2008 Suzuki SX4 Wagon Interior
Once again, the 2008 Suzuki SX4's functional five-seat interior can't compete with the top affordable compact wagons, and it ranks near the middle of the group. Nevertheless the SX4 provides a surprisingly upscale cabin for its affordable price point. The Washington Post calls the interior "simple, yet elegant. And it's big enough … to comfortably seat five people."
But some comment on cabin noise. Consumer Guide calls it "Class-average at best," and finds the engine "remains audible even in gentle cruising." Later, Consumer Guide reports "open rear area and budget-level sound insulation do little to mask coarse-surface tire thrum." However, Cars.com says, "The SX4's quiet cabin was another positive I couldn't help but be impressed with. Neither road nor wind noise was ever a problem, and I could hold hushed conversations during highway driving."
With 98.5 cubic feet of interior volume, the SX4 has ample interior space for its relatively small size. The New York Times says, "The cabin is roomy enough for four average-size adults," while Kelley Blue Book notes "reasonably comfortable room for five passengers -- if the rear middle rider is slim." Several point out the usefulness of the high roof. Cars.com writes, "There seemed to be an unusual amount of extra head space between the top of my 5-foot, 10-inch frame and the ceiling. I couldn't believe how much headroom there was."
Discussing the front seat specifically, About.com notes, "The SX4 is small, just a tad bigger than a Honda Fit. Not that you'd know it from the inside: The tall roof makes the front seat feel like St. Paul's Cathedral." Consumer Guide also reports "Generous head and leg room" in the front, but finds those seats just "ordinary" for shape and padding. And although Newsday finds the front bucket seats "firmly supportive," it later notes there is no height adjustment for the driver.
The rear seats also get good reviews, though headroom is not as stellar as in the front. Consumer Guide calls the rear bench "Better than expected for this class. Good toe space, with adequate knee and leg room, even with the front seats moved far back." But Cars.com states, "The backseat is set on top of the cargo floor, which is level with the rear hatch. That means the bottom of the seat is significantly higher than the front seats. This stadium effect limits headroom and makes the backseat as claustrophobic as any subcompact I've tested."
More convenience features are offered the SX4's sedan model, but still the wagon is "better-equipped than many compacts in its price range," according to Kelley Blue Book. Cars.com notes, "The SX4 is another affordable car that can be driven off the lot with no options yet still give the owner a sense that he didn't lose out on anything in the bargain." Standout base features include remote keyless entry and power windows.
Options for the SX4 are few, but include cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls.
As for cabin refinement, Edmunds says the SX4 wagon has "one of the best-looking cabins in the segment. It's a simple layout with large, three-dial climate control knobs that sit just below a compact, well-labeled CD stereo. The analog gauges are easy to read, the switchgear feels good and the materials look better than you might expect." Many others are impressed with fit and finish, and Newsday says "materials look and feel like they cost a few bucks."
However, another Edmunds reviewer calls the interior "economical and utilitarian," and the finds "some hints of cheapness."
Stereo and Entertainment
The New York Times finds the base four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 and XM-ready stereo "a cinch to master," but notes it's "a little tinny-sounding when the volume is cranked up." Newsday similarly calls the base audio system "average-sounding." An upgraded nine-speaker stereo with a subwoofer and six-disc in-dash CD player is standard on the Sport model. A fully integrated iPod2 interface is available from dealers as an accessory.
The 2008 Suzuki SX4 wagon provides up to 16.2 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat in place, 38.1 with the rear seat folded, and 54.3 cubic feet with the rear seat removed. Edmunds writes, "Luggage capacity blows away the other players in this field."
With the rear seat up or in use, Consumer Guide finds there's still room for "a half-dozen grocery bags or a few medium-sized duffels." Cars.com similarly notes "With the rear seats still in place, I filled the cargo area with groceries for a week's worth of meal planning." About.com finds the resulting space is "more cargo room than a Ford Explorer SUV." Representing the minority, the says the cargo space behind the rear seat is tiny.
With the rear seat folded down, cargo space expands from 16.2 cubic feet to 38.1-- a good number for the wagon's size. But folding the rear seats isn't as easy as it sounds. The The Auto Channel finds that the rear seats still "take up quite a bit of room even when folded."says "folding is clumsy and requires the front seats to be moved forward."