Suzuki iV-4 concept (2013) at Frankfurt motor show

Published: 10 September 2013

The Suzuki iV-4 – and the production-ready SUV it previews – reveal Suzuki’s plan to marry two of the most popular recent automotive trends: customisable small cars and trendy urban compact crossovers.

What’s the Suzuki iV-4’s name all about?

A lower case ‘i’ has become a modern naming cliché thanks to Apple, but here it stands for ‘individuality – a nod to the iV-4 concept's potential for personalisation. The ‘V’ is for a far more mundane ‘Vehicle’ and the ‘4’ suffix denotes four-wheel drive.

So it’s another supermini-on-stilts variation?

In short, yes. Although the iV-4 has typically garish show car touches (a laser sensor in the roof, illuminated grille bars, 20in wheels), the production model is going to be far more sensible.

For one thing, Suzuki is targeting the lowest CO2 emissions in the compact crossover class for the production-spec iV-4. That’ll mean ousting the Clio-based Renault Captur, which coughs out as little as 95g/km when specced with the least powerful 1.5-litre diesel engine and manual gearbox.

>> Click here to read CAR’s review of the new Renault Captur

What else is unique about the Suzuki iV-4?

Unlike almost all of its road-biased competitors, the iV-4 will also make a decent stab at heading off-road. Suzuki has confirmed its new model will use the brand’s new generation of all-wheel-drive powertrain technology, titled ‘Allgrip’.

Likely to be a part-time four-wheel drive system offering best-of-both-worlds economy and roadholding, Suzuki says ‘Allgrip’ ‘will offer a combination of design and off-road performance that goes beyond a typical city SUV’.

An Evoque for the masses? We’ll find out in 2015 when the showroom-ready iV-4 lands in European showrooms.