Suzuki SX4 Sport – 2008 First Drive: Desire is one the strongest human emotions. It can bring success or lead to downfall. As an object of desire, the automobile ranks quite high in the brain of modern homo sapiens. But there’s a catch: The most desirable cars with the most desirable traits are often out of our financial grasp. We desire the sexy, high-performance sports car or sedan, but the budget says economy car in a flat monotone.
Fortunately, there are occasions when an automaker instills a few of the most desirable traits in a vehicle that isn’t out of reach. A few carmakers have spawned automotive icons by offering, for example, a small, well-balanced roadster, or an economy car with a dose of performance thrown in. That’s the tack Suzuki takes with the 2008 SX4 Sport sedan. Very much the economy car from its sub-$15,000 starting price to its thrifty fuel mileage, Suzuki injects the Sport with a good dose of performance. While the Sport uses the same engine as the all-wheel drive Crossover, Suzuki tunes the suspension and adds performance tires on 17-inch wheels. The result is a fun, quick drive in economy car clothing.
The range of compact economy cars goes from the basic and inexpensive to tarted-up and pricey. What Suzuki has brought to this mix is a combination of affordable price, a nice list of standard features and enough performance to be desirable.
The SX4 Sport sedan is based on the SX4 Crossover, and both are made in Japan. Overall, the SX4 models replace the Aerio.
All models of the SX4 Sport come with a 2.0 liter, dual overhead cam, inline-four engine, which puts out 143 horsepower and 136 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard features include keyless entry, 17-inch alloy wheels, six airbags, and four-wheel, antilock disc brakes with electronic brake distribution, tire-pressure monitoring, and side-impact and side-curtain airbags. The convenience package adds cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, automatic climate control and heated outside mirrors. The touring package builds onto that with stability and traction control, a rear spoiler, fog lights and upgrades the audio system to a six-disc player and nine speakers. An automatic is available for those who don’t want – or know how to use – a manual transmission.