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2009 Suzuki SX4

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2009 Suzuki SX4 Review

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Best known in America for its small, rugged SUVs, Suzuki is steadily cultivating a new image, one that centers around small, fuel efficient cars. Leading the charge is the 2009 SX4 Sedan, which arrives in both base guise and in a well-appointed Sport trim. Like the SX4 crossover, this four-door sedan shares basic chassis and mechanical bits with the Suzuki Swift, a well-respected player in European and Asian markets. Despite the SX4 nomenclature originated by its all-wheel-drive cousin, the Sedan is strictly front-drive – at least for now. It's also nearly 15 inches longer than the hatchback version, most of that stretch to accommodate its formal trunk. A step-up replacement for the old Aerio, the SX4 Sedan gives Suzuki an affordable compact entry that's far more youthful and fun-to-drive than either its existing Forenza or Reno.

You'll Like This Car If...

Those with slight nonconformist leanings who need a practical daily transporter but also want a serious dose of driving fun – and demand it all at an attractive price – will be impressed with the attributes of the 2009 Suzuki SX4.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Drivers whose tastes run more towards hard-line performance – particularly with a Teutonic flavor – or who prefer more aggressive styling might be better off considering something slightly pricier, like a Honda Civic Si, MAZDA3 or VW Jetta 2.5/GLI.

What's New for 2009

The 2009 Suzuki SX4 Sport receives a built-in Garmin navigation unit as standard equipment, a first for a car in this price range. Also new is a lower-priced base Sedan and additional content added to the Sport's Touring package.

Driving the SX4

Driving Impressions Although it still ranks higher in practicality than in pure exhilaration, the SX4 Sport is a nicely balanced package with dynamic character that goes well beyond the original SX4 crossover....

With less weight to move and only two wheels to drive, the engine shows even greater enthusiasm here, but acceleration is definitely more spirited when it's paired with the standard manual gearbox. The biggest difference, however, is in the suspension tuning, which is commendably crisp without being unduly harsh. While the SX4's basic MacPherson strut and torsion beam design carries over, the Sport's more rigid body structure, lower ride height, upgraded shock absorbers and low-profile Dunlop tires on 17-inch alloy wheels (the Crossover rides on 16-inchers) impart an entirely different temperament to the vehicle. Toss in communicative power steering and capable four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, and the SX4 Sport reacts confidently to driver inputs, even without the optional traction and stability controls.

Responsive Handling
Crisp suspension tuning coupled with decently grippy low-profile tires on the largest wheels in the segment help the SX4 Sport live up to its name when the roads get twisty.


Outstanding Visibility
The SX4's large glass area complemented by front quarter windows and oversize outside mirrors provides the driver with exceptionally good front, side and rear sightlines.

2009 Suzuki SX4 Details
2009 Suzuki SX4 photo Interior

Nicely finished and appointed, the SX4's cabin offers generous passenger space in both front and rear quarters. Much is shared with the SX4 crossover, including the dash and door panels, intuitively-positioned switchgear and an abundance of hard plastic surfaces. One key difference: The Sport trim's front bucket seats feature more prominent bolstering and merit high marks for both lateral support and long-range comfort. The SX4's aft quarters possess sufficient head and leg room for two average-sized adults, but three-across occupancy is definitely a kids-only proposition. A new split folding rear seat replacing last year's fixed seatback allows access to the 15.0 cubic feet of trunk capacity.

Exterior

Suzuki claims the SX4's front-end was inspired by a traditional Japanese Kabuki mask but, beyond a few bolder creases in its unique soft fascia and revamped grille openings, the headlights, hood and fenders are all identical to the SX4 crossover. The Sedan has an arched roofline and relatively large glass area that help create a roomier cabin and afford exceptional outward visibility. Pronounced fender flares accentuate the Sport's standard body kit (front and rear valence panel extensions and tasteful side sills), while additional visual and functional enhancement is provided by largest-in-class 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 205/50 all-season tires.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

An economical daily commuter with legitimate enthusiast overtones, the 2009 Suzuki SX4 LE Sedan's extensive creature-comforts roster starts with air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, tilt steering column and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. The Sport trim adds GPS navigation, the Aero package, keyless entry and 17-inch wheels. Both trims share the same mechanical highlights including four-wheel anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, a 143-horsepower engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The warranty is equally noteworthy. Basic bumper-to-bumper numbers are an industry-average three years/36,000 miles, but Suzuki also includes a free loaner car and covers pricy powertrain elements with a seven-year/100,000-mile zero-deductible blanket that's fully transferable.

Optional Equipment

The SX4 Sport offers two key upgrade groups that can be added singly or in combination. The Technology Package brings fog lamps, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio, and cruise control buttons and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity. The Touring Package adds traction and stability controls, automatic climate controls, heated side mirrors, Smart Pass keyless remote locking and starting, and a nine-speaker upgraded audio system with six-disc CD changer. Prime single options include a four-speed automatic transmission, integrated iPod adapter and dealer-installed XM Satellite Radio.

Under the Hood

All 2009 Suzuki SX4 Sedans share the same 2.0-liter DOHC all-aluminum in-line four-cylinder used in the SX4 crossover. Here, too, the engine makes a solid 143 horsepower and 136 pound-feet of torque and is fitted with a variable-runner intake manifold that helps broaden both those output curves. Because of the more performance-oriented gear and axle ratios used in cars equipped with the standard five-speed manual transmission, an SX4 Sport with the optional four-speed automatic actually earns slightly better EPA fuel economy numbers. In either case, the SX4 Sport's front-drive-only configuration helps trim well over 100 pounds off its curb weight compared to the crossover, a factor that significantly improves acceleration.

