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Easy Buying Guide to SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) in Singapore - Which SUV is right for me?

Sport Utility Vehicles, or SUVs, have gained immense popularity among car buyers in Singapore who seek practical and versatile vehicles. While there is a plethora of car types in the market, SUVs stand out for their rugged exterior look and design, elevated ride height, which offers greater all-around visibility, and spacious interiors, making them ideal for families as well as individuals leading an active lifestyle.

In Suzuki, the two notable SUVs are the Suzuki S-Cross and the Suzuki Jimny. These models bring out their own unique characteristics to the SUV market. Before considering purchasing an SUV in Singapore, here are some key factors to keep in mind before making your decision.

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1. Car Size and Dimensions

SUVs in Singapore vary widely in size, ranging from compact models, like the Suzuki Jimny and S-Cross to larger and more spacious options. Since they do not adhere to strict size categories, – one have many options. In general, most SUVs feature a standard two-box shape design, often equipped with two or four passenger doors and a rear opening hatch to access the boot area.

A compact SUV is designed to provide the convenience and comfort of a traditional SUV while maintaining a compact footprint, making it ideal for urban dwellers and adventurous road-trippers alike, such as the Suzuki Jimny. It offers ease of manoeuvrability without compromising on style and functionality. Compact SUVs are an excellent choice for individuals seeking their first SUV or a more budget-friendly option. These vehicles are often placed in Category A of COE with cheaper road taxes, making them an attractive option for those looking to explore the SUV segment without breaking the bank.

If you need a larger vehicle, a mid or large-sized SUV would be a better choice. These SUVs offer generous boot space and ample leg room, making them perfect for families or those who require more interior space. Consider Suzuki’s S-Cross, a midsize SUV that provides plenty of room for both passengers and cargo. It's worth noting that these SUVs often come with a higher price tag and COE. However, the Suzuki S-Cross stands out by being a spacious mid-sized SUV that falls into the Category A of COE.

If you mostly drive around in the city, and do not ferry large groups of people regularly, then a small or compact SUV would probably be ideal.

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2. Car Seating and Boot Space

SUVs, in general are built to comfortably seat at least five passengers, including the driver. Though less common, SUVs also come with the option of offering 7-seats, which can be useful if you need to accommodate slightly more people on occasion, and such 7-seater SUVs can be considered an alternative to a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV).

As SUVs come in many different sizes , the actual interior room and boot space can differ significantly between different SUV models. For instance, the Suzuki Jimny, is a compact SUV offering a generous boot space of 830L when the rear seats are folded down with only two occupants including the driver while the Suzuki S-Cross provides more interior space, making it well-suited for families or those who require extra room for luggage, offering up to 440L capacity with a total of five occupants, including the driver.

In terms of accessibility, an SUV typically has a higher ground clearance so it’s wise to evaluate how easy it is to step in and out of the vehicle especially when you have elderlies on board. The Suzuki S-Cross offers a comfortable ground clearance of 175mm, making it easy for even senior passengers to board. On the other hand, the Suzuki Jimny’s ground clearance is 210mm which provides enough height to tackle even the toughest terrain. Both offer user-friendly accessibility and smart use of interior space, making them practical choices for various lifestyles and needs in Singapore.

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3. Drivability and Safety

It is essential to consider both driveability and safety aspects to make an informed decision when you’re in the market for an SUV. The Suzuki Jimny and Suzuki S-Cross provide unique driving experiences and robust safety features.

SUVs offer a distinct advantage in terms of driving positions. The Suzuki Jimny and Suzuki S-Cross sit higher off the ground compared to regular cars, providing drivers with an elevated vantage point that enhances visibility on the road and makes manoeuvring through traffic more comfortable. Although there might be instances where sudden manoeuvres occur, both the Suzuki Jimny and Suzuki S-Cross are equipped with an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP®) that helps keep the vehicle stable in challenging driving conditions, enhancing your control and safety, providing peace of mind on the road.

