Mistaken identity: Suzuki's new SUV is a Toyota RAV4 with a different face
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As the motoring world deals with the struggle of making cars more tech-filled but also cheaper to produce, more and more manufacturers are leaning on forging badge-engineering agreements with each other. Among the most subtle of these is the unification between Japanese marques Toyota and Suzuki.
But, that's set to change. Suzuki has just unveiled a new SUV for the European market. It's called the Across, and it's based heavily on the Toyota RAV4. Apart from a Suzuki-fied front fascia and wheels, almost everything about it is based on the current RAV4.
Although, admittedly, there's a little more to the SUV than just a re-styled front snout. But only a little.
The most interesting thing from a Kiwi perspective is that the Across is a plug-in hybrid exclusively. That might sound a little foreign to us Kiwis, given that no plug-in RAV4 is offered on our shores. But, plug-in hybrid RAV4s are a common sight in other markets.
The all-wheel drive 2.5-litre petrol hybrid powertrain is the same as that found in the RAV4 plug-in. The petrol engine makes 129kW of power, and is mated to two electric motors and a 18.1kWh battery pack.
The two motors make 134kW (front) and 40kW (rear), respectively. Suzuki says that the Across will be able to complete 75km of travel on electric power alone.
To make it a dab hand off-road (we're thinking more beaches and gravel trails, and not steep craggy inclines), there's a Trail drive mode. Similar to the version found in the RAV4, it imitates a limited-slip differential by applying brakes and throttle according to what wheels need them.
Like the RAV4 it comes with pretty much every piece of safety tech under the sun. Things like lane-tracing assist, radar cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, and more all come as standard. And all of it is controlled via a cabin that's basically identical to that of a RAV4.
While New Zealand isn't going to be getting the Suzuki Across (a plug-in RAV4 would be an interesting addition down here, mind you...), it is getting a hybrid Suzuki sooner rather than later. The electrified version of the Swift is on its way, primed and ready to take on the Toyota Yaris hybrid.