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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 287 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

LOVE MY CAR!

By on Thursday, June 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Versatile,Durable,Reliable,Great Price,Good Milage"

Cons: "Visibility"

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

"I love my cute sporty SX4. I love having a hatchback, of course it is optional. I've always found Suzuki to be very reliable. I do a lot of driving and I find it very comfortable. Plus I can fit 2 car seats in the back for both my kids. I love the car seat hooks. They are easy to get to. I've had to put my kids in my mom's car and my sister and that is such a pain. The seats fold down in the back so when I need to haul something like at T.V. it is totally do able. Very versatile car. Has met all my needs and all my expectations.Great Gas Mileage (I'm at 31 mpg) I bought the car new, I'm the only driver and I'm currently at over 115,000 miles. If I had a con it would be the Visibility, I have trouble looking out the passenger window when I have a passenger, and the side windows in the front have thick frames. Doesn't bother me on the interstate, but on those curvy country roads, it tends to be a bit of an obstruction. Love the large side mirrors!"

excellent car, my third suzuki

By on Friday, June 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,831

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "wonderful car"

Cons: "none"

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

"the Suzuki is the best, have been without much trouble, last of my three has 275 miles, with little repairs, have two more a 2008 and a 2009 and they are mine to another 300,0000 miles. seems the good stuff may be affected because people relate it to a motorcycle and the lies you cannot get parts is hysterical, they are easy or can use GM"

great little car

By on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great looking red sport model"

Cons: "none"

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

"this little red beauty has all the goodies, paddle shifters, 2.0 4 cyl engine, great looks, sport wheels."

Good car

By on Thursday, March 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 139,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "very dependable,"

Cons: "no close dealerships for specialized maintenance,"

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

"For the price, it's a very good vehicle. Gas mileage is OK (about 27 in town, 30 on long trips). It's not very comfortable for passengers on extended trips due to no arm rest, but there is plenty of leg room in the back seat. I've not had any trouble with the car in the 8 years I've owned it, except the recalls that were fixed. All the maintenance I've done is an oil change every 3000 miles and new tires. It probably needs a brake job, but I usually just gear down rather than use the brakes, except for stopping of course."

4 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Excellent value

By on Thursday, March 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Snappy car, easy on gas, comfortable"

Cons: "no dealerships in many areas, airbag recall exists"

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

winter muck on my Suzuki SX4

"I have had this car for 8 years now and it has never needed any repairs whatsoever. I have only just slapped tires and brakes on it as needed and kept up with my oil changes. Mine has 2 wheel drive and is an automatic sedan version. It averages about 28 mpg with semi-aggressive driving. Jumping out in traffic on the highway and the occasional high speed pass doesn't dent the 28 mpg too much. It has the power to drive aggressively. It is not a sports car, but you don't have to turn off the AC to pass someone (like with many weaker 4 cylinder cars). It handles great, cornering quite well with no leaning. The tires are pretty wide for such a compact sedan, which is coupled nicely with its finely tuned suspension. The four wheel disk brakes can stop it on a dime. It drives well in snow and on icy roads, with a very smart braking system that is not too invasive and yet keeps it pretty straight even on slippery surfaces. The trunk space is ridiculous. It almost doesn't make sense when you look at it - it seems too big for the car. It is quite deep, accommodating suit cases in their upright position. The seats do not fold down in the sedan, but you wouldn't need them too as there is more than enough space to haul a lot of cargo. It sits kind of high which gives it a slightly awkward look. I compared this to the similarly priced Mazda 3. The biggest difference is the head space. The roof is just enough taller than the Mazda 3 that a 6 foot tall person can comfortably ride around and go over speed bumps without knocking their heads on the ceiling. The driver sits in something like a cockpit, made kinda weird by the strange double A pillars. This is pretty cool, though once you get used to it. The windshield is angled pretty low so rocks and such bounce off without causing damage. Compared to many cars, the windshield can put up with a lot of abuse. I have yet to replace it, whereas my old Chevy Aveo had it's windshield replaced twice due to rocks. It has an efficient cruising speed of around 75 mph. Going over that on a level highway will reduce the mpg to about 26 mpg. At about 40 mph one can get as much as 35 mpg. So if scooting around the suburbs is your task, you will get great gas mileage. There is an obvious trade off for performance with this car. The four cylinder should be able to get better average mpg than 28. But with more horsepower and torque at your disposal, you end up driving it kind of hard (which this car makes pretty fun). A good hyper-mileage driver could probably squeeze 35 mpg out of the car and a lead foot teenager would get about 25 mpg. The seats are quite comfortable and have worn well over the years. Only a few snags in the mesh here and there, but the general shape, a shallow bucket seat of sorts, is still pretty much as it was when I bought it. The ONLY downside is that Suzuki dealerships are hard to find so any recalls are hard to address. There is something to do with the passenger air bag and the seat sensor that needs to be addressed, but without a dealership there is not much you can do there. Aftermarket parts are plentiful and pretty cheap. I replaced the front calipers without spending a fortune (turned out I warped the rotors and the calipers were fine). A good set of performance rotors and mid-level brakes, combined with the front calipers, ran me less than $200 and were quite easy to install."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

winter muck on my Suzuki SX4

Expensive Repairs Horrible Gas Mileage.

By on Saturday, February 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 101,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Sturdy"

Cons: "Expensive parts and terrible gas mileage."

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

"Yes, this car is cute, yes, you get four wheel drive, BUT the drive shaft WILL break in this car, it will cost you $800 or more. and this part breaks constantly I am approaching #3. This part CANNOT be rebuilt. There are NON-Stop issues with the tires, my car's studs and lug nuts are worn out, some have, even broken, from the constant tire issues. IF you like a sturdy car, with poor gas mileage, and getting nickled and dimed for parts, by all means buy this car. Also, this car is LOUD."

12 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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