Rugged SUVs like the Suzuki Jimny are sometimes called 4x4s and come with AWD as standard. These SUVs are designed for off-road use and typically come with larger wheels and higher ground clearance. While higher ground clearance enhances off-road capabilities, it's essential to evaluate whether it might pose challenges when navigating car parks with lower height restrictions. Parking an SUV might be a concern for some, especially when parallel parking, due to the taller height and body build; however, modern SUVs like the Suzuki S-Cross come equipped with a 360° view camera, giving you visibility of your surroundings while driving or parking. Suzuki's Jimny also comes equipped with reverse cameras to improve visibility when manoeuvring, ensuring a stress-free driving experience in various situations.

Making safety the top priority when driving is essential. Both the Suzuki Jimny and S-Cross offer comprehensive safety features to keep both the driver and passengers safe. These features include Dual Sensor Brake Support (DSBS), which enables automatic emergency braking to prevent or mitigate collisions, and lane departure warning, which alerts the driver if the vehicle has strayed out of its lane. Effective safety features are crucial in ensuring the safety of yourself and your loved ones on the road, and it is important to take a test drive to determine whether the vehicle is suitable for you.

4. Fuel Efficiency

When it comes to fuel efficiency, it is essential to understand that SUVs by nature tend to be larger and heavier as compared to other vehicles like sedans or hatchbacks. SUVs typically have designs that are less aerodynamic than their sleeker sedan counterparts. As a rule of thumb, an SUV can be 15-30% less fuel-efficient than an equivalent sedan with a similar size and engine. However, do note that fuel efficiency is influenced by various factors such as engine type, power output and overall weight of the car.

These days, there are also hybrid and electric-powered SUVs that can deliver outstanding efficiency, so they are worth considering if efficiency and eco-friendliness are a priority for you.

As a benchmark, an average fuel consumption figure of around 12km/L would be considered above average for an SUV. The Suzuki S-Cross achieves 17.5km/L outperforming certain non-hybrid sedans whereas the Suzuki Jimny hits 14.4km/L. Both stand out as practical options that you should consider. The Suzuki S-Cross with its versatile range of engines including the Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki (SHVS) offers a well-rounded solution for those seeking a balance between performance and fuel economy. Its hybrid technology not only enhances efficiency but also reduces emissions, making it a responsible choice for eco-conscious drivers.

On the other hand, the Suzuki Jimny adopts a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine that is designed with adventure and fuel efficiency in mind. Its compact size and lightweight design contribute to its efficient nature, ensuring that adventurers can go the extra mile without breaking the bank at the fuel pump.

Whether you opt for Suzuki S-Cross’s hybrid efficiency or Suzuki Jimny's impressive mileage, both models provide fuel-efficient solutions tailored to your driving needs, proving that you do not have to sacrifice economy for utility.

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5. Lifestyle features

It is important to factor in the practical features to enhance your daily adventures whether you’re in the market for a family car or one tailored to your active lifestyle. Some key features such as versatile and sufficient cargo space help to ensure your SUV complements your active and dynamic way of life.

The Suzuki S-Cross presents a well-appointed boot with ample storage space. You will find spacious legroom and reclinable 60:40 split rear seats, making long-distance traveling more relaxing and enjoyable. Additionally, the S-Cross models come equipped with cleverly designed spaces such as the overhead console to keep the interior clutter-free and organized. If you're seeking a vehicle for your active lifestyle, both the Suzuki Jimny and Suzuki S-Cross offer practical features to cater to your needs. Roof racks on these models can provide a convenient solution for transporting items such as bicycles, making them ideal companions for outdoor enthusiasts.

Whether you’re prioritising family-friendly convenience or seeking adventure-ready functionality, the Suzuki Jimny and Suzuki S-Cross cater to a wide range of lifestyles with their thoughtful features and design, ensuring that you’re well-equipped for your next journey whether it’s a family outing or an outdoor escapade.