Suzuki SX4 hatchback (2006 – ) review
Read the Suzuki SX4 hatchback car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
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Suzuki SX4 was formed from a marriage with
Fiat, which also resulted in its Italian double, the Fiat Sedici. The 2010 model changes are only apparent after close examination. The main features are a revised front bumper and new mesh-type front grille. The crossover (part 4×4, part family hatchback) credentials are supported by a bodykit which includes side protection mouldings on all but the base model, wheel arch extensions and front and rear skid plates.
The addition of digital readouts to the information display is the most significant interior change to the 2010 SX4. It’s one of a clutch of subtle but significant alterations (cushioned armrests within the door frame being another), to improve an already pleasing interior which boasts robust plastics and a quality design which belies the price.
One of the biggest developments has been to soundproof against engine noise and vibration to improve refinement. Passenger space in this four-seater is generous, as is a load area of 625 litres with the rear seats stowed. Covered boot space of 270 litres will present challenges to some buyers. The last time we drove the SX4, Deputy Editor Stuart Milne rightly pointed out the thick windscreen pillars impede visibility. This is offset to some degree by the high, and very comfortable, seating position. The tactile leather-clad steering wheel is adjustable for reach only.
Ride and handling
Our 2008 SX4 review concluded that the ride was ‘quite harsh’. Having just stepped out of another car with an arguably firm ride, the Honda Insight, I found the SX4’s pretty comfortable – it depends what you’re used to. The handling is enough to give confidence through corners and – coupled with good steering – the ability to deliver some fun.
This is where the main changes to the 2010 Suzuki SX4 are to be found. Technical revisions to the most popular engine, the 1.6-litre petrol, have resulted in a power increase to 120bhp, which can send the five-speed manual car from 0-62mph in 10.7 seconds with a top speed of 115mph. The unchanged 89bhp 1.6-litre diesel continues to deliver 0-62mph in 12.2 seconds and a top speed of 109mph. The improved petrol engine has enough poke for overtaking and is a comfortable motorway cruiser.
The SX4 provides one of the cheapest off-road options. Revisions to the manual gearbox 1.6-litre petrol engine have emissions to cut the tax bill and improve fuel economy. Average fuel consumption and C02 emissions for the 1.6 manual petrol are pegged at 143g/km, 45.6mpg. For the 1.6-litre automatic petrol they’re 165g/km and 39.2mpg, the 1.6-litre manual petrol 4×4 are 149g/km and 43.5mpg while for the 1.6-litre diesel manual they’re 129g/km and 57.6mpg.
We scored the Suzuki highly for reliability in 2008. The only technical changes since then involve improvements to the 1.6-litre petrol engine and noise suppression, so the same rules should apply.
The Suzuki SX4 scored four out of five stars for adult occupant protection in the Euro NCAP crash test programme. All models have the same level of safety kit, including driver, passenger, front, side and curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD).
The 2010 specifications have undergone a name change, so buyers now choose between SZ3, SZ4 and SZ5. SZ3 comes with body-coloured bumpers, (folding) door mirrors and handles, height-adjustable driver’s seat, rear and front electric windows, manual air-con, CD radio, audio controls on the steering wheel and tinted glass. SZ4 adds automatic air-con on the 1.6-litre petrol model, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated electric door mirrors and front fog lamps. As well as three-setting four-wheel drive capability, the SZ5 4X4 trim adds 6CD changer and rear privacy glass.
While it doesn’t do anything brilliantly, the Suzuki SX4 does a lot of things very well. It looks good inside and out and provides a winning combination of great driving position, off-road ability and supermini urban practicality. Its got all-round appeal.