The all new SX4 is not just a hatch on stilts; it is now a proper crossover with increased space and versatility.
I never comment much on styling but I think the SX4 is a good enough looking crossover without breaking any sort of styling mould.
You get wheel arch mouldings in contrasting black and metallic finishes for protective panels at the front, side and rear along with a bold grill and LED daytime running lights integrated into the headlights of the range-topping model. Two-part combination tail light clusters complete the picture.
Like I said this is no hatch on stilts. The new SX4 has a useful up to 180mm of ground clearance for those days when you might take you family car through the game reserve or park on a pavement outside the kid’s school. The new SX4 is also 165mm longer, with a 100mm increase in wheelbase, while the width has grown by 10mm.
Climbing inside you are greeted by that usual high quality interior feel of a Suzuki. There are soft touch areas contrasting with metallic finishes to comfortably house you in. There is significantly more legroom for all, particularly at the rear, over the old model.
There is also plenty luggage space with the likes of the two-position reclining backrest for the rear seat on the GLX derivatives that can be used to improve rear passenger comfort, or to add a further 10 litres of cargo space to the class-leading 430 litre luggage compartment.
When the backrest is folded flat, a massive 1 269 litres of luggage space is available.
Now this is a lot of space, so much so that I was asked to open the boot and check it out to confirm this as I had not done so while on my launch drive.
I didn’t think that I had to do this as part of my brief launch drive and I really believed Suzuki when they said it was so in the press briefing, but I guess they still needed to show me anyway, even though with the human eye it is hard to say exactly how many litres of space a boot on any car actually is.
Where the launch drive went downhill for me so to speak was when I got into the CVT version first.
I really didn’t like the way this derivative felt and I thought it was really sluggish and spoilt for me what is a great car.
Yes I know that the 1.6 litre naturally aspirated engine, which is the only option for the entire range, is not made for racing but it does actually produce a decent 86 kW of power at 6 000 rpm, along with 156 Nm of torque at 4 400 rpm.
We always question the lack of a small capacity turbocharged engine, like what is becoming the norm in modern day motoring, but Suzuki feel their 1.6 NA engine is up to the task and also should be able to deliver close to its claimed 5.8 litres per 100 km average fuel consumption claim.
I agree with them as getting into the five-speed manual and all was better with the world again.
This SX4 derivative was fun, light to drive and reminded me why I enjoy some of Suzuki’s products like I do. It also offers the family more than enough go for the school run or a weekend away.
After my launch drive, it was put to me and my partner that perhaps we hadn’t give the CVT car a fair shot as we had not made use of the manual option the transmission offers along with a paddle shift change.
We did protest that we didn’t think that any owner would be shifting into sport and manual mode and attacking any particular piece of tar with a CVT SX4. But to be fair to the car, and to avoid being accused of not doing our jobs, we both got back into the CVT and went out with manual shifting in mind. It made no difference to me or my driving partner, the CVT on the SX4 is horrible and should only be considered if you must have an automatic car.
For what it is worth, the competition in the form of the Mitsubishi ASX and Nissan Qashqai, the guys Suzuki are targeting with the new SX4, also only offer a CVT transmission for their customers who want an auto.
The SX4 can be specified in front-wheel drive guise, or equipped with Suzuki’s latest AllGrip four-wheel drive system on range-topping models.
The system features four driving modes: Auto, Sport, Snow and Lock at the twirl of a dial.
The new Suzuki SX4 line-up comprises five models, three front-wheel drive versions, while the two flagships are fitted with the innovative AllGrip four-wheel drive system just mentioned.
The entry-level two-wheel drive version features the GL interior execution, and a five-speed manual gearbox.
The remaining two-wheel drive derivatives are equipped to the even more comprehensive GLX specification, but offer either a manual gearbox, or CVT. The two flagship GLX AllGrip versions feature either a manual gearbox, or a CVT.
A high level of safety and convenience equipment is fitted as standard across the range, including the likes of ABS brakes with EBD, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), a full complement of seven airbags, cruise control, as well as a Bluetooth and MP3-capable infotainment system.
I liked the Suzuki SX4, I really did, I think it offers a lot of solutions to the urban minded family that wants space, versatility, quality and a solid reliable vehicle at the same time.
Pricing and Warranty
SX4 1.6 GL 5MT R265 900
SX4 1.6 GLX 5MT R295 900
SX4 1.6GLX CVT R318 900
SX4 1.6 GLX 5MT ALLGRIP R319 900
SX4 1.6 GLX CVT ALLGRIP R341 900
All five models are supported a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a three-year / 90 000 km service plan, and a three-year roadside assistance package.