Car Reviews And

2008 Suzuki SX4 Sport Sedan


The Good :)  Hot Sporty exterior looks.  Wide wheels and sporty profile tires.  Great suspension.  Good view of exterior through large windows.  7.8 seconds to sixty. 

The Bad :(  Vehicle should be wider.  Bland interior colors.  Could use better more futuristic interior styling and central console that is higher and one single piece.  No way to open trunk at the trunk.

Engine 4Cyl 2.0 Liter

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Output 143 hp / 136 lb-ft
Top Speed 110 mph (est)
0-60 mph 7.8 sec (est.)
Weight 3,693 lbs
Price As Tested $16,995

    Suzuki’s newest compact vehicle attempts to win the hearts of the American consumer by offering a sporty ride for the boring daily commute.  Having made 35 million cars since 1955 is no small feat all while continuously posting profits every year.  Having flown under the radar for so long, Suzuki is looking to make its mark with more edgy styling and more bang for your buck.  Japan may just have another automaker growing rapidly on its hands.  

    The SX4 sport sedan model has a edger look with a road rally type styling.  Large 17-inch alloy wheels look great on this compact car.  The wedge shaped front end which rises along the waistline offers something for the eye to follow.  The angular design of the front door windows also makes for a sportier feeling when you are behind the wheel.  
    For a vehicle that offers a lot for the money and good looks as well the SX4 packs quite a punch if you count your money.  For about $2000 less than Civic or Corolla, The SX4 offers bigger 17 inch wheels, four wheel disc brakes - not the disc / drum combo found in 1990, and ABS with front and rear side curtain airbags.  A convenience package adds the necessary amount of luxuries such as a leather covered steering wheel without which the vehicle would have felt much much worse while driving.  Power outside mirrors which are heated and audio controls on the steering wheel are also included in this package.  

    The interior of the SX4 Sedan is simple and somewhat bland.  Overall the windows are large and tall with a good view all around for the driver and front passenger.  The cabin is tall but not very wide.  You are seated in a chair-like position up front and thus you do not feel enveloped because the windows are quite tall.  Black colors dominate the panels with a touch of chrome like trim around the central stack.  Parts such as door handles, the instrument cluster rings, the steering wheel trim,  and the shift knob trim are in silver plastic which would look much nicer if it were in true chrome.  Most panels look like leather but do not feel like soft leather.  Fabric is used on the door panels and seats with different colors for the inserts and the sides.  We did not like the roof material which is the old fuzzy stuff.  Things like the sun visors are a bit too soft and do not feel of high quality.  

    The steering wheel is quite thick and has a leather wrapping offered as a option.  Thank god for this wheel as without it the feeling of plastic inside would be too much.  You have plenty of controls for the stereo and cruise control here on the wheel as well.  A mute button makes it simple to get quiet in the car should your phone ring.

    On the drivers door switches for the windows and the door locks as well as the power mirrors are easy to find.  Only the drivers windows is automatic  and only for the lowering of the window.  You still have to hold your hand on the button when closing the window.  This is where cars like the German Rabbit offer some little extras that help in daily driving, such as 4 up and down automatic windows.  The window switches here also did not feel very good to the touch.  I think Suzuki can do better.  

    The climate control system is a automatic system where you can just set the temperature and forget the rest of the buttons.  It works quite nicely in automatic mode and is very quiet.  The stereo system is also easy to use and quite good.  Optional is a system with a six disc in dash CD changer and nine speakers with subwoofer.  A iPod integration kit can allow you to control your iPod through the steering wheel controls.  

    In the rear seating compartment you have a good view and seats are quite deep for adequate leg and thigh support.  Bottle holders can be found in all doors.  We thought the seats were a bit firm and lacked side bolstering.  This is a sporty car and so something should be there to make sure passengers do not fly around when the driver is taking sharp curves.  

    The trunk boasts 15 cubic feet of space, more than other segment leaders.  One thing missing was a latch on the trunk to open the trunk.  You constantly have to go to the driver’s door to open the trunk or use your key which can be quite annoying.

    If this vehicle were widened somewhat more then there would be room for all these types of things and everyone would enjoy the ride much more.  Overall the interior is somewhat bland with little color choice making it not fun enough.  Higher quality and a better design inside is what is needed to sell a lot of Suzuki SX4’s.  

    The SX4 Sport offers a 2.0 liter, 4 cylinder, 16 valve DOHC engine mated to a 4 speed automatic transmission.  

