2008 SX4 New Car Test Drive
The Suzuki SX4 was launched as an all-new hatchback for 2007. For 2008, a four-door sedan version called the SX4 Sport has joined the lineup. The SX4 hatchback, now called the SX4 Crossover, uses all-wheel drive, while the SX4 Sport has front-wheel drive. Both are motivated by a 143-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
The SX4 Crossover offers cargo versatility and looks like a cute mini-SUV. It's good for all seasons as it comes standard with all-wheel drive for effective all-weather capability. The Crossover is a reasonably sporty hatchback when equipped with a manual transmission, but it's also available with an automatic.
The SX4 Sport is sportier yet, with sharper steering and more nimble handling. However, the ride may be too stiff for some drivers.
Both SX4 versions offer pleasant cabins with controls that are easy to use and interior materials appropriate for the price. The front seats are spacious.
The rear seat in the hatchback is roomy but the back seat in the sedan is cramped for tall riders. The sedan has a large trunk, but the back seat doesn't fold.
Both body styles are keenly priced, making them worthy candidates for shoppers looking for small cars that are more than just basic transportation.
The Crossover is the lowest-priced new car in America with all-wheel drive, making this hatchback an excellent choice for budget-minded buyers who drive in snowy areas. The SX4 Crossover's all-wheel-drive system is meant mostly for on-road use, but it does have a locking feature that sends 30 to 50 percent of the available power to the rear wheels, giving it some off-road capability and better traction in deeper snow.
The 2008 Suzuki SX4 comes in two body styles, the SX4 Sport ($14,770) four-door sedan and the SX4 Crossover ($15,270) four-door hatchback. A 143-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder is the only engine. It comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission or and optional four-speed automatic ($1,100).
Standard features for SX4 Sport include cloth upholstery; air conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with four speakers; tilt steering wheel; and P205/50R17 all-season tires on alloy wheels.
The SX4 Crossover adds all-wheel drive, 60/40 split folding rear seats and roof rails. The Crossover is fitted with P205/60R16 all-season tires on 16-inch alloy wheels.
Options include a Convenience Package ($500) with cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls. The Touring Package for the Crossover ($1,600) and Sport ($1,500) includes the Convenience Package items plus antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, traction control, electronic stability control, SmartPass keyless starting, automatic climate control, four tweeters and a subwoofer, sport pedals (Sport only), fog lamps, heated outside mirrors and a rear spoiler.
Safety features include six airbags: front driver and passenger airbags, torso-protecting driver and passenger side-impact airbags and head-protecting side curtain airbags, all standard. Also standard are a tire-pressure monitor and LATCH child seat anchors. As mentioned, four-wheel ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, traction control, and antiskid control are optional, therefore we strongly recommend opting for the Touring Package. All-wheel drive is also an excellent safety feature.
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