Searching for the perfect family friendly SUV? In this car guide, we take renowned family cars, the Suzuki S-Cross and the Kia Sportage head to head, to see how they compare on the road and in value.
The Suzuki S-Cross is on the smaller scale of the SUV market, often compared to the likes of the Kia Sportage and Nissan Qashqai, due it’s family-friendly nature and size.
The S-Cross comes with either Mild Hybrid or Full Hybrid technology, supported by a petrol engine. The Kia Sportage in comparison comes with 4 different options: petrol / diesel, mild hybrid, hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid. When sizing up two similar family cars like the S-Cross and the Sportage, you want to know all the important questions such as how much is it going to cost to run, what is it like to drive and what’s the kit like?
We compare both cars below across 6 key areas, so you can decide which one is worth your investment.
When it comes to running costs, the Kia Sportage front-wheel drive will clock up to 42.2 mpg, emitting 152 g/km. Go for the mild-hybrid version and you’ll be looking at 44.1 mpg, with CO2 emissions reduced to 146g/km. It’s safe to say fuel consumption isn’t the Kia Sportage’s greatest strength.
In comparison the Suzuki S-Cross offers a more affordable drive, with the entry model - motion mild-hybrid - claiming a WLTP combined fuel consumption of 53.2 mpg, and even the ALLGRIP four wheel drive mild hybrid option coming in at 48.7 mpg.
The emissions in the S-Cross are also considerably lower than the Kia Sportage, with the four wheel drive at 133 g/km and the cheapest hybrid at 130 g/km.
When searching for a family car, safety is going to be a top consideration. So how do the two cars stack up?
The Kia Sportage offers a suite of safety tech such as highway driving assist, blind spot collision assist, remote smart parking (which uses your car key alone to move out of parking spaces - pretty cool). Plus, depending on the car spec, safety features also include speed limit assist, 360 monitor view and a multi-collision braking system. We also liked that the Kia Sportage scored the maximum five star rating in the 2022 Euro NCAP safety tests - with an 86% child occupant rating and 87% for adult occupants.
The latest S-cross in comparison, is yet to be crash tested by Euro NCAP as of December 2022 but comes with an abundance of advanced safety equipment as standard including automated emergency braking, lane departure warning and prevention, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, 360 view camera, front and rear parking sensors and eCall - which when activated, provides the car’s exact location to emergency services.
So what is the Kia Sportage like to drive?
The Sportage offers excellent forward visibility, light steering and a smooth ride even over unpleasant terrain, due to the car’s soft suspension. It’s a steady but ultimately pretty boring car to drive. One that will get you where you want to be effortlessly, without much excitement.
And the S-cross?
Take it for a spin and you’ll experience nicely weighted steering, great visibility and good brake responsiveness. As the Kia, is it a smooth and quiet drive, taking bumps effortlessly to provide a comfortable, if excitement-free experience.
Whilst both cars offer a smooth drive, we felt the S-Cross was that little bit more comfortable and quiet in the cabin, making it our winner when it comes to drive experience.
Families take up a lot of space. Both in themselves and in the mountain of bags and belongings they seem to have with them at all times - so your new family car needs to accommodate.
The good news is that the S-Cross is one of the longest small SUVs available, offering plenty of head and leg room both in the front and back of the vehicle.
The Kia Sportage also comes with plenty of space, with the rear spacious enough to accommodate three adult passengers comfortably.
Although both cars score well on spaciousness, it was the Kia Sportage that offered that extra space in the back - potentially better for those with teenage children, making it our winner in this category.
The Suzuki S-Cross is kitted out with plenty of useful tech to bolster your drive experience. From keyless entry and start, smartphone link with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual zone auto air conditioning, parking sensors and heated front seats all as standard. Opt for the ultra model, and you’ll also enjoy a 360 view camera, 9-inch HD display and a double sliding panoramic sunroof.
For the Kia Sportage, we liked the simple menu system which was sleek and easy to use, which comes as an 8-inch touchscreen on the standard model and a panoramic feeling 12.3-inch in higher-end models. It also offers a 360 camera view, with 4 wide-angle images from cameras at the rear, front and side of the car - offering excellent visibility.
Activate terrain mode and it will automatically adjust the car drive based on the outside environment and conditions.
Whilst both cars are kitted out pretty well, we felt like the Suzuki S-Cross offered more at the standard level than the Kia Sportage, making it our tech winner.
The S-Cross line up starts from £25,499 for the mild hybrid Motion model. Move up to the full hybrid Motion model and you'll be looking at ££27,249.
The Kia Sportage in comparison starts at £27,800 for the 1.6 T-GDi model, but if you're interested in a hybrid model then you'll be looking at a starting price of £34,750.
When you consider the equipment and safety features included, even in the standard S-Cross there's not really a comparison when it comes to price and you'll find it hard to meet a rival in the family SUV market which offers the value for money you get from the S-Cross.
(NB prices are correct as at January 2023 and do not include any consumer offers or savings)
Both the Kia Sportage and the Suzuki S-Cross are great contenders for a reliable, good value and safe family SUV but for us it's the Suzuki S-Cross that takes the lead over the Sportage when it comes to value, tech, driving experience and running costs.
A tempting offer for many families in the market for their next vehicle, and one that will make the school run a breeze.