It produces 143 horsepower and 136 lb.-ft. of torque.  Most of the torque comes on at 3,500 rpm which is about midway in the rpm range of this vehicle.  The SX4’s redline is at 6200rpm.  This same engine is used in the SX4 crossover model.  A small 2 liter engine that can make this much horsepower is quite amazing and the light weight of the SX4 makes for a quick vehicle.  
    The four speed automatic transmission is smooth and you can shift down through the gears yourself.  We though the transmission could be smarter at saving on gas when driving down hills by allowing the transmission to shift to neutral.  Our tests did not reveal great gas mileage even with such a small engine.  Other makes do come out ahead, and hopefully some manufacturer will start using hydrogen injection to achieve much more fuel economy and get the hydrogen on board from water.  

    On the road and behind the wheel, body lean is still evident and perhaps a anti-sway bar is needed.  The bumps on the road are eaten up easily by using high quality KYB shocks.  Brakes are very good with short stops.  Suzuki had to forgo the folding of its rear seats in order to provide more stiffing to the overall ride.  Had they folded the vehicle would have been much more versatile in everyday use.

    Safety features that are usually optional in this price range are standard on the SX4.  Things like daytime running lights, ABS Bosch disc brakes, a tire pressure monitoring system, and six airbags are all standard.  For a small extra fee you can also add stability control.

    Our test car has a base price of $16,370.  Add to this destination and handling for $625  and you have a total price of $16,995.  On the window sticker EPA fuel economy estimates are listed at 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.  We averaged 27 to 28 even on the highway.  100% of the parts come from Japan.  The smog index shows that this vehicle is a bit higher than the average even though it is such a small engine.  

    Overall we think that the SX4 Sport should have been a vehicle that was only sold as a four wheel drive car.  After all, why give it the badge SX4 without having four wheel drive.  On recent trips to India, we saw many of these on the roads which a suspension that was higher than on our test car offering a more capable vehicle for countries with lots of potholes.  While the interior could be nicer and offer more luxury, the amount of features offered for the price is quite amazing.  Fit and finish is also very tight.  Just give us better gas mileage Suzuki. 

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Base Pricing  Sport with convenience package and Automatic   







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MSRP $16,370 $20,835 $17,155 $16,995 $17,225
Invoice $15,715 $19,728 $16,061 $15,890 $16,527
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Drivetrain 7 yr. / 100000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 10 yr. / 100000 mi. 10 yr. / 100000 mi.
Roadside 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Rust 3 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 5 yr. / 100000 mi. 7 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders inline 4 inline 5 inline 4 inline 4 inline 4
Base Engine Displacement 2.0 liters 2.5 liters 2.0 liters 2.0 liters 2.0 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
20 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Horsepower 143 hp @ 5800 rpm Being Researched 148 hp @ 6500 rpm 138 hp @ 6000 rpm 132 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 136 ft-lbs. @ 3500 rpm Being Researched 135 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 136 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 133 ft-lbs. @ 4600 rpm
Wheels alloy
17 x 6.5 in.
16 x 6.5 in.
16 x 6.5 in.
16 x 6.0 in.
16 in.
Passenger Seat Height Adjustable Not Available Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
Passenger Seat Heated Not Available Standard Not Available Not Available Optional
Rear Seat Folding Not Available split folding split folding split folding split folding
Rear Center Armrest Not Available folding with storage and pass-thru folding Not Available folding
Steering Adjustment tilt-adjustable tilt and telescopic tilt and telescopic tilt-adjustable tilt and telescopic
Traction Control Available Standard Not Available Not Available Standard
Stability Control Available Standard Not Available Not Available Standard
Turning Circle 34.8 ft. 35.8 ft. 34.1 ft. 33.3 ft. 33.9 ft.
City 23 mpg. 21 mpg. 23 mpg. 24 mpg. 25 mpg.
Highway 31 mpg. 29 mpg. 31 mpg. 32 mpg. 33 mpg.
Length 177.6 in. 179.3 in. 177.4 in. 177.6 in. 177.4 in.
Width 68.1 in. 70.1 in. 69.1 in. 68.3 in. 69.9 in.
Height 60.8 in. 57.4 in. 57.7 in. 57.9 in. 58.3 in.
Weight 2866 lbs. 3285 lbs. 2811 lbs. 2767 lbs. 2747 lbs.
Wheel Base 98.4 in. 101.5 in. 103.9 in. 102.8 in. 104.3 in.
Ground Clearance 6.3 in. 5.4 in. 4.8 in. 6.3 in. 5.9 in.
Front Shoulder Room 53.3 in. 54.8 in. 54.9 in. 55.1 in. 55.6 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 52.8 in. 53.1 in. 54 in. 53.9 in. 55.1 in.
Front Leg Room 41.4 in. 41.2 in. 41.1 in. 42.8 in. 43.5 in.
Rear Leg Room 35.9 in. 35.4 in. 36.3 in. 35.4 in. 35 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 14.3 cu.ft. 16 cu.ft. 11.5 cu.ft. 12.2 cu.ft. 14.2 cu.ft.


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