SX4 gives Suzuki a sedan option
Suzuki NZ, riding high on the phenomenal success of its Swift supermini, is out to carve a larger slice of the compact car market with a sedan version of the SX4.
The 2.0-litre four-door follows the four-wheel drive hatchback which arrived here last year.
But the sedan is available with front-wheel drive only, though there’s a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes.
Like other small sedans, the SX4 four-door was developed primarily for the US market, where it’s essential to have a conventional sedan in a car line.
Suzuki NZ has high expectations for the new sedan, planning on selling 330 this year.
Offered only in high specification Ltd form, the SX4 sedan has a recommended retail price of $24,500 with the five-speed manual gearbox, and $25,990 with the four-stage electronic automatic transmission. These prices are the same as the two-litre front-wheel drive SX4 Ltd hatchback.
At 4490mm, the SX4 sedan is 355mm longer than the hatchback.
It has reworked suspension and a 35mm lower ride height than the four-wheel drive hatchback. There’s good rear seat legroom, and the boot is large, and has a capacity of 515 litres; the spare wheel is a space-saver.
The sedan has a full lower body kit, including front chin, side and lower rear body mouldings. In place of 16-inch diameter wheels on the hatch, the sedan runs 15-inch alloys.
Electrically operated power assisted steering, electric windows and door mirrors, tilt adjustable steering, engine security immobiliser and remote control for door locking with answer back are standard.
The keyless entry incorporates a keyless start system, allowing the driver to lock and unlock the doors and operate the car while leaving the keys in a pocket or handbag.
Also included is climate-controlled air conditioning, and steering wheel controls for the eight-speaker audio tuner with CD, MP3 and WMA facilities.
A red-illuminated information panel or computer displays current time and outside air temperature as well as both average and instantaneous fuel consumption.
The cars have foglights and a leather-bound steering wheel.
The 107kW, twin overhead camshaft engine develops peak torque of 184Nm at 3500rpm.
Independent MacPherson strut front suspension is complemented by a rigid torsion-beam system at the rear.
Four-channel anti-lock braking (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) are standard active safety features. The SX4 sedan has driver, front passenger, front and rear curtain air bags.
A brief drive on country roads in the Manawatu and Rangitikei districts during last week’s launch of the model showed the SX4 to be a competent enough handler, though the bias is towards understeer.
The car has low cabin noise levels on chip-surfaced roads.
The steering is direct and well-weighted and the ride quality is good.