The Car Connection Suzuki SX4 Overview
The SX4 made its original debut for 2007 in very limited form, only as a five-door hatchback in SX4 crossover form. As a tall hatchback with a little more ground clearance than you'd expect, some lower body cladding standard all-wheel drive, and excellent, communicative steering, the SX4 felt almost more like a product that would sell under the Subaru brand. Although the SX4 is a bit heavy for its size and the 143-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine has just enough zip, it felt almost ready for the rally stage in some respects.
In 2008, the lineup was expanded with a front-wheel-drive, four-door sedan, called the SX4 Sport. While the sedan sure didn't look sportier than the hatch, it did carry a slightly lowered, more firmly calibrated suspension—and a lower price. Then in 2009, Suzuki rounded out the lineup by introducing an SX4 SportBack version, which paired the slightly lower, more firmly calibrated suspension of the SX4 Sport sedan with the hatchback body style that was previously only offered in Crossover form.
While the high body helps afford a feeling of space—and a great view out for those in front—the SX4's rather narrow body style makes three in back a pinch, even for kids. No matter which of these models you choose, the Suzuki SX4 feels solid and sporty, with good composure around town—though the ride can become noisy or bouncy at expressway speeds on some surfaces. The all-wheel drive system actually has an Auto mode as well as a FWD (front-wheel drive) mode for those who want to maximize fuel economy. On that matter, like the Aerio that preceded it, the SX4 doesn't deliver the fuel efficiency you might expect from such a small car.
The SX4 was already very well equipped for the price, with most items, with all models including a good sound system, keyless entry, air conditioning, power windows, and a number of other details. Options include Sirius Satellite Radio, keyless start, and a Bluetooth system that will display text messages.
For 2009, Suzuki sweetened the SX4's already good feature list by making a Garmin touch-screen navigation system—with a flip-up screen that can be easily stowed—standard on all models. Google search and real-time traffic and weather functions were later added; then for 2012, Suzuki upgraded SX4 Sedan models with four-wheel disc brakes. A new navigation system with streaming audio and USB ports is now standard on the sedan.