Suzuki SX4 Review: Meeting Expectations

Suzuki SX4 Review: Meeting Expectations

The Suzuki SX4, known in Europe as the S-Cross, has remained a sought-after crossover for a decade. This vehicle, designed in collaboration with the Italian design studio ItalDesign under the guidance of Giorgetto Giugiaro, still looks modern today. The Italian involvement in its design came about through a partnership with Fiat, resulting in the model Sedici, a name reflecting its crossover qualities (16 signifies 4x4). Both versions are manufactured at the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary. The second generation of the SX4, introduced in 2013, is also assembled there. Despite mixed popularity in certain markets, the vehicle successfully competes in its class.

Design and Functional Innovations

The second generation Suzuki SX4 underwent a makeover three years after its release. Designers introduced a significantly altered front appearance, with the rear lights remaining almost unchanged, except for the addition of LED strips. The previously gentle exterior of the SX4 now appears more aggressive due to vertical chrome elements in the grille and LED 'eyebrows' on the headlights. Color options also expanded, offering nine different choices to consumers.

Inside the SX4, changes are evident with improved material quality and a new multimedia system featuring a 7-inch touch screen supporting MirrorLink and Apple CarPlay, already familiar from the Vitara model. The only downside is the touch control for the sound system, although it can also be adjusted using steering wheel buttons.

Engine Range in the Ukrainian Market

In Ukraine, buyers can choose from two gasoline engines for the updated Suzuki SX4: the innovative 1.4-liter BoosterJet turbo engine with direct injection and the time-tested 1.6-liter atmospheric engine with VVT system. Replacing the variator with a six-speed automatic transmission is a key update. The 1.4 BoosterJet engine, developed by Suzuki Motor, features an aluminum block, direct fuel injection, and an IHI turbocharger, providing up to 1.2 bar of boost pressure for both power and efficiency.

Performance and Drive

Both engines offered – the 1.6-liter atmospheric and the 1.4-liter turbo BoosterJet – are notable for their fuel efficiency and performance. The atmospheric engine is available with either front-wheel or the AllGrip all-wheel drive system with multiple transmission modes. The more powerful turbocharged SX4 is exclusively available with the AllGrip all-wheel drive. Comfortable gear shifts from the six-speed automatic Aisin transmission and the Drive Mode Select system for all-wheel-drive models enhance the driving experience.

Handling and Road Behavior

The handling of the updated SX4 remains as reliable and predictable as the previous model. The car responds well to steering and accurately navigates turns without significant body roll or tire noise. Its on-road behavior is rated higher than many competitors in its class.

Engine Dynamics

The difference in dynamics between the atmospheric and turbocharged engines is significant, especially in all-wheel-drive versions with an automatic transmission: the turbo SX4 accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 10.2 seconds compared to 13.5 seconds for the atmospheric version. The turbo version also achieves a top speed of 200 km/h (124 mph). Fuel consumption for the turbocharged version is deemed quite reasonable for an all-wheel-drive crossover.

Comfort and Functionality

The 1.4 BoosterJet turbo engine from the Vitara S works harmoniously with the six-speed automatic transmission, providing smooth shifts and responsive acceleration in Sport mode. The SX4's ride comfort is comparable to models like the Kia Soul and Hyundai Tucson, smoothly navigating speed bumps even on 17-inch wheels. The trunk space varies from 430 to 1269 liters, depending on the position of the rear seats. The base GL model offers a wide range of safety and comfort options.

Version Choice and Pricing Policy

The GL version, priced at 445,000 UAH, includes numerous safety and convenience options. The higher-end GLX version features LED headlights for better illumination. The top configuration with the 1.4-liter BoosterJet turbo engine is priced at 660,000 UAH and has already proven itself in the Vitara S model. Natalia Khmara, Director of the Suzuki Department at "AUTO International," expressed confidence in the success of the updated SX4 in the Ukrainian market, noting that the car has improved, especially in terms of dynamics and comfort.