The Suzuki SX4
was introduced for the 2007 model year as the lowest-priced four-wheel-drive vehicle in America. Now, front-wheel-drive SX4 models are the first cars under $16,000 to include a navigation system as standard equipment. Suzuki hasn't done a lot more than integrate a dash-top, flip-up mount for the kind of Garmin aftermarket navigation system you'll find at most electronics stores, but that approach offers a number of advantages over traditional integrated systems, including portability (you can remove the unit and use it in a rental car or on a hike, for instance) and more frequent, more comprehensive updates. In upgraded trim packages, the system includes Bluetooth hands-free calling (it will even "read" your text messages to you) and other subscription-based features like real-time traffic, local events, weather forecasts and a gas price finder. Disadvantages include the smaller, 4.3-inch screen and touch-screen controls that are placed more than an arm's length away. For a starting price of under $16,000, we'll take it. The 2009 SX4 is scheduled to arrive in dealer showrooms this summer.