Suzuki SX4 hatchback (2006-2014)
“Although spacious and comfortable on rough roads, the Suzuki SX4 seems a little dated next to its rivals.”
- Plenty of headroom
- Affordable used prices
- Good standard equipment
- Quite small boot
- Not much fun to drive
- Expensive to run compared to 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If you find an older version of the SX4, it may be fitted with one of several engines that were replaced or withdrawn from sale during the car's lifetime, including a 2.0-litre diesel, a 1.9-litre diesel, or a 1.6-litre diesel.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.