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  • Pricing, fuel consumption, versatility, CVT.
  • Manual variant, boot space.

6 / 10

Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test
Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test

Suzuki has refined its already impressive SX4.

Model Tested:

  • 2010 Suzuki SX4 Hatch 2WD; 2.0-litre four-cylinder; six-speed manual: $20,490
  • 2010 Suzuki SX4 Hatch AWD; 2.0-litre four-cylinder; CVT: $25,690


  • SX4 AWD – CVT: $2,000

CarAdvice Rating:

Spending two weeks in two Suzuki SX4s wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, considering Easter was in the middle of the loans and that meant hauling the car-laden family across the state to see relatives.

It didn’t take long before my fears were banished and I realised how much of an improvement the revised SX4 is over its predecessor.

My first tenure was in the automatic SX4. The four-speed automatic has been ditched for a clever and very functional Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT’s infinite gear ratio configuration means that power is available almost instantly at any point during acceleration.

Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test
Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test
Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test
Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test

The strength of the SX4’s engine is proportional to its revolutions. When power is required, a quick stab of the throttle has the engine revolutions jump into the higher end of the rev range and instant torque is on hand. This was the SX4’s main downside prior to the upgrade, especially when it came to large hills and overtaking.

Subtle exterior and interior changes give the SX4 a fresh look. Despite its current stint on the market, the SX4 is still a handsome looking vehicle. The design is unisex and won’t have guys discounted as gals at first glance.

All-wheel-drive SX4 variants pick up plastic wheel arch guards in addition to alloy wheels for the top spec model.

Inside the cabin you will find Suzuki’s modest, yet functional layout of instruments. The easy to use and find-at-a-glance controls make doing things while on the move an easy task. A great sound system with a 9-speaker CD-player will win over audio-philes, in addition to the auxiliary input jack as standard fitment across the range.

Rear leg room is very reasonable for a car of this size. I carted around four adults on drives of no more than two hours with few complaints. Head room in both the front and rear is exceptional, with a high roofline aiding entry and egress.

The driving position is commanding, but still quite sporty at the same time. The driver sits low to the ground, but has exceptional visibility out the front, rear and sides.

Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test
Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test
Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test
Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test

The suspension has been tuned for comfort, working to soak up bumps in the road and the types of B-grade gravel roads you would expect in rural areas.

Braking is taken care of by four wheel disc brakes that offer progressive brake feel and plenty of feedback through the pedal.

While the four-wheel-drive system in the SX4 won’t transform the small Suzuki into a rock-hopper, it helps in situations where traction is limited and assistance is required to traverse slippery surfaces.

During the SX4 launch, we had the chance to drive up a damp grass hill that was impossible to climb in two-wheel-drive mode. When switched to the automatic slip sensing four-wheel-drive mode, the system engages the rear axle by virtue of an automatic clutch, allowing up to 50% of the available torque to reach the rear wheels.

Where the automatic SX4 felt lively and sporty, the two-wheel-drive manual variant we tested felt lethargic and gutless in comparison. The CVT reaps the most out of the SX4’s four-cylinder engine, where the manual variant feels as though it is constantly being worked to achieve results.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a sixth gear though as most vehicles in this segment feature five-speed manual gearboxes. The main advantage of the sixth gear is a reduction in fuel consumption in comparison to the CVT (7.3L/100km vs 7.6L/100km respectively).

Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test
Suzuki SX4 Review & Road Test

Under the bonnet lives Suzuki’s revised 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine. It produces 112kW and 190Nm of torque. While the two-wheel-drive only models consume 7.3L/100km and 7.6L/100km respectively for the manual and CVT.Tthe four-wheel-drive models jump to 7.6L/100km and 8.0L/100km respectively for the manual and CVT. The increase in fuel consumption is due to the added weight of the four-wheel-drive components.

Manufacturer list pricing starts at $20,490 for the front-wheel-drive SX4 tested and ends at $25,690 for the automatic four-wheel-drive SX4 model also tested.

