Suzuki SX4 Origins
By the onset of the 21st Century, Suzuki cars were selling respectfully in the U.S. with annual numbers that extended into the six-figure realm. Even with the overall drop in auto sales following on the heels of the gasoline hikes and economic recession of 2007, Suzuki’s affordable line of vehicles allowed it to endure through rough times.
Japanese-built and Italian-designed, the Suzuki SX4 Sport was a joint effort with Fiat that made its official debut at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show. Originally intended exclusively for the European marketplace, the Suzuki compact cross-over hatchback name SX4 stands for sports (S) over (X) all seasons (4).About the Suzuki SX4
Suzuki is best known for its long and highly-respected line of motorcycles instead of cars. And while the worldwide motorcycle market is certainly nothing to scoff at, American car buyers have traditionally been reluctant to elevate any of the Suzuki’s to the status of "must have’s." Still, for an automotive maker looking to find its niche with four-wheels, the compact Suzuki SX4 Sport is a worthy entry for its highly competitive class.
Built entirely in Japan, the first generation Suzuki SX4 Sports featured a two-liter, four-cylinder DOHC engine matched with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission that could be specially tuned. With a top track speed of 120 mph, the SX4 delivers 143 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque.
In 2006 and 2007, most car critics hailed the Suzuki SX4 Sport as a welcomed alternative to many of the more expensive hybrid vehicles of the day, paying particular attention to its classic flowing European body styling. Created by famed Italian automotive designer, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Suzuki sought to fuse the elegance of most passenger cars with the expected vitality of sport utility vehicles.Suzuki SX4 Features
All styles and trims of the compact 2012 Suzuki SX4 Sport cars come saddled with the same powertrain: a two-liter, four-cylinder engine capable of delivering 150 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. While some of these trims are equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, others come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), a feature that does cause the hp to drop ever-so-slightly to 148.
Available in two body styles, sedan and hatchback, the 2012 Suzuki SX4 Sport front-wheel drive sedan comes in four trim levels: base, LE, LE Popular Package, and SE. With a base that comes with very few features, consumers need to upgrade to the LEs in order to enjoy better options, such as air-conditioning, keyless entry, four-speaker sound system with CD player, and cruise control, with Bluetooth reserved for the SE trim. The Suzuki hatchback comes as either a base or all-wheel-drive crossover model, with the standard hatchback being nearly identical to the base sedan while the crossover mirrors the sedan’s SE trim.
Criticized for its lack of a telescoping steering column and an excessively tall driver seat height, the 2012 Suzuki SX4s do even out some with a healthy amount of cargo space. With the hatchback boasting 54 cubic feet in interior space and the sedan with a 15-cubic-foot trunk, both options offer passengers the welcomed feature of split-folding rear seats.Suzuki SX4 Evolution
The North American Suzuki SX4 Sport arrived on U.S. shores in time for 2007, initially introduced at the New York Auto Show that same year. In 2008, the five-door hatchback marketed as the Crossover trim included what the engineers dubbed "intelligent" all-wheel-drive functions, keyless entry, power mirrors, power windows, power doors, and a CD player complete with MP3 capability.
The 2009 Suzuki SX4 Sport sedans arrived with additional driver perks to hopefully pique any prospective buyer’s interest. These included split-folding rear seat functionality for the sedan trims and a standard navigation system available on the upper levels complete with Bluetooth, weather forecaster, and gas station locator.
For the following year, the Suzuki team added the SX4 Sportback model to the lineup, giving it a tiny horsepower boost from 143 to a nice even 150. Improving the fuel economy was also part of the deal for 2010, with engineers swapping out the previous four-speed automatic and five-speed manual transmission for a six-speed manual and CVT system instead. A lowered sport-tuned suspension, rear end spoiler, a redesigned front fascia, some additional auxiliary jacks, and a removable roof rack were also part and parcel for the 2010 Suzuki SX4 Sport.