Suzuki Across SUV plug-in hybrid revealed as part of Toyota tie-up

Suzuki has a new four-wheel drive flagship model; the Across. The hybridised family SUV — which is the first Suzuki to gain a plug-in hybrid powerplant — is the first product following a recent agreement with Toyota to collaborate on electrified vehicles. So it’ll come as no surprise that the Across is based on the current Toyota RAV4.

What are the main differences to the RAV4?

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Instantly, the Across is distinguishable when compared to the RAV4 by the Suzuki’s all-new front end which features, not surprisingly, Suzuki’s large trademark grille. There are also different front and rear bumpers, some tweaked tail lights and new LED headlamps. Also standard are 19-inch alloys, and buyers can choose from six different paint finishes: white, silver, black, red, grey and blue.

Changes to the cabin are more subtle. The overall look mirrors that of the RAV4, though the Across gets a new a multifunction steering wheel. Standard kit includes air-conditioning and the nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system lifted from the Toyota. The software supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Scattered throughout the cabin are a range of storage bins and cup holders. There’s also an electrical accessory socket fitted in the SUV’s 490-litre boot.

Standard safety equipment levels are also high on the Across, including road sign assist, lane-keeping assist, a blind-spot monitoring system and pre-collision assist. In addition, there’s also a rear cross-traffic alert system and an active cruise control system; the latter can automatically control the SUV’s throttle and braking in stop-start traffic.

Is it a new PHEV system?

Nope. As you would expect, the SUV’s electrified powertrain is carried over wholesale from the latest RAV4 plug-in hybrid. That means a 173bhp 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, a 18.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor mounted on each axle. Combined power output is unconfirmed.

What we do know is the Across has an all-electric range of 46 miles, an electric-only top speed of 84mph and emits 22g/km of CO2 on the WLTP combined cycle. The latter compares with the RAV4 PHEV’s 29g/km, so there’s the likelihood the Suzuki uses a slightly detuned variant of Toyota’s powertrain.

Suzuki has also told us the rear electric motor on the Across can vary the torque ratio between the front and rear axle to ensure better stability on slippery surfaces, as well as improving the SUV’s cornering ability.

What about driving modes and 4WD?

The Across is fitted with four driving modes: EV mode for pure-electric driving; Auto EV/HV and HV mode, which allows the petrol motor to provide occasional power boosts; and battery charger mode, which uses the petrol motor exclusively and can top-up the battery pack without the need to visit a charging station.

The Across is fitted with Suzuki’s E-Four electronic 4x4 system as standard. Torque can be split between the two axles in ratios ranging in bias from 100:0 to 20:80. According to Suzuki, this ensures “enhanced stability during take-off on slippery surfaces such as snow-covered roads, and confident handling when cornering on varying road surfaces”.

It also features a 'Trail' setting that an automatic limited-slip differential control that will manipulate the car’s differential and braking system to provide the best performance off-road and on slippery surfaces.

How much will it cost and when can I buy it?

Sales of the Across are due to start towards the autumn. As for prices, they haven’t been confirmed yet, but they’re unlikely to stray too far from the RAV4’s £33,450 basic price.

Later in the year, Suzuki will also launch its own version of the Toyota Corolla hatchback, again featuring that model's hybrid technology.