Love at second sight
Love at second sight
The sedan version of the SX4 is now in dealerships, and we can now say farewell to the Aerio. In the very-competitive compact sedan segment, does this little Suzuki have the necessary qualities and abilities to distinguish itself?
When we reviewed the hatchback SX4 last year, we were charmed by its cute looks and the fact that you can get it with all-wheel drive, which few rivals offer. However, we were less impressed with the automatic transmission. The sedan will try to do better this time around.
The SX4 sedan is equipped with the same engine as the hatchback variant, a 16-valve, 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces 143 horsepower and 136 lb-ft of torque. On paper, these numbers seem more than enough, and in reality, it's also the case.
However, this engine isn't as rev-happy as the ones found under the hoods of Honda Civics and Mazda3s, among others. But accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h with the manual transmission takes 9.3 seconds, which isn't bad. In short, we can prod the engine to our desire, but it just doesn't encourage us to do so, and its sound at full throttle isn't the most pleasing thing to listen to.
The shift lever, which is rather long since the seats are bolted high, works well but can't be manipulated as quickly as the ones in other compacts.
As for fuel consumption, the sedan fared better than last year's SX4 hatchback; 9.4 L/100 km, as opposed to 10.6 observed with the 2007 model. The SX4 we drove did have all-wheel drive, however, which hurts fuel economy and which isn't available with the sedan.
The suspension has sharp reflexes, and despite the height of the car that gives it a high center of gravity, this SX4 handles itself well in the twisties. We can whip the car down highway on-ramps and have a little fun. Let's just say that Suzuki is a little optimistic by calling this version the Sport, but we quickly notice pleasing driving dynamics.
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