2012 Suzuki SX4 Review – The 2012 Suzuki SX4 remains one of the stronger small-car entries for value-conscious shoppers–and one of the most often-overlooked possibilities for comparison shoppers. You may also see the Suzuki Swift Sport for your comparison. The 2012 Suzuki SX4 is available in several different configurations, as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback. Both SX4 Sedan and SX4 SportBack (hatchback) models are front-wheel drive, but the hatchback is also offered in SX4 Crossover guise; as such, the SX4 is the lowest-priced new car with all-wheel drive.
The 2012 Suzuki SX4 sedan can appear a little too pert and truncated at the back, giving it an anonymous, rather tall-and-narrow look (and greater anonymity in parking lots); both the SX4 Crossover and its sportier front-wheel-drive twin, the SX4 SportBack, are more distinctive. Inside, the instrument panel is upright and businesslike yet sporty, and while materials are on the hard-and-cheap side, they’re a bit more impressive than in other affordable rivals thanks to judicious use of textures and just a little bit of brightwork.
The 2012 Suzuki SX4 Sedan models get an upgrade to four-wheel disc brakes across the lineup (formerly rear drums), and a Garmin navigation with voice recognition is available throughout the model line (standard on the Sedan and optional on other models). With a Technology Package, the system includes Google search, plus real-time traffic and weather.
The 2012 Suzuki SX4 is simply more enjoyable to drive. It comes standard with a 150-horsepower version of Suzuki’s 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, along with a six-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Models with the manual gearbox are especially strong and zippy, and the CVT escapes the acceleration drone that plagues larger four-cylinder models with this type of transmission.
Suzuki’s Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive (I-AWD) system is standard on the Crossover, whereas the SportBack, the entry Sedan, and the fancier Sport sedan make do with simpler front-wheel drive. Handling and maneuverability is impressive throughout the lineup, and with decent outward visibility, the SX4 is easy to park. The SX4′s least desirable trait is fuel economy, though; EPA ratings run just 25 mpg city, 32 highway with the CVT or 23/33 with the six-speed manual.
One of the key differences between the two body styles is that the sedan has a roomy trunk, while the shorter overall length of hatchbacks means that cargo space is limited–unless you’re not planning to carry rear passengers and can fold the rear seatbacks. Ride quality is on the firm side but comfortable; the only aspect that isn’t as charming are that the engine gets quite coarse when pressed.
The 2012 Suzuki SX4 is an often-overlooked contender among some of the lowest-priced cars on the market, especially in its base Sedan model. And its better-equipped models–the SportBack and all-wheel drive Crossover in particular–compete well in the higher portions of the small-car segment.
The base 2012 Suzuki SX4 Crossover model remains the least expensive all-wheel drive vehicle sold in the U.S. It comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, plus that bundle of four features that’s optional on the base sedan.
Then there’s the front-wheel drive SportBack model, which adds a six-disc CD changer and an AM-FM-CD-MP3 audio system that’s equipped to handle SIrius Satellite Radio, along with a trip computer, air conditioning, keyless entry, and those 17-inch alloy wheels.
The base Sedan model of the SX4 is a simple, stripped-down, and inexpensive small car that still manages to include power windows and mirrors. It forgoes a sound system, however. An option package bundles together four popular items: keyless entry, air conditioning, 17-inch allow-wheels , and a four-speaker sound system with CD player.
Rather than engineer a fully integrated navigation system, Suzuki offers a removable Garmin system with a 4.3-inch touchscreen that can be included in models fitted with the Technology package.
It’s delivered with databases of restaurants, hotels, ATMs, gas stations, and real-time traffic and weather data, plus Google search. It’s fully integrated into the audio system. Both an iPod interface usable via steering-wheel controls and a TRIP system for hands-free calling plus audible text messages are optional.
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