2.0-liter in-line 4
143 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
136 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (manual), 22/30 (automatic), 22/30 (base, LE, manual), 23/31 (base, LE, automatic)

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2009 Suzuki SX4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 278 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Smooth tight ride, accurate steering, short wheel

By on Thursday, August 20, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: TRADE UP 4MY SON'S ASPEC TL

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Smooth, pretty, modern, reliable, Japanese quality"

Cons: "Irritatingly small fuel tank on AWD, noisy >60mph"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"PROS-inexpensive but well built & relatively trouble free, beautiful modern styling, headlights & paint, tightly built squeak free dash & interior for this price point, cold well built quiet A/C & heater, reliable on demand but unnecessary AWD, modern DCI ignition system & throttle by wire, PW,PL,PS, TILT, A/C, Cruise, intermittent front & rear wipers w/washers, trip computer, continuous mileage meter, TMPS, 4whl disc, 4channel anti-lock brakes & AM/FM/MP3 player all standard, CONS- cabin is a bit noisy above 60 mph for conversation, no modern variable valve timing engine, traction & stability control not standard, aux input or bluetooth connection not standard, small fuel tank (mostly due to the rear drive shaft relief), small but reasonably comfortable stadium like rear seating, gang style TMPS instead of individual wheel report TMPS, no electric P/S, no Lithium battery, no upper control arm, no direct fuel injection (this is and old lie, true fuel injection IS directly into the combustion chamber like a diesel. Manufacturers have falsified the term 'fuel injection' for decades now & have only recently created the term 'direct fuel injection' to represent a new and improved version of what they should have been doing all along) Most rate this vehicle as if it were a car & judge her fuel mileage as such. It is not a car. It is a Micro Crossover & a heavy one in that it is a car and 1/2 due to the AWD. Her fuel economy is on point with a relatively heavy AWD Crossover of this size & weight. She is NOT a Corolla nor a Civic & should not be compared to such. Her drag coefficient & center of gravity are far too high to compete in the economy car class. If missing out on a few modern niceties, a small tank & a bit of noise at highway speeds don't bother you; then you will be happy with the SX4. I suggest that you run her tires above 40 psi to get the fuel mileage up & make her a bit more confident on the road. She doesn't have everything but she has more than she deserves for this price point. Suzuki has done very well here."

Great car!

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "see above."

Cons: "blind spots take a while to get used to."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great car! Small but holds a lot. Does super on ice and through snow. Fun, comfortable car. I love it! Highly recommend."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Nice little car, just a few small issues

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Really cute car, Mini-like appeal for a lot less $"

Cons: "So-so mpg, dash light problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Love my 2009 SX4 AWD, but here's the few problems: Only averages 24-26 mpg -- thought it would be way better for such a small car -- guess it's because of the AWD; Some of the dash lights (tire, check engine) seem to have a life of their own -- "check tire" lights never go off -- dealership removed an automatic tire sensor to correct it, but it's still on, so I put a piece of black tape over it so it doesn't distract me; Really small gas tank (10.5 gal.) so I have to fill up every 200 miles or so; Wish it had a plug-in for my iPod/iPad, but it doesn't and the dealer couldn't upgrade it (bought it used at 1 yr. old.)"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Solid and fun AWD performer, given the price.

By on Monday, June 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good price, fun, peppy, great in slick conditions."

Cons: "Not a big hauler, back seat is tight, small trunk."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This a fun, peppy car to drive, although the interior is a bit noisy at highway speeds. The AWD performs well in slush and shallow or powdery snow, but once you are in heavy/wet snow deep enough to push a drift in front of you with the bumper, you're about done. I've consistently gotten better-than-quoted gas mileage, right from day one, and MPG improves from 5% on up to 10% if you feed it non-Ethanol fuel (proved several times on multiple trips). Check the current price-per-gallon of each fuel type in your area to see if this makes fiscal sense. I'm hoping my next vehicle is close to as good as this one has been."

8 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Good little car

By on Monday, April 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great AWD through snow"

Cons: "gas mileage and tank size"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Wonderfully, affordable AWD car. It cuts through snow with ease! I like the visibility it offers and the interior layout - with GPS. It doesn't get that good of gas mileage (23 highway) and has a small gas tank, which makes fill-ups frequent. It's also a bit underpowered. The car has been reliable, but some of the parts are cheap. For the money (overall) it's a nice car."

9 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great value. Only AWD in my price range. Satisfied

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Space Traction Reliability"

Cons: "Build Quality. No Dealer Support."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great little commuter car: 70 early morning miles on backroads daily. Goes through amazing amounts of snow. Very controlled driving experience. Good pep, even with automatic transmission. Plastic-y interior with minor sympathetic buzzes after 6 years of rough roads. Very comfortable for its size - I stand 6' tall and have head and legroom better than my old Jeep Cherokee! Doesn't like deer strikes - like any modern car, front end is mostly plastic. Biggest negative is NO MORE SUZUKI in Michigan (or USA?) Thankful I got Warranty work all done before the pullout... As a used daily commuter this is the car for you - especially if you deal with snow."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

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