Kelley Blue Book ® - 2009 Suzuki SX4 Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2009 Suzuki SX4 Overview

Overview:

EDITORS' NOTES
The 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover offers active-lifestylers a practical, comfortable and affordable front or all-wheel-drive utility vehicle with impressive looks and loads of features. Its unit-body design shares key engineering elements with the Swift – a popular Suzuki model currently sold only in Europe and Asia – and therefore endows this versatile five-door hatchback with some car-like characteristics. The well-appointed SX4 Crossover has a terrific warranty and merits serious consideration from anyone shopping for either a space-efficient front-drive hatchback, such as the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa or Scion xB, or a true all-wheel-drive crossover utility vehicle, such as the Jeep Compass or Nissan Rogue.

YOU'LL LIKE THIS CAR IF...
If you were a big fan of the old Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla all-wheel-drive wagons of the early '90s, you'll love the 2009 SX4 Crossover.

YOU MAY NOT LIKE THIS CAR IF...
The SX4 Crossover's ride-oriented suspension tuning and leisurely acceleration won't score many points with enthusiast drivers, and while it mimics the concept of the early '90s Civic and Corolla wagon, its resale value does not.

WHAT'S SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THIS CAR
For 2009, the SX4 Crossover gains a built-in Garmin navigation unit and Electronic Stability Control with traction control (ESP) as standard equipment.

Driving It:

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS
With its compact proportions and relatively tight turning circle, the 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover is easy to maneuver, even in tight confines. The steering is fairly quick and precise while the brakes are competent and sure, despite a slightly soft pedal feel. Ride comfort is good over most road surfaces, although the compliance that helps deliver that smooth ride also allows for a fair amount of body motion during spirited cornering. The SX4 Crossover's multi-mode all-wheel-drive package brings extra confidence all year 'round, and can be further upgraded with the available stability and traction controls that are part of the Touring Package. However, the absence of a low range rightly indicates that this stylish Suzuki is more at home on the road rather than off-road and far from pavement.

OUR FAVORITE FEATURES
Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system (i-AWD)
Button-activated i-AWD lets the SX4 operate as an economical front-driver or automatically transfer up to 50 percent of the engine's power to its rear wheels as traction conditions worsen or when the tires start to slip. A third "Lock" mode keeps 50-70-percent of the available torque up front when driving in extra-slick conditions at speeds up to 36 miles per hour.

Garmin Navigation
Standard on the front-drive models and available on all-wheel drive models, the Garmin-based navigation system can be upgraded to include Bluetooth connectivity and messaging, real-time traffic alerts and pre-loaded destinations.

Vehicle Details:

INTERIOR
The SX4 Crossover packs an impressive amount of usable space for people and cargo inside its nicely finished and feature-rich cabin. A black and silver color scheme with brushed aluminum accents, clearly legible instruments and well-positioned switchgear highlight its suitably sporting look, although lots of hard plastic trim bits deserve some legitimate criticism. The front seats favor comfort over lateral support, but the 60/40-split rear bench can handle two adults or a trio of kids and, when it's folded and tumbled into its maximum-utility position, the total cargo capacity is increased from 16.0 to 43.0 cubic feet.

EXTERIOR
A product of the world-renowned Italdesign styling studio, the 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover's mildly wedge-shaped bodywork matches form with function. Significant elements of its clean, aerodynamic shape include a large glass area with triangular, fixed front windows, located forward of the doors, that improve driver sightlines, and well-scaled rear side doors that ease entry and exit. A large, one-piece rear hatch and built-in roof rails enhance utility, while relatively big P205/60R16 all-season tires on alloy wheels further emphasize the SX4 Crossover's dynamic character. Aluminum accents on its front and rear valance panels add visual impact to the black perimeter molding that encircles its lower body.

NOTABLE STANDARD EQUIPMENT
Better equipped in base form than many of its competitors, the 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover's crowning touch is its easy-to-use Garmin navigation system (standard on front-wheel drive models). Other features include a full array of power assists, keyless remote entry, air conditioning, a tilt steering column and an AM/FM/CD/MP3-capable audio system. Key safety items include four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and front, Electronic Stability Control, traction control and front-side and side-curtain airbags.

NOTABLE OPTIONS
In addition to its three-mode intelligent All-Wheel-Drive system (i-AWD), options for the SX4 Crossover are divided into two packages. The Technology Package includes cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls and an upgraded navigation unit including Bluetooth phone connectivity. The Touring Package adds heated outside mirrors, heated front seats, automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, a 380-watt premium audio package with six-disc CD changer, fog lamps and various other trim items. Key dealer extras include XM Satellite Radio and an iPod interface.

UNDER THE HOOD
The 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover has a 2.0-liter 16-valve in-line four-cylinder engine that makes 143 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque. Those are more than competitive figures for small, four-cylinder wagons; but, with its somewhat hefty curb weight of nearly 3,000 pounds, the SX4 Crossover does suffer a bit in the acceleration department. Although slightly quicker with the five-speed manual gearbox, the SX4 is easier to drive in heavy traffic situations with the optional four-speed automatic.

2.0-liter in-line 4
143 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
136 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (FWD, manual), 22/30 (FWD, automatic, 21/28 (AWD)

Pricing Notes:

PRICING NOTES
Reflecting Suzuki's aggressive approach to value, the 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts near $16,500 and, even with the automatic transmission and the Touring Package, will be less than $19,000. All-wheel drive adds a mere $500 to the bottom line. While you might find a lower sticker price on some front-drive-only alternatives, such as the Honda Fit and Scion xB, a comparably equipped all-wheel-drive Jeep Compass or Nissan Rogue will be more than $20,000. Residual value on the SX4 Crossover significantly outshines its Suzuki Reno and Forenza siblings and almost mirror the Jeep Compass. However, it still lags behind most other Japanese alternatives, regardless of their drivetrain configurations.

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