CROSSOVER Review: Suzuki, who builds really
fine small SUVs, has been trying to break into the car market for a
while now, but their products, although good, just have not caught fire
with the car buying public. For 2008 Suzuki is trying another approach,
a small vehicle, the SX4, available as either the SX4 Crossover or the
SX4 Sport sedan.
I recently tested a SX4 Crossover. Crossovers are
hot right now. Crossovers are a blend of mini-vans, station wagons, and
SUVs. They come in a variety of sizes. Most are built on car platforms
like their mini-van brethren.
The things I liked about the SX4 Crossover were the
size, easy to park and easy drive in traffic; the upright seating, four
will fit very comfortably, five are okay; the looks; and the
sure-footedness of the optional AWD system.
The SX4 Crossover is a relatively small car at just
over 13.5 feet in length, which is just slightly longer than the Honda
Fit. Although it is relatively narrow at 69.1 inches, it does not have
the pinched look of the departed Suzuki Aerio.
SX4s are equipped with a DOHC, 16-valve, 2.0-liter,
143 hp, four-cylinder engine, which gives it a power edge in this class.
It does come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, and a 4-speed
automatic is optional.
Front-wheel-drive is standard but every SX4
Crossover is available with what Suzuki calls a "3-Mode Intelligent
All-Wheel-Drive" system. This system allows you to select 2WD (front
wheels), AWD (the system transfers power to the needed wheels), or 4WD
for the really tough going.
The SX4 Crossover has a sassy look to it, a look
that says, "I'm fun!" Although the Crossover and the Sport share the
same overall style, somehow the Crossover looks like the mischievous kid
brother, the one you cannot help but smile at, even after he has hit you
with a water balloon.
The SX4 Crossover is available in three trim
levels, Base, Convenience, and Touring. And every SX4 Crossover is well
equipped with air bags galore, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, 16-inch
aluminum wheels, 50/50 split tumble and fold rear seat, roof rails, and
a good sound system. The Convenience package adds, well, more
convenience items, and the Touring package adds even more convenience
Handling is to be as expected, nimble. The small
overall size coupled with the big wheels and tires (P205/60R16), as well
as the AWD system, help keep the SX4 Crossover firmly planted. No, it is
no sports car, but dry, wet, or snowy roads will not faze it. The SX4 is
not an off-road vehicle. It is a road vehicle that is ready for the
nasty stuff life may throw in your way.
The downside with the SX4 Crossover is limited
cargo space with the back seats up, at only 16 cubic feet and very
little depth from hatch to seatback. If you take the SX4 Crossover on a
ski trip with three friends, be prepared to put more than your skis on
Many people will look at the SX4 and think "economy
car" but they would be wrong. If you are looking for a super frugal
commuter, this is not it. The fuel economy is good, but not great, at
21-city / 28-highway. This in part can be blamed on a relatively high
weight (2,855 lbs with manual transmission and 2,932 lbs with the
automatic trans). Do not get me wrong, 28-mpg is decent economy, just
not in super commuter territory.
But the big plus is in the pricing. The lowest
price SX4 Crossover lists for only $14,270 plus $625 freight, and the
highest price is just $15,870 plus freight. The AWD system adds only
$500. Clicking every option box could run the price up to $25,000, which
puts the SX4 Crossover in with some stiff competition.
Suzuki does not have the most extensive dealer
network available, but if you go to
www.suzukiauto.com you can find a dealer close to you, and price out
your very own 2008 Suzuki SX4 Crossover.
Suzuki has built a reputation for toughness with
their original Samurai, and I have heard nothing that makes me think
that reputation has changed. Maybe that is one of the reasons they can
offer what they say is "America's #1 Warranty”.
Hotchkiss © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Suzuki Home Page
Byline: CROSSOVER Review provided by Tony Leopardo ©
Column Name: Crossovers are hot right now
Topic: The 2008 Suzuki SX4 Crossover
Word Count: 776
Photo Caption: The 2008 Suzuki SX4 Crossover
Photo Credits: Suzuki SX4 Internet Media
Series #: 2008 - 13
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2008 Suzuki SX4
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2008 Suzuki SX4