Standard features include: Front and rear electric windows, central locking, power steering, air conditioning, trip computer, MP3 compatible CD-player with 8 speakers, auxiliary input jack, front SRS airbags, engine immobiliser and Electronic Stability Control.

The S model picks up: Leather wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry and start, cruise control, automatic climate control, MP3 compatible CD-player with 9 speakers, fog lights, side airbags, curtain airbags and traction control.

While the Suzuki SX4 doesn’t have the cachet of a Mini Cooper or brand image of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class, it does offer genuine and honest motoring at a reasonable price.

The four-wheel-drive variant also gives owners the ability to spend a weekend away camping and not have to worry about ground clearance or getting bogged in mild off-road terrain.

The Suzuki SX4 is the best of both worlds and is a car worth test driving if you’re in the market for a compact run-about that will last for years to come.


CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:

    *Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer and does not include dealer delivery, on-road or statutory charges.

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    • Jazrod

      It’s a shame Australia never got the fully revised exterior changes and only ‘under-the-hood’ enhancements…

      • Hung Lower

        What other exterior changes did we miss out on? A slightly different grille and wheels is pretty lame of Suzuki!

      • jojo

        I like it…It’s sensible cost effective motoring. The only competitor which comes to mind would be the Nissan Dualis.

    • http://caradvice OSU811

      good small/medium cars, just kind of lost in the ultra
      competitive, lots to choose from 2.0l segment!!
      arguably a much better car than the 1.8l corolla with an outdated 4sp auto and similar in price!!

    • Marc

      I just don’t get this car. Why?

      • davie

        I quite like this car. Its the sort of car someone who owns a subaru might buy if they find the forester too big. A good hatch/wagon hybrid.

        Subaru used to sell the impreza RV. This Suzuki is its spiritual successor. Something you buy for weekday functionality and weekend adventure.

        – Boxy functional shape for holding camping stuff and mountain bikes on weekend adventures
        – AWD to get you to your camping site down a dirt road
        – Short length for easy city parking
        – Good transmission choices

        • Lachlan

          HA! had to laugh at myself from Davies comment!I am right between my love for Subaru (having been forced to update from my L series) and i’m deciding between the SX4 and the Subaru Impreza R S.

    • Hung Lower

      This has to be the most versatile small car in AWD spec, it is well built, roomy and handles good but the fuel tank size and boot space of the hatch would put off potential buyers. There should me more of these on the roads but the Suzuki marketing machine still has the public guessing “what the hell is a SX4?”

    • Shak

      Its a sad thing when a Brnad such as Suzuki churns out a very nice small hatch/SUV but no one knows about it.

    • Jabba the Hut

      It’s not that no-one knows about it. It’s that people in that segment are brainwashed and buy inferior crapollas.

      The Jones’ don’t have one so it can’t be any good!

    • DDH

      The brand perception of suzuki is – yobbo green p plater chick car. This looks like an MPV, most ppl that need the awd component buy forresters and the like. And those that don’t spend the 25k on more suitable less weird mini mpv looking alternatives.

    • Valet Dabess

      i don’t get how there’s no 0 to 100, can’t you just grab a stop watch and do it yourself?

      • Camry lover

        Theoretically, that is obtainable easily information. However, Car Advice testers would require a racetrack to do so due to safety reasons. High-speeds and full-throttle acceleration would violate the law in many instances.

    • Simon

      Not keen on the looks but would be very interested if they threw in a snail!

      • Hung Lower

        Apparently the snail is a dealer option kit in the U.S.A designed by an after market tuner for $4k!

        They also get a 7 year factory warranty and the standard car cost around $18k with extras such a GPS, ture monitor, digital radio and a few other extras.
        To say we get the arse end of car specs and prices is an understatement!

