Wealth of features for a very low price; standard navigation system; peppy performance; great handling and maneuverability; impressive safety, including stability control on some models; warranty
The big news for Suzuki's SX4 family of small cars is that they all get a new navigation system as standard equipment for 2009. The SX4 is the first vehicle under $16,000 to offer the feature as standard, according to Suzuki. Newly available with the navigation system is a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface, audible text messaging and real-time traffic information, along with many more information features such as gas prices and weather forecasts.
Safety is also stepped up for '09, as electronic stability control is now a standard feature on all SX4 Crossovers; however it's only offered with the top Touring Package on the SX4 Sport sedans.
Other new features for 2009 include split-folding rear seats and armrests for the driver and passenger. Also, automatic climate control, heated mirrors and fog lamps are now bundled into the Touring Package available on the Sport sedan.
The fun-to-drive SX4 is a standout among small cars on many counts and ranks by almost any assessment as a very strong value for the money. The Crossover still ranks as the lowest-priced car in the U.S. market with all-wheel drive, and now electronic stability control is also standard on it. What's more, the SX4 has a standard navigation system, at a time when navigation systems still aren't offered on most of the small cars in the SX4's price range. And as with the rest of the Suzuki line, warranty is a strong selling point in itself; coverage includes a 100,000-mile/7-year/no-deductible powertrain warranty that can be transferred to subsequent owners.
The SX4 is offered in two different body styles; the 4-door sedan is called SX4 Sport, while the 5-door hatchback is called SX4 Crossover.
All SX4 models come with a 143-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which can be paired with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. The engine has a modern all-aluminum design and returns reasonably good fuel economy figures of up to 22 mpg city, 30 highway with front-wheel drive and automatic drivetrain.
SX4 Sports have front-wheel drive, but Crossover models offer an available all-wheel-drive system that's configured for good all-weather road grip. The system includes three modes, including a 2-wheel drive mode operated in front-wheel drive only for better fuel economy and an AWD Lock mode which sends up to 50 percent of torque to the back wheels, for deep snow or low-speed slippery conditions.
The SX4 has an exterior shape that was penned with assistance from Italdesign, an Italian design house; its taller-than-typical profile allows a high seating position and very spacious interior, along with ease of entry/exit.
Both the Sport and Crossover models are a delight to drive, especially with the manual transmission, and have a peppy, responsive feel with very capable handling. The SX4 Sport has a European-tuned sport suspension--including performance shocks--that allows it to ride 0.4 inch lower than Crossovers.
The SX4 now includes electronic stability control on all Crossover models; it's also optional with the Touring Package on the Sport. Anti-lock brakes are standard on all SX4s, with 4-wheel disc brakes on the Crossover and a front disc/rear drum setup on the Sport. Both SX4s have six standard airbags, including front seat-mounted side bags and side-curtain airbags for all outboard occupants.
New this year as a standard feature is the TRIP navigation system, co-developed with Garmin and fully integrated with the audio system, with a flip-up 4.3-inch screen. With the optional Technology Package, the system gets numerous additional Microsoft-enabled features, including audible text messaging, real-time traffic, weather information, and even gas prices.
The SX4 Sport and Crossover are arguably among the best-equipped small cars in their price range and are sold in a single trim with few standalone options, though several large packages lump popular extras together and will simplify the buying process for most. The most notable one is the Technology Package, which brings a host of extras including MSN Direct, which brings the extra information services, plus Bluetooth, keyless entry, cruise control, heated mirrors, and bigger 17-inch alloy wheels. The Touring Package brings those things plus a SmartPass entry and start system, automatic climate control, and (on the Sport) electronic stability control.
Vehicle Price: 17,134.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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