Suzuki’s SX4 is a distinctive five-door hatchback that blends the characteristics of sporty compacts exemplified by the Swift, with those of lightweight SUVs such as the Grand Vitara, to create an exciting small car alternative.
The UK line-up now offers three ‘SZ’ grades and two engine options – one diesel and one petrol. The 118bhp 1.6-litre VVT petrol engine is available in either SZ3 or SZ4 2WD (front-wheel drive) specification or as a 4×4 SZ5 model with selectable/automatic four-wheel drive. The latest 2.0-litre DDiS 4×4 is available as an SZ5 and is priced at £15,995. All models have a bold SUV appearance with wheel arch extensions, side under protection mouldings and front and rear skid plates.
SX4 is well equipped as standard with the SZ3 offering six airbags; remote central locking with deadlocks, air conditioning, MP3 / WMA compatible CD tuner with eight speakers, four electric windows, driver information display and illuminated steering wheel mounted audio controls. The SZ4 model adds fog lamps; 16-inch alloy wheels, side body protection and heated door mirrors as well as keyless entry and start; dashboard centre speaker and automatic air conditioning. The top of the range SZ5 1.6-litre petrol adds i-AWD (intelligent – All-Wheel Drive) and rear privacy glass with the 2.0 DDiS also including cruise control and six speed manual transmission as additional standard equipment.
This new diesel engine offers high power and strong torque of 236lb ft at just 1,500rpm. It is Euro 5 compliant and has an output of 133bhp at 3,500rpm, achieving 51.4mpg on the combined fuel consumption cycle with emissions of 143g/km. The 2.0-litre DDiS incorporates various technologies to aid performance and reduce environmental impact; these include a water cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system which is deactivated during warm up to help reduce emissions and a closed coupled diesel particulate filter (DPF) which enables more effective emission purification. This is achieved by locating the catalyst and DPF close to the turbocharger, keeping the exhaust gas temperature high until it gets purified in the DPF system. Double pilot injection is also utilised for quieter operation, more precise fuel metering as well as helping lower NOx emissions. This engine also features a six speed manual transmission to take advantage of its torque potential and features triple cone synchromesh for smoother shifting.
The signature feature of the Suzuki SX4 4×4 is the i-AWD switchable three-mode all-wheel drive system. A simple to operate Electric Control Coupling Device allows the driver to select 4WD-Auto, 4WD-Lock, and 2WD modes to suit driving conditions, giving excellent traction on low grip surfaces. In 4WD-Auto mode in normal driving conditions there is no torque transfer to the rear wheels, so the SX4 effectively operates as a front-wheel drive vehicle. As soon as any pronounced front wheel slip is detected, torque is automatically apportioned to the rear wheels to give all-wheel traction and improve vehicle stability. 4WD-Lock mode maintains full traction up to around 40mph, before automatically switching to 4WD-Auto mode for smooth cruising. Selecting 2WD (drive through the front wheels) optimises fuel economy.