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.
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.
4Cyl 2.0 Liter
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143 hp / 136 lb-ft
110 mph (est)
7.8 sec (est.)
Price As Tested
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Our test car has a base price of $16,370. Add
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
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.
Base Pricing Sport with
convenience package and Automatic