Suzuki SX4 2.0 DDiS SZ5 4WD: Road test review

The SX4 is designed to give buyers the practicality and looks of an all-wheel drive SUV in Swift-sized supermini package. The Suzuki's £17,400 price is certainly attractive, but what sets it apart from bigger rivals such as the Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008?

We spent a week with the 2.0 DDiS SZ5 to find out.
The SX4 was jointly developed with Fiat, although the Sedici is no longer available in the UK. Originally launched back in 2006, the chunky off-road styling looks a bit dated compared to rivals.

Modern touches to the styling include the sloping side window line and the bulging wheel arches.

Our favourite part of the design has to be the large windscreen area, which helps front visibilty even if the large roof pillars compromise the side vision.

Our test car was fitted with one of two engines available for the SX4, the 133bhp 2.0 DDiS diesel. Mated with six-speed manual transmission, the baby Suzuki SUV can achieve 42.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 139g/km, so this Suzuki should prove cost effective to run.

This is a small car and despite the tall body we found the Suzuki very easy to park, even with a lack of rear parking sensors. These would have been very useful for tight spaces though! The Suzuki's light steering is surprisingly precise too.

There's some body roll because of the SX4's tall body, but the Suzuki is a tidy handler and has plenty of grip. Only the clunky six-speed manual transmission disappoints in what is an enjoyable to drive package. The bigger Nissan and Peugeot are more fun to drive.

Considering the four-wheel drive transmission, the ride is very good, coping well with even the worst road scars.

Inside, the SX4 feels robust rather than well-made. Suzuki has a reputation for dependability and reliability, but there are some dodgy, scratchy plastics and the metallic-coloured interior trim felt a bit cheap. Thankfully, all the switchgear feels sturdy and the instruments are easy to read.

In such a small body, the 2.0-litre engine feels very capable, however it is noisy when started from cold and turns thrashy when worked.

The six-speed manual transmission isn't the smoothest, with 60mph coming up in 11.2 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph which means the SX4 isn't going to win any performance awards. Then again that is not really the point of this car.

The SX4's doors open wide and the driving position is comfortable but it's a shame the seats are a bit flat and lack support. This Suzuki's tall shape means plenty of interior space front and rear. There's also a useful 270 litres of luggage space in the boot, which can be extended to 625 litres via the split/fold rear seats.

In range-topping SZ5 trim, the SX4 is well-equipped with electrically adjustable door mirrors, electric front and rear windows, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, a multi-function steering wheel and alloy wheels.

There's no optional sat-nav, but one can be bought from the accessories list. I was impressed at how easily we could pair my phone with the Bluetooth system.

So would we recommend the SX4? Well, it is a bit of an oddity and the design is feeling a bit dated now. However, it is great to drive, has a spacious interior, is well-equipped and the practicality of four-wheel drive. These factors could make the SX4 more attractive than mainstream rivals.

Suzuki SX4 2.0 DDiS SZ5 4WD
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Suzuki SX4 2.0 DDiS SZ5 4WD: Road test review
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