TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the new Suzuki SX4 in order to give you an expert opinion. TheCarConnection.com has also researched road tests and firsthand reviews of the new 2009 Suzuki SX4 to produce this conclusive assessment.
Suzuki claims that the SX4 is the best priced Crossover with all-wheel-drive and for 2009 Suzuki sweetened the deal by including a touch-screen navigation system as standard equipment.
The Suzuki SX4 is available as a sedan as well as a Crossover version. Suzuki's Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive (I-AWD) system is standard on the Crossover and optional on the sedan Sport. Both versions come standard with a 143-horsepower version of Suzuki's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, with a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.
The SX4 doesn't take well to enthusiastic driving, when its engine gets boomy and the body leans a fair amount. The 2009 Suzuki SX4 comes across as smooth and zippy in normal, relaxed driving, with enough torque from the engine to feel responsive with either transmission, though the manual gearbox seems especially sporty. Wind noise is notably absent, too. But fuel economy remains a weak point. With the more economical front-wheel-drive sedan, it's still only rated at 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway—not much better than a mid-size sedan.
The 2009 Suzuki SX4 offers a spacious and well-designed interior. The instrument panel is styled simply but attractively, and materials look and feel like those of more expensive vehicles. The seating design is especially nice and upright, and the seats are better and better bolstered than those of rival inexpensive cars. In back, theater-style elevated seating allows more legroom and a less claustrophobic feeling.
The newly standard navigation system is supplied by Garmin and called the TRIP (Travel, Real-time traffic, Information and Play). The unit features a removable, flip-up 4.3-inch touch screen display, is preloaded with mapping software with millions of hotels, restaurants, gasoline stations, ATMs, etc. and is fully integrated into the SX4’s audio system. An optional upgraded TRIP system includes Bluetooth hands-free calling, on-screen and audible text messaging plus other features.