2007 Suzuki SX4 Review

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High Gear Media Staff High Gear Media Staff  
September 10, 2006

2007 Suzuki SX4

2007 Suzuki SX4

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by Al Vinikour 

 

Inside the mysterious labyrinths of Suzuki’s headquarters, a new language has evolved. Cunning linguists tell us the SX stands for something like “sport crossover” and the “4” stands for “four seasons” — not the ritzy hotel chain, but the varied weather conditions.

 

Fully translated, the SX4 seems to mean “inexpensive, all-weather runabout,” but admittedly our command of the language is a little rusty.

 

Though it’s called a crossover, the SX4 has all the desirable attributes of a “station wagon” — you know, that ancient phrase for, um, essentially the same thing. It’s a five-door hatchback with second-row seats that tumble forward for maximum cargo-carrying. Five passengers fit in its chairs, and as long as you’re not the poor guy sitting in the middle of the second row, life is pretty good.

 

And its bottom line includes one very coveted attribute: standard all-wheel drive. Suzuki says the $14,999 SX4 is the lowest-priced all-wheel-drive vehicle sold in theUnited States .


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The engine is a 2.0-liter four churning out 143 horsepower and 136 pound feet of torque. Its chief contribution to global harmony is in fuel economy, not in speed delivery. The good news is the SX4’s EPA rating is 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway (manual) and 24/30 (automatic).

 

The five-speed manual gearbox (the four-speed automatic is available for $1000) was exceptionally smooth and clutch feel was about as natural as one can ask for — a good thing, because the good-on-paper power of the SX4 requires a good deal of shifting to make itself known. Part of the blame could go to the SX4’s heft: that standard all-wheel drive and tall body boost curb weight up to nearly 3000 pounds.

2007 Suzuki SX4

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That all-wheel-drive system, by the way, operates in three modes via a console-mounted switch. There’s a front-drive mode for maximum fuel economy on dry pavement; an Auto mode that shifts up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels; and AWD Lock mode for use in snow or mud.

 

Egalitarian and loving it

 

The body and chassis of the SX4 evolved from the non-U.S. Swift. After driving it around some of the twisty mountain roads north of San Diego I can confirm that the SX4 works well enough to handle all its available power. It was great fun putting the SX4 through its paces, and its predictable behavior made scrubbing the tires through some opulent neighborhoods an even more pleasing moment in egalitarian history.

 

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Spacious, the SX4 is as well. It’s like a mini-Element inside, with a total interior volume of 98.5 cubic feet and 54.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seat down. Head and front legroom are good, and even rear legroom is decent for adults.

 

2007 Suzuki SX4

2007 Suzuki SX4

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The instrument panel is very user-friendly. Gauges and three intuitive rings for the HVAC are easy to read. The center stack contains a standard AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with four speakers. It, and the up-level audio system on the SX4 Sport are XM Satellite Radio-capable. An iPod interface can be purchased from any of Suzuki’s network of 520 dealerships in the U.S.

 

Compact size, compact price

 

Two trim levels are offered: there’s the $14,999 SX4 and the $16,399 SX4 Sport. Standard features are listed below; an optional convenience package adds cruise control and leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls.

 

The SX4 Sport adds standard stability and traction control, SmartPass keyless entry and start system, automatic climate controls, six-disc in-dash CD changer and nine speakers (including subwoofer), silver color roof rails, and of course, fog lamps.

 

The SX4 may be compact in size — but its versatility is at least two sizes larger.


 

2007 Suzuki SX4
Base price:
$14,999
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Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 143 hp/136 lb-ft

Transmission: Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, all-wheel drive

Length x width x height: 162.8 x 69.1 x 63.2 in
Wheelbase: 98.4 in
Curb weight: 2849-2904 lb (manual); 2926-2981 lb (automatic)
Fuel economy (EPA city/hwy): 23/28 mpg (manual); 24/30 mpg (auto)
Safety equipment: Front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; daytime running lights; tire pressure monitoring system
Major standard equipment: A/C; power windows/locks/mirrors; AM/FM/CD/MP3 player
Warranty: Three years/36,000 miles; ten years/100,000 miles limited powertrain

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