    • carzrawsm

      fwd has better towing than 4wd whats up with that and it is a ugly ccar but can sum 1 tell me y the front wheel drive is better than towing than the 4wd its just #@@$@!

    • tim

      It seems alright vehicle for the price range

    • Trainspotter

      can sum 1 tell me y this guy can’t punctuate or spell?

    • Ricky

      The SX4 sedan is overpriced. It’s $23,990 – for another 4 grand ($27,990), you can get a Kizashi which is far better. Fuel consumption is almost identical too – 7.6L versus 7.9L (for the CVT). Kizashi seems like a no brainer to me.

    • Robert

      Easter? You test drove this at Easter – 6 weeks ago? Spose we’ll have to wait until July for a Polo road test?

      • nick

        No the Polo would get much higher priority than this.

    • pirakavezok

      I’ve test driven the car and I personally feel that this is a good car. It rides and handles well. If you are looking for a smallish car with good handling costing under $25k, this could be it. My only dislike is the small boot.

    • Hung Low

      Not a mention about the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel? A big deal as far as gadgets go in a small car!
      If this was a Golf with a new light globe there would be a new review about that!

    • Avatar

      I saw the rally version of it and boy it looks fierce. Suzuki should sell that version…not these….

      Those spoilers and big wings are sensational.. bound to give WRX a run for its money in looks alone… put in some tubro engine and it should slay the WRX, Evo, Golf GTI and even R32 or R2.0…

    • Avatar

      I must also add, the interior looks crap. it’s japanese i know but it just looks dated for a 2010 car.

      • Hung Low

        I had the opportunity to compare this and the IX35 active. The interior of this is better, not leading edge Japanese but I cannot really fault it!

      • Toxic_Horse

        Thats because its only a minor update from the origional 2006 version.

    • Avatar

      anyone knows what’s the ancap safety rating?

    • AAA

      The windows are too big. No privacy even with max legal tint.

      • Radbloke

        Yeah, you wouldn’t want to see where you’re going, would you? Goose.

    • toxic_horse

      now i’ve heard it all !

    • maximark

      I can’t believe this car was given 4/5 stars for its look.

    • Shery

      I just test drived this car last week and it was pretty good very smooth for a car its size howeveri dont understadn why the dual system is not mentioned in this review that was the higlight for me!

      any one think this is an ideal first car? im intrested in it

    • Helen

      Test drove this car a few weeks ago. Thinking about updating my 06 Impreza R and am looking for something in similar price range for city driving, but with better ground clearance and AWD for some national park trips on weekends. The higher ground clearance Impreza model is way more expensive.

      The SX4 exeeded my expectations for the price. It’s a good ride and has all the gizmos I’m looking for. It’s a 6.5/10 for looks to me, but the new Impreza’s is about a 5/10. Only drawback is the SX4’s rear visibility isn’t as good as my current Impreza, but that is the case in all the other small SUV’s I’ve looked at.

      Can’t see much else around that suits my needs, so probably going to buy one of these in the next 6 months. I’ll look more closely at the Kizashi first though, given Ricky’s comments. Assumed it’d be lots more expensive and more of a fuel guzzler.

    • kevin

      can anyone tell me where this car is manufactured. I’ve been told Japan…but Ive also been told Hungary

      • Igomi Watabi

        I think the car is made in Japan for some markets and in Hungary for the European market. Don’t know if it’s still the case, but it was also sold in Europe as a FIAT, made in Hungary.

    • paul

      Just purchased SX4 and got what i think as a great deal after shopping around and looking at other makes.Anyway i got a SX4 Manual with 16 inch alloys,bonnet protector,full set of mats,5 yr warranty,full tank of fuel,oh yes and premium paint for 18K on the dot.On my sales sheet it states i saved nearly $6OOO worth of savings.Sorry i also forgot to mention the car is brand new and is waiting to be unwrapped and delivered this week.
      My advice is shop around and bargain hard it pays off.

