2010 Suzuki SX4 Sedan Sport Road Test Review

Alexandra Straub - CAP staff
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When talking about compact sedans, it seems that brands like Honda, Mazda and Toyota are usually the first ones to pop into peoples' minds. Why? Well, they're almost everywhere. Suzuki doesn't always come to mind, however, at least not here in North America. Why? Because we don't see Suzuki cars as frequently. In a way, it's a shame because the SX4, an underdog of sorts, has a lot to offer its driver, even if its bark isn't that loud.

Styling-wise, the 2010 SX4 Sedan Sport is well-groomed and nice to look at. It has a good set of 205/50R17 tires with 17" aluminum alloy wheels to grip the road and cute-looking front end styling. It also offers a firm ride quality whether cruising the open highway or gallivanting through city streets thanks to its front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension. Overall, it's an enjoyable car to look at and drive.

Powering the Suzuki's SX4 sedan is a 2.0L, 16-valve, 4-cylinder, DOHC engine with an output of 143 horsepower and 136 lb-ft of torque. This can be mated with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. I happened to test out the 4-speed automatic version which proved to be very convenient while driving around the city. The only qualm I had with this transmission was its effect on pep in the acceleration department. I found the engine got quite revvy and, combined with the transmission, couldn't get up to speed quite as quickly as a Mazda3 or a Honda Civic. I will say that when I wasn't trying to push my need for speed with the SX4, it moseyed along comfortably and with ease. Then again, when most of your daily driving is done in the city, quick get-up-and-go might not be that important when shopping for a good A-to-B car.

Acceleration aside, one of the highlights of this vehicle is found on the inside. Sure the instrument cluster and centre stack look good and are neatly organized, but it's not that. It's not even the chic leather wrapped steering wheel or heated front seats. No, more so is the SX4's generous amount of interior space. Since it has a rather high roofline, headroom is abundant whether you are sitting in the front or back. In a way, I felt really small in the driver's seat! This is quite the opposite feeling in comparison to most cars in the compact category, which tend to have a more confined atmosphere. I felt especially small when my 6'3" husband was riding shotgun, because even he had a good few inches between him and the roof. I probably had a foot. Nevertheless, I got over my small woman complex and managed to enjoy the drive!

I also found that it wasn't just in headroom that the SX4 offered generous interior space. Legroom is plentiful front and back. Even with the seats pushed back all the way, an average-height individual could feel quite comfortable in the rear. The trunk also has tons of space. It fit two large suitcases along with a few other various-sized bags inside with little to no problem. After all, there is 439 litres (15.5 cu ft) of trunk space to work with. That's outrageously good for a car of the SX4's size.

And for a car of its size, the SX4's fuel economy isn't too bad either. With the 4-speed automatic transmission, this four-door sedan uses an estimated 9.2L/100km in the city and 6.7L/100km on the highway. In most cases, the automatic transmission would perform poorer, but not in this case. The 5-speed manual transmission uses 9.5L/100km in the city and 6.8L/100km on the highway. Ok, there's not much difference between the two, but it's still interesting to note.

When pricing the 2010 Suzuki SX4 Sedan Sport, with the optional automatic transmission, it has an MSRP of $20,445; the base sedan starts at $17,395. That's a pretty competitive price tag and is an excellent alternative to the other higher-priced Japanese imports in its class. When you take into account all the standard goodies you get, like heated seats, SmartPass proximity sensing keyless entry and start system, an Aero body kit, aluminum alloys wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and a full assortment of airbags, etc, the SX4 is a winning package. Besides, just because this sedan is an underdog, that doesn't mean it doesn't have bite.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Suzuki, 2010, SX4, $10,000 - $19,999,

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