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In-depth reviews

Suzuki SX4 hatchback (2006-2014) - Engines, drive & performance

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

Carbuyer Rating

1.8 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.1 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

1.5 out of 5

The Suzuki SX4 is nowhere near as good to drive as a Nissan Juke, with overly light steering that makes you feel too detached from the whole experience.

It also feels rather floaty when cornering, which doesn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence and adds to the feeling that you’re not really involved in the way the car drives.

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But that light steering and generally good visibility make it a doddle to drive around town and really easy to park. In many ways, it feels more like a Suzuki Swift here than in any other circumstances.

Although the engine makes a loud noise when pushed hard, the SX4 is reasonably well insulated from road and wind noise most of the time.

There’s plenty of grip from the four-wheel-drive system. It’s described as ‘intelligent all-wheel-drive’ and allows you to choose from three modes. 4WD Auto means the car runs in the most efficient two-wheel-drive mode until a loss of grip is experienced. The car can then sends power to the rear wheels when needed. A two-wheel-drive mode for improved fuel economy is also available, as is a 4WD Lock mode that sets the car in permanent four-wheel drive mode for light off-roading. Above 40mph, it will automatically switch to 4WD Auto.

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If you’re interested in an SX4 because you’re concerned about driving in slippery winter conditions, we’d recommend buying the two-wheel-drive model and a set of winter tyres. This combination will offer most of the ability of the four-wheel-drive model but save you money.

Suzuki SX4 petrol engine

There’s only one engine available: a 118bhp 1.6-litre petrol. It needs to be pushed hard to get the best from it, meaning fuel economy suffers and it makes quite a lot of noise. That lack of performance is particularly problematic when trying to make a quick manoeuvre – motorway overtakes will need a bit of planning and a gearchange or two.

The two-wheel-drive SX4 records a 10.7-second 0-62mph time and a top speed of 115mph. The four-wheel-drive model reaches 62mph from rest in 11.5 seconds and can only manage a 109mph top speed.

Over the course of the SX4's lifespan, there were three diesel engines in the range and the most recent of those was a 2.0-litre turbocharged version. If you want a diesel SX4, that's the one to look out for, as it was the most recent and best of the three (though it was still withdrawn from the UK market before the car itself). Also be aware that only older SX4 models will have automatic gearboxes, as the later models were manual only.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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