      • Clare

        Hi Paul, where did you buy from? I’m in WA. Cheers

        I test drove the SX4 Manual and it felt fantastic. I might go back and test the auto just to see the difference.

        I loved it, just hoping to get a better deal than $21,000 drive away.

      • Phil

        That’s amazing Paul! Any good haggling tips? I’ve been looking at small cars and I think this is the one I am about to target, but like Clare, want to get a better deal than on offer.

    • Amanda

      The review says: The design is unisex and won’t have guys discounted as gals at first glance.

      Gee, sounds like an insult to me. Are you all really all that insecure?

    • Christine

      I unfortunately cannot afford a brand new SX4 but have found a 2007 SX4 SGYA.It is top of the range 37K kms at 17250K. Any comments re this model? I drove today a 2011 new SX4 to get the feel if I like it. Coming out of a Mazda 626 I amm comparing this to an i30 also. Drove that today as well. Both very similar, i30 feeling a little more solid, but both drove the same. Hate to say it but being a woman on my own, some input would be appreciated.

      • Sumpguard

        Christine I can’t comment directly as I haven’t driven either but I understand the upgrade to the latest model was a stepping stone and not a quantum leap. Maybe use the “contact us” option at the bottom of this page and ask for assistance from Alborz, John or one of the others that have driven both.

    • http://sevenseatersuv.kobworld.com Seven Seater SUV

      SX4 AWD series is great for me but 2wd series still nothing interesting better than swift. 4wd fun riding more with little price plus. 2wd is too expensive for me sport suspension make me confidence in the gravel road but not worth with this price. However Suzuki is cool brand for me my 3 Suzuki car in the pass make my good memory and very sad when I will lose them. If you love SX4 4WD is the best.

    • Henry

      i can see young drivers using these down at the beach…i like it!

    • Barrycowley

      Type your comment here.10 out of 10 for value and styling for me.

    • Sandy

      I have a 2009 Badged SX4 auto with sports pack. It’s an attractive sporty looking car & with all the extras it came in at around $31K.  The turn offs for me are: small fuel tank (40L), and poor fuel economy average 11.4 km/L with high octane fuel 98 and on a highway, sticking to the speed limits with cruise control.  Am I wrong to expect better fuel economy?

    Suzuki Sx4 Specs

    Car Details
    GY MY10
    Body Type
    New Price
    Private Sale
    $9,240 - $10,500
    Dealer Retail
    $10,920 - $12,980
    Dealer Trade
    $7,400 - $8,400
    Engine Specifications
    Engine Type
    Engine Size
    Max. Torque
    190Nm @  4000rpm
    Max. Power
    112kW @  6200rpm
    Pwr:Wgt Ratio
    Bore & Stroke
    Compression Ratio
    Valve Gear
    Drivetrain Specifications
    Drive Type
    Final Drive Ratio
    Fuel Specifications
    Fuel Type
    Fuel Tank Capacity
    Fuel Consumption (Combined)
    7.6L / 100km
    Weight & Measurement
    Kerb Weight
    Gross Vehicle Weight
    Not Provided
    Ground Clearance
    Towing Capacity
    Brake:1200  Unbrake:400
    Steering & Suspension
    Steering Type
    Turning Circle
    Front Rim Size
    Rear Rim Size
    Front Tyres
    205/60 R16
    Rear Tyres
    205/60 R16
    Wheel Base
    Front Track
    Rear Track
    Front Brakes
    Rear Brakes
    Front Suspension
    MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
    Rear Suspension
    Torsion bar, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
    Standard Features
    Air Conditioning
    Control & Handling
    Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System
    Power Steering
    Radio CD with 8 Speakers
    Power Mirrors
    Power Windows
    Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
    Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
    Optional Features
    Metallic Paint
    Service Interval
    12 months /  15,000 kms
    36 months /  100,000 kms
    VIN Plate Location
    Driver Side Eng Scuttle
    Country of Origin