2009 SX4 New Car Test Drive
The Suzuki SX4 offers a lot of compact car for the money. The SX4 lineup features a four-door sedan and a four-door hatchback. All Suzuki SX4 models are powered by a 143-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available on the hatchback.
All-wheel drive makes the SX4 an excellent choice for drivers who want an inexpensive car with all-weather capability. The all-wheel-drive system has a locking feature that sends 30 percent to 50 percent of the available power to the rear wheels, giving it better traction in snow and on unpaved roads. All-wheel drive is also beneficial in the rain or anytime it's slippery, even on dry pavement in some situations.
The hatchback is called the Crossover. The Crossover offers cargo versatility and looks like a cute mini-SUV.
The sedan offers responsive handling and packs worthwhile features into a tidy package. Using front-wheel drive, the sedan achieves 23/31 mpg with the automatic and 22/30 mpg with the manual transmission.
For 2009, the biggest news is the inclusion of a navigation system as standard equipment, unusual for this class. The 2009 models get more features than before, including electronic stability control with traction control for the hatchback and a split-folding rear seat as standard equipment on all models. The SX4 Crossover was first launched as a 2007 model; the sedan joined the hatch for 2008.
The Sport sedan features a sport-tuned suspension and wider, lower-profile tires on alloy wheels. We found the Sport offers sharper steering and more nimble handling, though the ride may be stiff for some drivers.
All Suzuki SX4 models 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. The back seat in the sedan is cramped for tall riders, but it has a large trunk. All models are keenly priced, making them worthy candidates for shoppers looking for small cars that are more than just basic transportation.
The 2009 Suzuki SX4 lineup comes in sedan and Crossover hatchback versions, each with a 143-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available for the hatchback.
The SX4 sedan ($13,299) comes with cloth upholstery, tilt steering wheel, anti-lock brakes, P195/65R15 tires on steel wheels, and a five-speed manual transmission. The LE ($14,689) adds air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, and power windows, door locks, and mirrors. The LE is also available with a four-speed automatic ($15,789).
The Sport ($15,739) features a sport-tuned suspension with P205/50R17 all-season tires on 17-inch alloy wheels; it's available with the automatic ($16,839).
The Crossover hatchback features 60/40 split folding rear seats, and roof rails. The Crossover comes standard with P205/60R16 all-season tires on 16-inch alloy wheels. The Crossover comes with front-wheel drive ($15,939) or all-wheel drive ($16,439). It comes with a choice of manual or automatic.
The Touring sedan ($17,539) and Touring Crossover ($18,539) add automatic climate control, SmartPass keyless entry and start, a nine-speaker sound system and electronic stability control with traction control.
Options include the LE Popular Package ($450), which includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, and remote keyless entry. The Sport Technology Package ($800) adds front fog lamps, real-time traffic information, Bluetooth wireless hands-free connectivity for cell phones, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and cruise control.
For the SX4 Crossover the Technology Package ($XX,XXX) includes real-time traffic information, Bluetooth, cruise control, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The SX4 Crossover Technology Package ($XX,XXX) adds front fog lamps, rear spoiler, heated outside mirrors, automatic climate control, heated front seats, SmartPass keyless entry and start, and the nine-speaker sound system. 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. Electronic stability control with traction control is standard on all versions of the SX4 Crossover, and all-wheel drive is also an excellent safety feature.