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2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover New Car Review
The 2009 Suzuki SX4 comes in base sedan, Sport sedan and Hatchback Crossover. This review will deal with the Hatchback Crossover.
New last year, the 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover holds the honour of being the cheapest CUV on the market in the US with an available navigation system. The SX4 is actually less like a CUV and more like an AWD hatchback wagon, but with a bit more ground clearance and the typically high roofline of the SX4 series. Like its sedan siblings, the SX4 Crossover is a surprisingly cool four-door that manages to perform well, include a long list of standard features, and still be on the road for well under $20,000. Add to that the 10-year/ 100,000 mile powertrain warranty and Suzuki is well on the way to buildingÂ a name for itself here in the States as big as its well-established reputation in Asia. Stacked up against the Kia Sportage, Scion xB and Hyundai Tucson, the Suzuki SX4 comes in as the cheapest but certainly not the nastiest crossover in the class.
2009 Suzuki Sx4 Crossover Performance
The SX4 Crossover comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 143hp and 136lb-ft of torque. While this gives plenty of power to the sedan SX4s, for the heavier Crossover it is really only just enough to get around comfortably in the city. Highway overtaking needs plenty of forethought and a flat road ahead to give any sort of satisfaction and save embarrassment. The Crossover comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission that does help with the power deficit by allowing for fast gear changes, but the optional four-speed automatic suffers somewhat and does not provide the same responsiveness.
The AWD Crossover rides on MacPherson struts at the front and hydraulic power-assisted rack and pinion steering which give it the type of handling that you rarely find in this price bracket. It is no sports car, but is still fun to throw around the corners despite the body-roll, and bump along with the sports tuned suspension. Four-wheel disc brakes are also a welcome addition and do a great job of stopping quickly and without too much nose-plow.
Fuel economy stands at 22/30mpg city/highway on the automatic transmission and 22/29mpg on manual which is not brilliant for a crossover, and despite the extra weight manages to come in at around the same as the sports sedan.
2009 Suzuki Sx4 Crossover Interior and Features
The SX4 Sport is a bit like Dr Who's Tardis, being much bigger on the inside than the outside would have you guess. It is a tall vehicle, and makes full use of this with high seats that give a commanding view of the road and still plenty of headroom for even the tallest amongst us. The front seats are surprisingly comfortable for a budget car, and even the rear seats have plenty of head room although less legroom and the narrow rear seat means that it is really only good for two adults or three children. Cargo space is impressive, and the rear seats now split fold 60/40 almost flat to the floor to give more room when required.
Interior finish is appropriate to a budget vehicle, with lots of hard black plastic but a good quality of finish without oodles of plastic flash (those annoying bits of plastic that are left over when the mouldings do not quite join up).
The big news for 2009 is of course the navigation system which is standard on the Sport Sedan, but optional on the Crossover with the Technology Package. It is referred to as the TRIP (Travel, Real-time traffic, Information and Play) and is actually portable with a flip-up 4.3 inch screen and integrates Bluetooth, MP3 player and MSN. Being portable, it can be removed from the vehicle and used in another car before being clipped back into place which is very cool, but may attract thefts like the removable CD players when they first came out.
Standard features on the SX4 Crossover include 16inch wheels, cloth upholstery, full power features, air conditioning, CD player with MP3, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and keyless entry. The Touring Package adds to that automatic climate control, keyless starting, upgraded sound system, traction control and heated power mirrors. The Technology Package adds the TRIP portable navigation system, cruise control and foglights.
2009 Suzuki Sx4 Crossover Safety
The SX4 Crossover did well in government crash testing, scoring four stars in front crash situations and five stars in drivers side incidents. Standard features include six airbags at the front, front side and side curtain, as well as front and rear side impact strengthened door beams, traction control, anti-skid and ABS.
- Front, front side and side curtain airbags
- ABS, anti-skid, traction control
- Strengthened door beams
Overall the 2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover is a great hatchback/wagon with AWD that offers lots of performance, comfort, space and features for a small price. Suzuki is well-positioned to take advantage of the rush towards cheaper and smaller vehicles in the US and establish their name for budget but reliable vehicles.
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