📂︎ News | 🖳︎ Wayne Gorrett | 🖃︎ July 3, 2020
➤ Sales open in the autumn, estimated price £33,000.
Suzuki has revealed its ACROSS large plug-in hybrid SUV, essentially a rebadged version of the big-selling Toyota RAV4 – which is no bad thing…
Cross-brand collaborations are nothing new in the automotive industry. Several have thrived such as the Toyota Aygo/Citroen C1/Peugeot 108 trio. However, history is littered with those that didn’t do so well, namely the 124 Spider (Mazda MX-5) and Fullback (Mitsubishi L200) pick-up from Fiat and yes, even the premium marques are prone to the odd error in judgement sometimes with the Mercedes-Benz X-Class pick-up (Nissan Navara).
A recent collaboration that has the hallmarks of success is the one between Toyota and Suzuki, which has resulted in the Suzuki ACROSS, a family-size SUV that will sit atop the UK SUV range. It will rival the SEAT Ateca, Peugeot 3008, Hyundai Tucson and, of course, the Toyota RAV4.
Much to Suzuki’s advantage, the ACROSS will only come with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain. It is based on the new-generation Toyota RAV4 PHEV, which has recently been announced in Japan and will go on sale there shortly (the RAV4 self-charging hybrid is already here).
Sales of the Suzuki ACROSS will commence in autumn. An unconfirmed starting price tag will be around £33,000 and likely a two- or three-model trim grade line-up. It remains to be seen whether the Toyota RAV4 PHEV or Suzuki ACROSS PHEV will arrive on our shores first. Me, I’d put money on the ACROSS as it needs to be on sale (not necessarily on the road) before the new 2021 emission regulations. Toyota already has plenty of electrified or part-electrified models in their line-up and the RAV4 PHEV’s degree of urgency to market is somewhat less than Suzuki’s.
There are several advantages to Suzuki with this collaboration…
Suzuki quickly needs to reduce its collective emissions across its UK model portfolio in line with even tougher EU targets for 2021. Hence the likely imminent demise of the diminutive Jimny 4×4, with its 154g/km CO2 in five-speed manual guise and 198g/km CO2 when fitted with the 4-speed automatic gearbox.
UPDATE (July 8, 2020): Suzuki’s UK range to become all-hybrid as Jimny officially goes off sale. Only existing orders of Jimny 4×4 will be fulfilled. The Jimny’s fate is largely down to the adverse effect it has on the brand’s fleet average CO2 emissions. Even in most frugal manual form its CO2 rating is 154g/km – well above the 95g/km fleet average Suzuki will need to meet in 2021.
The ACROSS only emits 22g/km CO2 and fits perfectly into that new EU emissions remit and solves that particular problem in one fell swoop.
The low CO2 figure of 22g/km means the ACROSS can enter urban low-emissions zones without being charged. That figure will also appeal to company-car drivers thanks to the low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rating.
The ACROSS also solves another problem for Suzuki – the filling of its large SUV slot at the top of its current line-up with the demise of the Grand Vitara some years ago.
The ACROSS will be built on the same production lines as the RAV4 at Toyota’s facility in Japan, thus saving Suzuki millions of £ in development and production set-up costs.