2008 Suzuki SX4 Sport with TRIP – Click above for high-res image gallery For the 2009 model year, Suzuki will begin offering navigation as standard equipment on all SX4 Sport models. Starting at a buck under 16K, the new 'Zook is the cheapest car in America so equipped, and that news was very well received by the media and car shoppers alike. In fact, so positive was the response, the decision was made to begin offering the GPS navigation about six months early as part of the TRIP package. We were intrigued by the idea of a low-cost commuter car coming standard with such a desirable feature, so we decided to procure one such TRIP-equipped 2008.5 SX4 Sport for testing. Is the navigation nothing more than a gimmick to get you into a sub-standard car, or does the SX4 have more going for it than just being well equipped? Read on to find out. %Gallery-35561% Photos Copyright ©2008 Jeremy Korzeniewski / Weblogs, Inc. First thing's first, how does that TRIP (Travel, Real-time traffic, Information and Play, if you cared) navigation system work? Quite well, thank you. The unit itself is supplied by Garmin and uses Navteq mapping software and preloaded street maps, so it functions just as well as any other system available. Featuring a 4.3-inch screen, it's not the most amazing system in the world, but it's not bad and gets the job done just fine. The GPS is fully integrated with the audio system and enclosed in a pop-up bin atop the center of the dash. Added bonuses include a built-in MP3 player along with MSN Direct, which includes such useful bits as real-time traffic, weather forecasts, news reports, stock quotes, movie times, local entertainment listings and a gas station finder. We used all of these features throughout the week we had the car, and we found they all worked exactly as promised. Let's move along, shall we? The SX4 itself couldn't really be described as attractive per se, but it is definitely a useful shape. Ahead of the front A-pillars are two extra little triangular windows that look a bit funny but help conspire with the tall greenhouse and abundance of glass to make for an airy-feeling cockpit. Visibility proved beyond reproach, something that we can all appreciate in these days of fashionable slit-like windows and high belt-lines. Our car was painted a shade known as Vapor Blue Metallic, and it was universally panned by everyone who's opinion we asked. Our advice would be to choose a darker shade, as the car seems to look better in those hues. Alloy rims with P205/50R17 tires are included on the Sport model and we found them appropriately sporty-looking and feeling. More on that later. Inside, space abounds for both front-seat passengers and those relegated to the rear. A penalty box this car is not, despite its relatively short 98.4-inch wheelbase. The trunk also proved rather commodious and is rated at 15-cubic feet. For those looking for more practicality, …
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|MPG||22 City / 30 Hwy|
|Transmission||5-spd man w/OD|
|Power||143 @ 5800 rpm|
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