• All-new 150 horsepower 2.0-liter drivetrain boosts performance and fuel efficiency.
• Segment-first, standard touch-screen navigation system enables exploration, real-time connectivity; SX4 retains crown as the most-affordable car in America with navigation as standard.
• Upgrades to interior enhance appearance, functionality.
• SX4 Sport beats competition in standard equipment, headroom and trunk room.
Since its introduction, Suzuki’s SX4 Crossover has established a loyal following by seamlessly blending the nimble handling of a compact five-door with the ‘adventure sport’ capability of all-wheel drive. Remaining America’s least expensive auto with all-wheel drive, the SX4 continues to capture media attention and praise. Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com has recognized the SX4 as one of its ‘Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000,’ while the New England Motor Press Association (NEMPA) awarded the SX4 with its ‘Yankee Value Award’ for three consecutive years.
More recently, Suzuki added to its menu a four-door, sport-oriented sedan, the SX4 Sport. With a lowered ride height, sport-tuned suspension and asphalt-specific rubber, the SX4 Sport continues to attract singles, couples, families and any car-shopper seeking quality, comfort and capability — minus the high cost normally associated with that combination.
With the 2009 model year boasting the addition of standard navigation — a segment first — Suzuki brings the SX4 into 2010 in an all-new guise, one combining the practicality of a five-door hatch and the neo-aggressive dynamic of a Eurocentric sport sedan. Sharing its profile — and utility — with the all-wheel-drive SX4 Crossover, the new SX4 SportBack brings to the generous greenhouse and usable two-box profile a handling dynamic fully appropriate to late braking and apex chasing.
The existing SX4 Sport sedan enters 2010 with a host of upgrades, beginning with the front fascia and extending to significant upgrades and enhancements under the hood, and numerous refinements inside. This exterior/interior update makes the SX4 Sport that much better for enjoying the enhanced driving experience.
The good news continues under the hood. Since its introduction, the SX4 has benefited from a full 2.0 liters of displacement. That capacity, a little more than 120 cubic inches, provides a competitive edge when contrasted with the bulk of the SX4’s competitive segment; there, displacements of 1.6-1.8 liters are more often the norm. With this newest iteration, Suzuki utilizes an all-new 2.0-liter engine, boasting five percent more horsepower and 4 lb.-ft. of additional torque, while delivering — in the EPA cycle — 32 (Manual) highway miles per gallon. This, in a larger 2.4-liter displacement, is the same engine architecture sported by Suzuki’s all-new Kizashi sport sedan.
As before, the 16-valve valvetrain is controlled by dual overhead cams. From the same company building the world’s fastest production motorcycle, one expects competitive performance, and this new 2.0 liter delivers: 150 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, in combination with 140 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm. Beyond the numbers are a fluid delivery, instant responsiveness and a much smaller carbon footprint than its predecessor.
Connecting the improved powerplant to the SX4 Sport’s front wheels is the choice of a six-speed manual or an all-new performance-tuned Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). With the addition of an extra cog, the SX4 driver benefits from six degrees of separation, especially when placing the Suzuki in its competitive segment. Ratios are more closely spaced, allowing the driver to stay in the sweet spot of the powerband throughout the acceleration cycle. And while the closely spaced ratios improve acceleration when merging or passing, the overdrive sixth allows for relaxed cruising at highway speeds, optimizing the driving experience while minimizing the SX4 Crossover’s thirst.
For added urban convenience, the new performance-tuned CVT optimizes — via both console-mounted gear selector and paddle shifters — both performance and efficiency, better maintaining the engine’s rpm ‘sweet spot’ over a wide range of both in-town and freeway driving.
The SX4 Sport retains MacPherson struts in the front, with a rear torsion beam in the back. Refined in Europe — and drawing from the widely acclaimed Suzuki Swift — the sport-tuned suspension offers a 10mm lower ride height than non-Sport SX4 models, KYB performance shocks and standard stabilizer bars. The combination of a wide track and large 17-inch wheels with low-profile 50-series tires optimizes the ride and handling balance, while adding to the vehicle’s dynamic personality.
Outside, Sport prospects will note a revised grille, new wheel design and revised rear spoiler. Carried over from 2009 is the expansive greenhouse, along with the generous inside space and virtually 360 degrees of visibility that go along with it. For those wanting compact exterior dimensions with an interior feel more appropriate to a much larger vehicle, the SX4 Sport is the ideal solution.
Inside, passenger comfort and convenience are addressed by an all-new upgraded instrument cluster with backlit instruments and integrated driver information center. To the driver’s right, a revised center stack includes audio system and available automatic HVAC controls, aluminum-look accents, and a four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3 and XM Satellite Radio® compatibility. Integrated Garmin navigation, made standard on the 2009 SX4, continues on the 2010 SX4 Sport — with notable enhancements: Airline arrival and departures, MSN Real Time Traffic, Bluetooth onscreen text display, movie times, news, gas prices, 3D graphics, lane guidance and Doppler weather maps. In addition, the folding rear seats expand the Sport’s already versatile dimensions, and better serve Suzuki’s activity-oriented audience. New for 2010 is a height-adjustable driver’s seat and visor extender, enhancing the driving experience — and sight lines — for an even wider range of activity-oriented consumers.
Safety technology in the SX4 Sport includes six standard airbags: driver and front passenger advanced frontal airbags; front seat-mounted side-impact airbags; and side curtain airbags designed to help provide additional protection for front and outboard rear-seat passengers. Active safety items (ones which ‘actively’ assist drivers in avoiding an accident) include daytime running lights, four-wheel disc brakes with an anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution and a tire pressure monitoring system. The available Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) with traction control works to help vehicle stability when cornering, under acceleration, during emergency maneuvers and when driving on slippery road surfaces. It is available on the SX4 Sport with Touring package.
Passive safety (features that help one survive an accident) continues with a reinforced body with front and rear crumple zones designed to help absorb impact energy and direct it away from the reinforced cabin. Front three-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners integrate force limiters. The SX4 Sport also is equipped with ISO FIX-compliant child seat anchors and the LATCH system (Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children) for all three rear seat positions. In combination, these active and passive safety features make the SX4 one of the best-equipped cars in its class when it comes to safety.
With more consumers interested in bring value to their purchase perspective, Suzuki expects the improvements to the SX4 Sport to further build on the SX4’s already broad appeal. With the addition of these enhancements, Suzuki’s volume leader looks to turn up the volume, bringing Sport to an even wider audience of sport sedan intenders.
Price this car:
MSRP: $13,359 – $19,949
Invoice: $12,825 – $19,151
Source: Suzuki Press Release