Suzuki says the new 2.0-litre two-wheel drive version of its SX4 five-door hatchback is proving a dark horse in the New Zealand car market
Though the SX4 has a Sport Utility Vehicle-like stance, that’s not reflected in the car’s driving dynamics. Long wheel travel provides a compliant ride over bumps, and the handling has benefitted from Suzuki’s rally programme.
The SX4’s wheels are fastened with five studs for added strength, and the multi-layer side sill and multi-layer centre pillar are made from high tensile steel.
The 175mm ground clearance allows ease of entry and exit, and a high seating position and large glass area provide good all-round visibility for all occupants.
The car’s 600mm front seat height is about 100mm more than most compact cars, and despite an overall length of 4135mm for easy parking and manoeuvrability, there is good cabin space.
The wedge-shaped car is Suzuki’s third global strategy model.
On-road prices, which include a five-year roadside assistance package, start from $22,500 for the GLX model with manual transmission.
The 2.0-litre SX4 is also available in a higher specification LTD form, from $24,500. Both models are also offered with optional automatic transmission.
A $2000 pricing advantage over equivalent specification all-wheel drive SX4 models, plus a fuel economy bonus, is plus points for the two-wheel drive Suzuki.
With a kerb weight of 1255kg for the GLX and 1290kg for the LTD, they are slightly lighter than the all-wheel drive SX4 models.
The fuel-injected 1995cc J20A double overhead camshaft engine develops 107kW.
Remote control door locking, with “answer back” that includes the tailgate, is standard on both GLX and LTD. They each come with four-wheel disc brakes, four-channel anti-lock braking with EBD and brake assist, engine security immobiliser, front air bags and driver’s seat height adjuster.
Climate-control air conditioning is standard on the higher-grade model, replacing air conditioning on GLX.
The LTD model also adds keyless entry with keyless start system, cruise control, front fog lamps, aluminium alloy wheels and front and rear curtain air bags.
A body kit comprising front spoiler, lower side mouldings and rear spoiler is fitted to both 2.0-litre models, distinguishing them from the 1.6-litre entry level SX4.
Euro NCAP crash testing has given the model a four-star rating for occupant protection, with the car scoring maximum points in the side impact portion of the test.
Since the SX4 was introduced to New Zealand in March 2007, sales have exceeded expectations.