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#14

in 2009 Affordable Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $5,857 - $7,250
Original MSRP: $13,299 - $18,639
MPG: 22 City / 30 Hwy
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2009 Suzuki SX4 Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

According to most reviewers, the 2009 Suzuki SX4 is a fun drive thanks to its outstanding chassis and low curb weight.  

  • "Although it still ranks higher in practicality than in pure exhilaration, the SX4 Sport is a nicely balanced package with dynamic character that goes well beyond the original SX4 crossover." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Ride, acceleration and handling: The SX4 performs beautifully in all three categories in city driving. But it has the finesse of a little pig on the highway." -- The Washington Post
  • "The SX4's ride is busy and bouncy, and it clunks and thumps over big bumps the way you'd expect a cheap car to do. It's good fun to drive, though -- you can tell it was designed by a company that builds motorcycles." -- About.com

Acceleration and Power

Without all-wheel drive, the SX4's sedan's lighter curb weight is generally seen as a good thing. Most auto critics say that the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and standard five-speed manual transmission is more than adequate to push the little car along. According to the EPA, the SX4 nets 22/30 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, and 22/29 mpg with a manual.

  • "The SX4 Sport only comes with a 2.0-liter, 143-horsepower four-cylinder engine, which, considering the car's weight, doesn't move the metal quite as fast as I'd like." -- BusinessWeek
  • "The SX4 is acceptably quick with manual transmission -- given frequent shifting. It's a bit slower with the automatic, which kicks down quickly for more power. Either way, plan ahead for freeway merging and passing on busy two-lane roads." -- Consumer Guide
  • "With less weight to move and only two wheels to drive, the engine shows even greater enthusiasm here, but acceleration is definitely more spirited when it's paired with the standard manual gearbox." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Test drivers say the SX4's European roots have benefited the car's handling. Most recount crisp steering, strong braking and a composed ride.

  • "Handling is one of the Suzuki's strong points, perhaps because the SX4 Sport shares some of its mechanics with the Suzuki Swift, a popular model in Europe. The SX4's gearshift, suspension, and steering all are surprisingly tight. It lacks the tinny feel that turned me off in the Aerio. You can head into sharp turns with this car with considerable confidence." -- BusinessWeek
  • "While this isn't a quick car, it got through the gears well enough, steered precisely, and took a good bite in the corners, thanks to its relatively wide tires and track. The car was also composed in brisk turns, a gift it obtained in exchange for a pretty firm ride." -- Philadelphia Inquirer
  • "Brake pedal action is firm and progressive on all SX4s. Availability of an anti-skid system is welcome at this price level." -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2009 Suzuki SX4

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