2007 SX4 New Car Test Drive
If you like the tall look of many modern small cars you'll love the lines of the all-new 2007 Suzuki SX4. From the side its profile has an uncanny resemblance to the latest Mercedes-Benz ML-Class SUV. That's not bad considering the ML has a much sleeker look to it than other more blunt-nosed SUVs.
It seems strange to talk about the SX4 in the same breath as an SUV, but it is exactly how Suzuki describes it in the U.S. To be fair it describes it as a crossover, which is accurate in that it has a tailgate, fold down rear seats for added cargo space and all-wheel-drive. In Europe, where the car was designed and has been well received, it's described as a hatchback. Nothing wrong with that in Europe where hatchbacks are considered smart and practical.
One of the most unusual design cues is the unusually large quarter panel in the front door windows. Another is the wraparound glass at the rear behind the C-pillars, which are placed well forward of the tailgate. These design features give the car a distinct look.
The SX4 has a large windshield that slopes down to a hood that has a nicely curved front edge that wraps around the large one-piece headlight/turn signal units which are in turn nicely integrated into the sheetmetal. The curve of bodywork from the front of the distinctive front fenders extends down to the lower lip of the front bumper with its large air intake.
All in all, we found the design of the SX4 to be very pleasing. It does not look too small and despite its high roof line it has a sleek and modern stance.
The Suzuki SX4 is more a utility vehicle than an ordinary sedan, so we were particularly interested in the back end of the cabin. The specifications say there is only 10 cubic feet of luggage space with the back seats in place it seems much larger primarily because it is fully useable with little intrusion from the wheelwells. The wide track and low mounted rear suspension components allow for a flat floor.
Tip the 60/40 split rear seats up all the way and there's a generous 38 cubic feet of cargo space, with a flat floor all the way to the hinges on the front underside edge of the seat bottoms. Getting stuff in and out is a breeze thanks to a full-width one-piece tailgate.
Considering the overall size of the car, rear-seat leg room is pretty good, more than sufficient for a six-footer. Put in perspective it's the same as in the much larger Mercedes-Benz E-Class but not quite as generous as in the similar size Nissan Versa. Ingress and egress is fine as the rear wheels are so near the rear end that the wheelwell does not intrude much.
Moving to the front you'll find a pleasant cockpit with well placed climate control knobs mounted high up, just below the sound system, which is on a level with the center of the steering wheel. No gimmicks; everything is well placed and the brushed aluminum trim seems to be well finished. The car has decent cupholders and large map pockets in the front and rear doors.
Three gauges fill the instrument pod, located in front of the steering wheel. Again no gimmicky central mounted pod like you will find in the Toyota Yaris. The large speedometer is mounted in the central position slightly overlapping the smaller tachometer.