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WELCOME TO HYUNDAI’S HAPPINESS MACHINE
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Interior

What is it like on the inside?

We’ll start with the fundamentals. The ergonomics are delightfully simple, with good old physical climate controls and a manual handbrake among the highlights. The boot is decent in size, if not class leading (with 430 litres of capacity), while there’s plenty leg and headroom for adults sat in the back. Though limited headroom, at least if you’ve gone top spec and gained the panoramic folding roof. Perhaps the base car will finagle another inch or two for those over six foot.

Visibility is top notch; for all the S-Cross’s bold new look, its glasshouse hasn’t been nibbled away by wanton design frivolity. And if you’ve gone top spec, the 360-degree parking system – Suzuki’s first, no less – works at least as well (and perhaps even more intuitively) than those found in pricier rivals. It seems to suffer no lag whatsoever and each time you get in and prod the starter buton, there’s a swish ‘walkaround’ animation on the touchscreen to show any obstacles or bollards you might have parked unwittingly close to.

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Is there a ‘but’ coming?

‘Value’ is the S-Cross’s big sell, and ‘value’ is a word that springs to the fore inside. For while the cabin is jam-packed with tech and equipment – and the fundamentals are absolutely nailed – there are pernickety details where it feels a wee step behind the eleventy thousand other crossovers you could be buying. It’s the slightly wacky array of fonts and sporadic upper and lower case used across its various display screens. The lack of USB ports and air vents for rear passengers. The slightly flat seats all round.

And while standard safety kit is impressive and better than almost all its rivals (blind spot, rear cross traffic, lane departure and forward collision warning systems are all fitted, as well as traffic sign recognition) the execution isn’t always with sophistication. The lane departure buzz is barely more noticeable than the thump of the cats’ eyes you’re likely crossing, while the traffic sign alert has a habit of obscuring the digital speedometer right at the moment its readout is most useful.

All told, though, it operates right at the level you’d hope for a car whose top spec pricing nibbles away at the lower rungs of its rivals. Equipment has perhaps taken precedence over perceived quality, but that’s no disaster in what’s likely to be heroically sensible family transport.

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