Review

Suzuki SX4 hatchback

Suzuki SX4 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Plenty of headroom
  • Affordable used prices
  • Good standard equipment
Cons
  • Quite small boot
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Expensive to run compared to rivals

“Although spacious and comfortable on rough roads, the Suzuki SX4 seems a little dated next to its rivals.”

The Suzuki SX4 was discontinued in 2014, with the final few new examples sold at the same time as the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, the SX4's replacement, hit showrooms in the UK.

The SX4 is essentially a pumped-up version of the old Suzuki Swift with some 4x4 styling touches, a slightly more spacious interior and a higher driving position. In keeping with its looks, the car was produced with four-wheel drive, but you can also get a front-wheel drive model that's cheaper to run.

In the final few years of production, the car was only available with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, and it doesn’t deliver high levels of efficiency or performance. Tax of £145 per year is relatively expensive for a 118bhp engine and it’ll be difficult to achieve 40mpg in everyday driving. What won’t help you maximise economy is the fact that the engine also needs to be revved hard to get decent power from it.

If you find an older version of the SX4, it may be fitted with one of several engines that were replaced or withdrawn from sale during the car's lifetime, including a 2.0-litre diesel, a 1.9-litre diesel, or a 1.6-litre diesel. The 2.0-litre engine was the last of the diesel SX4 variants and returns 53.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 139g/km, which by modern diesel standards isn’t particularly efficient. A 107bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine was replaced by the more powerful version back in 2010.

While the engines may leave a little to be desired, the SX4 provides more interior space for the family than standard Swift on which it's based thanks to its tall stance. Sadly though, the boot isn't huge and the shape isn’t the best for loading akward items. Build quality isn’t hugely impressive and this is part of the reason that, generally speaking, Suzuki owners aren’t hugely happy with their cars, despite the brand's reputation for reliability.

By the end of its life, the SX4 was available in two forms. The Suzuki SX4 SZ3 is front-wheel drive only, while the SX4 SZ5 is four-wheel drive only. Both cars come with plenty of standard equipment and in truth there's little other than the difference in driven wheels to separate them.

All SX4s were came with six airbags, air conditioning and electric front windows. Bluetooth was available as a £250 option, so if that's an essential you’ll need to check whether it was fitted, as it didn’t come with every car. The top-spec SZ5 came with alloy wheels as standard, plus electric windows for rear passengers and automatic air-conditioning.

Unless you really need four-wheel drive, we’d recommend the SX4 SZ3 model over the SZ5, as it's likely to be cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. Before you stump up the cash for a used SX4, it's certainly worth seeing how much a used Nissan Juke or Dacia Duster would cost, as both outperform the SX4 in some key areas.

MPG, running costs & CO2

2 / 5

No diesel option means Suzuki SX4 running costs are quite high

Engines, drive & performance

1.5 / 5

The Suzuki SX4 is most at home in the city, but gets quite noisy at speed

Interior & comfort

1.4 / 5

The petrol-only Suzuki SX4 is noisy at speed, with lots of wind buffeting around the windscreen

Practicality & boot space

2.5 / 5

The Suzuki SX4 offers up to 1,045 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded flat

Reliability & safety

2.2 / 5

The top-spec Suzuki SX4 SZ5 gets all-wheel drive for slippery conditions

What the others say

3 / 5
based on 4 reviews
3 / 5
The Suzuki SX4 is good to drive, well equipped and attractively priced. It also gives you 4x4 looks without the high running costs.
3 / 5
The Suzuki boasts an eager 1.6-litre engine that responds crisply to the throttle and is keen to rev. it's refined too, and not strained under acceleration. As for the platform itself, raising the suspension with the aim of generating an SUV-like stance normally has a detrimental effect on dynamics, so what's most surprising about the Suzuki is its handling.
3.5 / 5
The SX4 is a bit of an oddity. It's a five-door hatchback, similar to the Suzuki Swift, but it comes with a chunky off roader look and is available with four-wheel drive. The result is a slightly quirky cross between the two but it's also a success. It's practical and roomy inside, very comfortable on the move and handles well too with positive steering and an agile nature. The majority of models sold are only two-wheel drive and there are two subtly different body styles, one featuring extra wheel arch mouldings, roof rails and protective bodywork while this is absent in the more standard version.
10 / 20
The Suzuki SX4 is the separated-at-birth twin of the Fiat SX4, but apart from a good Fiat diesel engine, the pair are basically all Suzuki. Not something Suzuki can be especially proud of though. It's a not-very-good smaller Nissan-Qashqai-type-thingy.
What owners say 
4.1971428571429
4.2 /5 based on 35 reviews
63%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
27 Jan 2016
Own this car? Leave your review.