When Suzuki decided to revamp its SX4 line-up, it really did a great job bringing more power, improved fuel economy, and better safety to the cars. Much like the revamped Suzuki Swift, the exterior changes were hard to detect.
The Suzuki SX4 has a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that is more powerful than its predecessor’s engine. It can deliver a maximum of 112kW at 6200 rpm, and 190Nm of torque at 4000 rpm, and will reach 100kph in around 11 seconds. While it may not be the fastest car of its size off the mark, it should be good enough for most drivers.
Suzuki also introduced a new, and quite impressive, 6-speed automatic transmission for the SX4 which has also helped improve fuel efficiency to 7.3L/100km – an 11 per cent improvement on the model it replaced. It also features a 12 per cent drop in emissions to 170g/km of CO2.
The SX4 handles well, though drivers should be wary of the speed at which they go over bumps since the car’s suspension can shake you up. While the Suzuki Swift is regarded as being a fun drive, the SX4 can feel a bit unwieldy, though not to the extent that driving it is hard work. The car’s all-wheel drive is excellent, and it offers good levels of grip on a variety of road surfaces. Acceleration is solid, but there is engine noise at higher speeds.
When the new SX4 was launched, Suzuki made it clear that safety was a major factor in its redevelopment, and that’s plain to see. The improvements over the previous model are impressive. There are 6 airbags fitted as standard, except on the entry-level 2WD hatchback, and electronic stability control is now fitted as standard as is ABS, though the manufacture hasn’t managed to improve the vehicle’s ANCAP rating of four stars for safety.
Other standard equipment on the SX4 includes power steering, remote central locking, and air-con. The S models of the SX4 feature 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, and climate control air-conditioning.
The seats could do with some extra padding for comfort, but generally the cabin is fairly spacious and well laid out. The driver’s seating position is fairly high which makes all-round vision good. Some may say that the plastic interior looks less than stellar when compared to some of the softer-feeling plastics used in competitor vehicles, such as the Ford Focus.
Another impressive addition is that Suzuki fitted an 8-speaker, MP3-compatible CD stereo to its SX4 line-up – and the S models have an extra speaker in the centre console. One big change is that the trip computer was updated, and it has more features which are useful, such as including fuel-consumption figures.
This car has rear seats that are higher than the ones in front, so those seated in the back can see out of the windscreen. Rear seat passengers won’t feel cramped like they do in smaller Suzuki cars since the SX4 has a higher roofline. In fact, four adults can be seated quite comfortably.
The SX4 range has three models with a choice of either manual or automatic transmissions and its entry model, the SX4 Hatch, features some nice levels of equipment. The automatic transmission in the SX4 is a CVT – continuous variable transmission – which means the gears work at the speed the car is going more efficiently. This also helps with fuel economy; while CVT was popular a few years ago, not many manufacturers use it now.
Anyone buying the automatic transmission in the SX4 will find a responsive car with the gears working effectively to bring speed without any noticeable clunking of gears. Indeed, many SX4 fans point to the CVT version as being the better variant as it appears to accelerate more effectively and maintain the car’s ‘sweet spot’ when running at a steady speed. While European drivers can buy an efficient diesel engine, the Australian version didn’t have that option.
Suzuki says the SX4 is aimed at couples aged between 35 to 54 who want a good all-round car for during the week and something they can use for fun adventures on the weekend. The SX4 will deliver this in spades; however, when going off road, owners should be aware of the SX4’s limitations. It can’t quite go where 4x4s like the Land Cruiser can go.
Its direct competitors are the VW Beetle or Mazda 3 – but nothing really compares since the SX4 is such an agile vehicle off road as well as on. The SX4 rivals models like the Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Golf, and Ford Focus, but only the Subaru Impreza offers all-wheel drive in a similar size car. The SX4 also has a bigger boot than the Holden Commodore. If you’re looking for a reliable, well-priced vehicle that has all-wheel drive and is affordable to run, then the Suzuki SX4 should do quite well for you.