2007 Suzuki SX4 First Drive
Suzuki takes the sporty small car challenge
In today's more cynical world, we would probably scoff at the notion of such a ploy having an impact on the choices we make. At the time, however, Coke was the Big Dog of soda sales, and that commercial had a significant impact: Coca-Cola drinkers were genuinely surprised when they selected Pepsi, as were viewers. As a result of that commercial, Pepsi actually began to outsell Coke whenever the two were side-by-side on supermarket aisles, and it launched many years of classic taste-test commercial battles.
Suzuki should do the same with its 2007 SX4 hatchback. Brand plays strongly into the decision-making process, yet if one were blind to the name on the label it would be hard to avoid giving the Suzuki SX4 careful consideration. To a mix of competitive power, interior room and stylish sheetmetal, the SX4 adds more standard features – and all-wheel-drive – to create a vehicle that outperforms many of its mainstream competitors. In one of today's hotter selling segments, we can only imagine what the popularity of the SX4 would be if the badge on the front was a Toyota emblem instead of the Suzuki “S.” There would be a waiting list, certainly. Capacity issues, probably. And just imagine the reams of fawning articles that would be written about the might of the Japanese automaking giant.
Ah. But that is an “S” on the grille, so instead of the Next Great Toyota we have a vehicle that many will toss onto the justification pile – those cars people have no intent to purchase but say they do in order to make themselves feel better. It's easier, after all, to follow the crowd and buy into the brand image of Dodge, Toyota, Honda or others, even though these competing cars would be harder to live with than would the SX4.
So put on a brand blindfold before you decide what to buy, and if you're shopping for a small, sporty five-door, take a good look at the Suzuki SX4. With competitive power, all-wheel-drive, and lots of passenger and cargo room all wrapped in a nicely styled package, the SX4 may well be the taste most car testers prefer.