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Suzuki SX4 S sedan 2007 review

The first SX4 landed in February and the range is already out to three models, with more to come and a target of 5000 sales for the full year next year.

Eventually there will be a Suzuki pocket rocket, with a turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, as the SX4 range expands and reflects the company's push into the World Rally Championship.

An SX4 WRC competed for the first time this month at the Corsica Rally in France and, despite some glitches, Nicolas Bernadini got it to the finish.

In Australian showrooms, the SX4 newcomers are the front-drive sedan and hatch, which have just joined the all-wheel-drive hatch that kicked off the line-up.

They have been set against the conservative contenders in the small-car bazaar, led by the Toyota Corolla.

“Our aim is to get a reasonable share of that huge small-car segment, within which there are many body types; and we believe we cover the whole spread,” Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers says.

“Small cars are about 22 per cent of the total market now and we haven't had a presence there.”

The SX4 is built from the same basic package as the baby Swift, but with a much larger cabin and a 2.0-litre engine. The new sedan is a genuine five-seater, but has more conservative styling than the hatch.

There are two models, with a starting price just below the crucial $20,000 mark. Even the base car comes with the essential airconditioning and regular electric assists.

The S pack, with alloy wheels and cruise control, is still pretty affordable from $22,990. The four-speed automatic is an extra $2000.

Suzuki Australia says it expects to move about 2000 front-drive sedans next year.

“Swift is still the number one seller for us, even with restricted availability from Japan,” Devers says.

“It will be 9000 to 10,000 cars this year. And once the new SX4 comes on line in Hamamatsu next July we should have much better supply of Swift and SX4.

“Suzuki is now on the road to being a global company. The SX4 tells us that Suzuki is not just a micro-car maker.”

The SX4 has even sparked an in-house sales race between Suzuki Australia and the company in Chile, which has a target for this year of more than 20,000 deliveries.

The result could be line-ball between Chile and Australia because both countries reflect a global drive built around new-age cars.

 


On the road

The SX4 sedan is a sweet little car. It is quiet, comfy and does everything you need. It looks good, too, though it does not stand out in a crowd the same way the SX4 hatch does.

It gets along quite well, is light on fuel, and will carry five people with no trouble in a body that is noticeably longer than the SX4 hatch.

Is that enough? For people who will shop it against something like a Nissan Tiida or a Hyundai Elantra, it will be just fine.

And against the top-selling Toyota Corolla or my favourite Ford Focus, it has a considerable price advantage and plenty of equipment for the money.

The biggest problem for Suzuki will be to get the SX4 sedan on to shopping lists, but that is what the WRC rally campaign; and the company's flashy new television advertisements; is all about.

Suzuki plans to push a more youthful image for the brand, partly through the WRC program but also because the SX4 lends itself to tweaking. A monster sport body kit is already under way for the hatch. The company believes it can walk people up from the Swift as they need a more family-focused car.

The SX4 sedan is a perky drive and still gets economy, which will be great for commuters. The manual gearshift is light, the controls are clear and simple, the sound system is fine for the price, and it rides and handles without any vices. It also comes with the safety gear you expect for the price in the class, and is easy to park.

But it has a significant flaw in the back seat. The SX4 has a split-fold system that still leaves a giant step-up because the seat-back does not fold completely flat, a design drama that makes it impossible to load some long items into the boot.

I also believe it could benefit from some Australian input on the handling, which is not as crisp as the smaller Swift. But it's a solid effort and a car that will be easy to recommend.

 

The bottom line

70/100

Sweet little car that is a nice drive and good value. It also shows the potential at Suzuki.

 

All angles

Fast fact

The SX4 will be entered in the full World Rally Championship from the start of next season.

 

Pricing Guides

$6,645
Based on 38 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$3,990
Highest Price
$9,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,100 – 6,990 2007 Suzuki SX4 2007 (base) Pricing and Specs
4x4 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,999 – 9,999 2007 Suzuki SX4 2007 4x4 Pricing and Specs
S 2.0L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,985 – 8,999 2007 Suzuki SX4 2007 S Pricing and Specs
(base) 2.0L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,100 – 6,990 2007 Suzuki SX4 2007 (base) Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$5,985

Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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