performance ratio.

The price precisely, remains as always the strong argument of a Dacia Duster which ranks ninth among the best-selling private cars in France since the beginning of 2022. Like its rival of the day, its dimensions almost halfway between urban and compact format offer it true family aspirations. You can also get all-wheel drive on diesels, but not on their gasoline versions. Your 130 hp 1.2 TCE may not be entitled to 48 V hybridization like on Suzuki, but Dacia’s hitherto unbeatable price/performance ratio makes it particularly safe! Especially since its low cost label does not prevent it from continuing to attract attention thanks to its inimitable face. So here is the S-Cross forced to go all out!

Price Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid

Prices Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid
Until June 1, Suzuki’s discount of €3,300 allows the S-Cross to drop its minimum price from €27,090 to €23,790.

The Suzuki S-Cross is available from €27,090 in the Avantage finish. It offers driving aids (line crossing alert, adaptive cruise control or emergency braking assistance), not available in Dacia. This is still very insufficient to align with a Duster Prestige sold €5,990 less and better equipped in absolute terms (see table). The top-of-the-line Style trim (pictured) costs €30,690, an additional €9,590 compared to its rival of the day. Suffice it to say that the 48 V hybridization and the lower consumption of almost 1 l per 100 km struggle to justify the additional investment. The manufacturer’s discount of €3,300 on the entire S-Cross range up to 1Ahem June doesn’t let him catch up.

Dacia Duster TCE 130 price

Dacia Duster TCE 130 prices
Prices for the Duster TCE 130 range from €19,850 (Comfort), €21,100 (Prestige) and €22,300 (Extreme Limited Edition).

Much more affordable than its rivals, prices for the Duster TCe 130 start at €19,850 in the Comfort trim (pictured here). Given the price differences, the Prestige model billed at €21,100 is more justified here, although the price difference of €5,990 in its favor (€2,690 with the Suzuki discount) is still enormous. Despite a €330 penalty, Dacia nipped the match in the bud. Given the importance of the savings made, the owner of a Duster TCe 130 Prestige has plenty of time to indulge in certain options: GPS maps of Western Europe (€100), heated front seats (€200) or multi-view cameras (€300). .

Lead

The commanding driving position of our two SUVs is particularly appreciated in the city. The S-Cross benefits from a lower-mounted dash than its rival to improve forward visibility. Assisted by a light hybridization of 48 V, the Japanese 1.4 turbo flaunts its qualities. The low boost (10kW and 53Nm) provided by the electric assistance does not allow it to run in electric mode, but it provides incredible availability from idle. This unparalleled flexibility saves some gear changes and makes for a smoother ride. The stop & start system that cuts the engine just before stopping is more forgotten than Dacia’s already very discreet one, especially during restarts.

Template Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid
At 4.30m long, the new S-Cross retains the same dimensions as its predecessor.

With its massive dash, slightly rougher-backed upholstery, the Duster takes on a dash of ruggedness in an increasingly polished urban SUV landscape. Add a little flavor of adventure to urban developments. That doesn’t stop it from doing well there, with manageable size and lighter steering. The TCe 130 is not shown there, on the other hand, not so comfortable. Its hollow character below 2,000 rpm and its inertia when accelerating can cause some jerk when starting and changing gears. The Duster makes up for it with the exceptional damping quality of its suspension. Like its rival, it adapts to small urban bumps and flies over bumps much more easily. Plus, the 16-inch wheels on our tester seem less vulnerable to small daily abuse than the 17-inch S-Cross mounts.

When it’s time to hit the road, the mechanics of our two city SUVs are bracing enough. to keep up with weapons and luggage. Available and efficient, they take advantage of their six-speed gearboxes to reduce fuel consumption and noise levels on the road. The S-Cross deals with more pronounced rolling noise, while its rival suffers from more aerodynamic hiss. Despite slightly better performance on paper, the Japanese 1.4 looks a little less playful at high revs, but relies on its micro-hybridization to be even more restrained than a 1.3 TCe which is no longer particularly greedy. Except for a somewhat more pronounced engine brake, this famous micro-hybridization works completely transparently.

Design Dacia Duster TCE 130
The Duster still retains true seduction potential, especially in this Orange Arizona livery!

Compared to the competition, the S-Cross and Duster favor comfort over dynamism. Suzuki, however, offers a more road type, with slightly less extensive body movements. The Japanese is also a bit more agile on twisty roads, but also more precise. With its light and excessively geared steering, the Romanian rival does not offer as much feeling and exudes driving sensations that are more reminiscent of the 4×4 universe. His overbearing ESP can also cut you short when coming out of a tight corner. The Duster continues to maintain a safe behavior and highlights its excellent cushioning to erase broken coatings with incredible skill. Its off-road capabilities, far superior to those of its rivals, make it the most adventurous urban SUV. To the good listener!

To live

Despite a still slightly outdated presentation compared to genre references like the 2008 Peugeot, the interior of the S-Cross bears witness to the effort put in by Suzuki. Although foamed plastics are still scarce, the materials are quite correct and the atmosphere is much less sad than before. The other big improvement is at the interface level with a beautiful 9-inch touch screen in the high-end Style version, here in photos. The graphics are precise and the ergonomics well thought out, although the whole thing lacks a bit of responsiveness.

Dashboard Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid
Suzuki S-Cross
Dashboard Dacia Duster TCE 130
Dashboard Dacia Duster

The vibe seems infinitely more rustic when boarding the Duster. The rough-cut dashboard is unadorned, even if the three round air vents that dominate the center console brighten up the presentation. The omnipresence of hard plastics partly explains the reduced prices of the Renault group’s Low Cost brand, but the assemblies are serious. Simple ergonomics make it easy to get started, and the 8-inch touchscreen means you don’t have to get lost in a multitude of menus and sub-menus to get your bearings. The numerous USB ports in the front, as in the rear, and the smartphone replication make it sufficiently connected, unlike the outdated GPS interface.

S-Cross and Duster offer enough room on board to make it the primary vehicle for a small family. Despite a comparable width at the elbows and enough to fit three average-sized people in the rear, the Japanese takes the lead with a good few extra inches in terms of legroom. Their reclining backs make them nice, except in the middle where the upholstery seems a bit firmer than on board the Romanian. Dacia takes advantage in practical aspects with more storage.

Suzuki S-Cross rear seats
Suzuki S-Cross rear seats
Dacia Duster TCE 130 rear seats
Dacia Duster rear seats

With a volume of 430 liters, the trunk of the Suzuki is quite generous, but its shorter length does not allow it to take advantage of the 478 liters of the Dacia. On the other hand, it is more usable on a day-to-day basis thanks to a load sill lowered by almost 10 cm and a removable double bottom that allows a flat surface to be maintained once the rear seatbacks have been folded down. This is not the case of the Duster, which is made up of a step, once the bench has been folded.

Modularity Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Boosterjet Hybrid
Trunk Suzuki S-Cross
Modularity Dacia Duster TCE 130
Dacia Duster trunk.

Find the results of the Suzuki S-Cross vs Dacia Duster match, but also the technical sheets, prices, equipment and options compared on the next page.

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