Suzuki SX4 Sedan – 2008 Review: We’re not sure exactly when it happened...it crept up on us so slowly that we hardly noticed...but inexpensive cars stopped being penalty boxes a few years ago. Case in point: the Suzuki SX4 Sport sedan. Costing only $16,500 as equipped, our test car included equipment like power door locks, windows and mirrors. But it also had an excellent nine-speaker audio system, automatic climate control, excellent fit and finish, sophisticated styling and even a little dose of driving fun. It’s no cut-rate Lexus, but the SX4 is definitely a lot of car for the money, one that would be high on our budget car lists.
What We Drove
Our 2008 Suzuki SX4 Sedan boasted the Touring package, and came with nothing checked on the options sheet. The $16,495 price included a $625 destination charge, and that was it. However, the standard equipment level on this package is impressive: Automatic climate control; an audio system with a six-CD changer with MP3/WMA capability and nine speakers including a subwoofer; power windows, locks and outside mirrors; genuine aluminum interior accents; remote keyless entry and a leather steering wheel with cruise and audio controls on the spokes. Not too shabby for a little car.
In the world of cheap cars, performance is relative. Still, we’d hoped for more from this little ’Zook, considering its aggressive looks. The engine makes plenty of exciting noises, ripping to redline with a healthy bark, the crisp shifter snapping off gear changes flawlessly. Yet you’re in third before you hit 60 mph, and passes at freeway speeds without downshifting can be timed with a sundial. Rev it to redline and there’s enough scoot, but flogging it like you hate it just to make headway gets old quickly, and the last 1,000 rpm before redline sounds strained.