Does the car in these pictures seem familiar?

Those in the know will recognise that this new model from Suzuki, the Across, bears a striking resemblance to that stalwart of the Toyota SUV range, the Rav4.

That’s because this Suzuki is the first to be launched under a collaboration agreement between the two companies.

So what you get is, in effect, a Rav4 with a different front end and some interior Suzuki touches such as the steering wheel.

Suzuki is heading into new territory with this partnership in more ways than one.

For starters, it comes with a price tag of £45,599 – easily the most expensive in the Suzuki range.

It is also Suzuki’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle, combining the power output of two electric motors and a 2.5-litre petrol engine to produce 306bhp.

It has quite a few things going for it, too. The electric vehicle range is a best-in-class 46 miles, the combined C02 emissions are also class-leading at 22g/km and the company car liability is the lowest.

On top of that it is virtually the fastest sprinter, shooting from 0 to 62mph in a very impressive 6.0 seconds – compared with a 9.2 seconds time for the equivalent Ford Kuga and 10.5 seconds for the Mitsubishi Outlander - and it rides on a proven four-wheel drive system.

There’s only one high specification model available and it includes leather heated front and rear seats, dual zone automatic air conditioning, electronic tailgate, keyless entry and start, bi-beam projector lights that combine low and high beams, 19-inch alloy wheels and a whopping nine-inch multimedia touchscreen.

There are four drive modes to choose from – default EV, auto EV, HV and battery charger – with the EV mode being all you need if you are driving around the city and you have enough charge in the lithium-ion battery.

The automatic drive mode lets the car decide whether electric or petrol power is needed on your journey, but as a rule of thumb the petrol engine will kick in when higher revs or speed is needed. And the battery charger mode can use the petrol engine to top up the battery charge.

The claimed 282mpg combined economy figure is quite frankly ridiculous unless you intend to just potter around town in electric mode.

You will not be disappointed by the interior of the Across. There’s a general feeling of plushness, highlighted by the rather super heated and electric leather seats, loads of storage space, a 490-litre boot that will accommodate large amounts of luggage and ample leg and head room for rear seat passengers.

And there is no skimping on the safety and technology features either. You get a pre-collision system to help with braking, cruise control, road sign assist, blind spot monitoring, rear crossing traffic alert, an emergency call system and kick operation for the tailgate. Bizarrely, there is no satellite navigation, even though a map feature is included on the menu of the nine-inch touch screen.

Suzuki and Toyota both have credentials when it comes to 4x4 systems, so it comes as no surprise that the Across is equipped with an electronic system that not only gives off-road performance but also improves stability in adverse road conditions. There’s even a trail mode that is an automated slip differential system to ensure grip on slippery surfaces.

Overall, this is an excellent car, but it comes with a hefty price tag and buyers may well be torn between this and the Toyota equivalent.

In more ways than one, this is uncharted territory for Suzuki.

The lowdown:

Suzuki Across

Price: £45,599

Engine: 2.5-litre petrol engine and 134kW electric motor producing 306bhp

Transmission: E-CVT automatic driving all wheels

Performance: 0 to 62mph in 6.0 seconds; top speed 112mph

Economy: 282mpg combined (official); electric vehicle range 46.6 miles

CO2 emissions: 22g/km

Star ratings:

Performance: ****

Economy: ****

Ride/Handling: ****

Space/Practicality: ****

Equipment: ***

Security/Safety: *****

Value For Money: ***