While the SX4 has been available for some time, Suzuki has recently unveiled a new entry level 1.6-litre version. Ian Robertson tests the little urban warrior
On sale for a little over two years, the Suzuki SX4 was born out of a joint venture between Fiat of Italy and Suzuki. And while the SX4’s sister car the Fiat Sedici was available solely in four-wheel-drive form until recently, the Suzuki has relied on two-wheel-drive for the majority of its range, which in light of the current climate is probably a wise decision. And to compound that thinking, Suzuki unveiled a lower emissions version of the crossover vehicle earlier this year, equipped with a 1.6-litre engine.
When starting the engine from cold, you’re aware that the SX4 drinks from the black pump, like most small cars, but that soon settles down to a low roar. And roar is an apt observation, as the engine is sourced from the PSA Peugeot-Citroën stable. The 88bhp unit is the same one that you find under the bonnet of the Peugeot 207, and provides nimble performance, together with a good, reassuringly precise gearchange. Around town, the Suzuki has a good turn of speed, but whether that will suffer with a full compliment of passengers remains to be seen. Climb into the cabin and you’ll find a logical layout with all the controls exactly where you expect them to be. And while Suzuki hasn’t learned the benefits of soft-touch plastics yet, all of the mouldings are top quality, albeit hard to the touch. The chrome appliqués add a touch of class to the dashboard and lifts it from a sea of grey. The steering wheel has a nice chunky feel and there are plenty of cubby holes to store your chattels. There’s an elevated stance to the SX4, and one that means that you climb into it, rather than down to, and is absolutely perfect for people that may have restricted mobility. For a car costing just £11,999, the 1.6 DDiS is pretty well equipped, and like other SX4’s has the looks of an urban bruiser, with SUV style body cladding, able to take minor knocks from car-park mishaps. Standard equipment includes electric front windows, air conditioning, electric mirrors, audio controls on the steering wheel, 16-inch alloy wheels and roof rails. On the safety front, there’s six airbags, anti-lock brakes and ISOfix child seat fasteners provided.
I don’t think anyone will be surprised to learn that the SX4 isn’t class leading, but what it is, is a thoroughly decent, honest, reliable car – one that endears you to it, everytime you put the key in the ignition.
The new 1.6 DDiS engine is definitely the pick of the range, and maybe Suzuki should look at installing the 110bhp version of the 1.6-litre PSA engine, to replace the rather rough running 1.9 DDiS – now that would make a really great car!
RIVALS: Citroën C3 Rhythm 1.6HDi 16v, Ford Fusion Zetec Climate 1.6 TDCi, Renault Mod us Dynamique dCi 86
- Engine: 1560cc, 4-cylinder turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 5-speed manual
- Max Power: 88bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 159lb ft at 1,750rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 1,200kg
- Combined Consumption: 53.3mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 139g/km (C)
- 0-62mph: 12.2secs
- Max speed: 109mph
- Insurance group: 6
Value for money, ease of access, plenty of cubbyholes, just a great honest car
Blindspot from large pillars, boot could be bigger, ‘Noddy’ sounding horn