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2013 Suzuki SX4 Sportback Review
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2013 Suzuki SX4 SportBack is a member of Suzuki's SX4 line that is often overlooked in the United States, but is well-established globally. The SportBack falls right in between the sedan and the crossover, with more space than the sedan but more sportiness than the crossover. It is an effort by Suzuki to make the SX4 range attractive to younger buyers. Unfortunately, the SX4 SportBack suffers from a number of major drawbacks, the biggest of which is Suzuki’s dealer network, which is rather limited and makes purchasing and repairing the SX4 an effort. Other drawbacks include an average fuel economy that is a bit worse than expected considering the small engine, and a curb weight that is a bit high, negatively affecting the handling of the vehicle.
New For 2013
The 2013 Suzuki SX4 Sportback receives very little in the way of updates for the new model year. The front-end gets some revised styling with a new grille and an updated front bumper. The interior only sees two updates:
- Integrated navigation and entertainment system
- Streaming audio functionality
The outside of the 2013 Suzuki SX4 Sportback has been a difficult selling point, and even with some minor revisions for the new model year, it’s still not a particularly attractive vehicle. The large, glassy greenhouse appears as a giant bubble, especially with the really short bobbed tail at the back. The absence of the roof rack found on the Crossover gives the Sportback a lower, sleeker profile. There is also a bit of extra aero trim and a rear spoiler. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard, and with the Tech trim package, a larger rear spoiler can be added at the top of the hatch.
Interior & Cargo
The inside of the 2013 Suzuki SX4 Sportback is a bit problematic. With arena-style seating, it can be difficult for tall passengers to fit in the rear seat, and no more than two adults can sit there due to the relatively narrow cabin. With a tilt-only steering wheel, it can be difficult for a driver that is bigger or smaller than average to find a good position for driving. On top of the limited passenger cabin space, the cargo space isn’t all that great, with a meager 10 cubic feet with the rear seat up – relatively the same as the trunk of a compact sedan. Even with rear seat-backs down, there’s only 54 cubic feet of cargo space, which is just average for the market segment. In addition, the interior as a whole is out of date, both in terms of design and construction. The materials are poor, and the craftsmanship feels a bit shoddy. The ride is fairly comfortable, but can also be a bit too firm and the cabin can be on the noisy side at higher speeds.
The 2013 Suzuki SX4 Sportback comes with a number of features that are available as available options in the SX4 Sedan. Air-conditioning with a pollen filter, full-power accessories, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, a four-speaker stereo system with a CD-player, a six-disc CD changer, keyless entry, cruise control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls are standard. The Sportback is not particularly customizable inside, with only a navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity as options, both of which come standard in the Tech package.
The 2013 SX4 Sportback has plenty of standard safety features. While the standard SX4 Sedan has the bare essentials, the up-market SX4 Sportback gets a bit more. Eight airbags are standard, including dual front airbags, front and rear side-impact airbags, and side curtain airbags. A traction control system, tire pressure monitoring system, electronic stability system, and anti-lock brakes are all standard safety features. The current model year has not received crash-testing yet, but it is structurally identical to the 2012 model, which received a rating of ""good"" in frontal-offset and side-impact tests, but a ""marginal"" rating in roof-strength tests.
Only one engine is available in the 2013 Suzuki SX4 Sportback: a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit that produces 150 horsepower (hp) when attached to the standard six-speed manual transmission, or a lower 148 hp when attached to the continuously variable transmission. The Sportback is only available with front-wheel drive. The engine produces enough torque for the SX4 to be responsive, with a good spring off the line. Unfortunately, the feeling of acceleration begins to lag, as actually getting up to 60 mph takes a bit of time. The steering is responsive, but does not provide the driver with much in the way of feedback. Thanks to the solid suspension, the vehicle takes road imperfections with ease, with very little body roll. Overall handling is not all that great due to the sheer weight of the vehicle, and braking suffers as well.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Suzuki SX4-Sportback
- Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
- Mazda MAZDA3
- Toyota Matrix