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2012 Suzuki SX4

Overview
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2012 Suzuki SX4 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.6

Suzuki's compact SX4 comes in three versions: An all-wheel-drive hatchback called the Crossover; a slightly shorter, front-drive hatch called the SportBack; and a sedan that was introduced in 2008. When the Suzuki SX4 was launched in 2006, it was a breath of fresh air in the compact hatch segment, featuring all-wheel-drive and commendable cargo space for a price well under $20,000. But six years later the car has changed little and lots of highly appealing competition has arrived, including the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Mazda2 and the Kia Soul and Rio5. If there is one thing the aging SX4 has going for it, it's that the Crossover version can claim the title of lowest-priced all-wheel-drive car in America.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want to pay the lowest price for a new car with all-wheel-drive, the SX4 Crossover might appeal to you. All SX4 models offer good cargo-carrying capacity for their size and stand out from competitors not only by their looks but from the sheer fact that not as many people buy them.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Purchasing a Suzuki means buying a lesser-known vehicle with a smaller dealer network, and that means fewer dedicated service centers in comparison to other brands. While the SX4 Crossover is the lowest-priced all-wheel-drive vehicle in the U.S., the Subaru Impreza 5-door can be had for less than $1,000 more and offers more size and better fuel economy. Meanwhile, less-powerful but still fun-to-drive competitors such as the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris and Mazda2 offer better fuel economy, as much or better cargo capacity and lower starting prices.

What's New for 2012

2012 SX4 models carry over with minor changes from 2011, when they were mostly unchanged from the 2010 model year that saw a slight power increase and interior modifications. Updates for 2012 include an upgraded Garmin navigation system and standard electronic stability control on SX4 sedans. Base sedan models now get rear disc brakes like other SX4 models, and the LE automatic version has a slight improvement in fuel economy. Two new color choices are available for 2012 SX4 models: Brilliant Blue Metallic and Crimson Red Metallic.

Driving the SX4

Driving Impressions Because of their small size, all Suzuki SX4s are easy to maneuver and park. The Sport version of the Sedan and the SportBack offer relatively sporty handling, but these are...

not tarmac burners. With its standard all-wheel-drive, the Crossover feels capable in wet and snowy conditions. Its intelligent All-Wheel-Drive (i-AWD) system has three settings: One puts total power to the front wheels and is said to improve fuel economy, another automatically puts power to the rear wheels when traction is lost, and the third is a lock mode that sends consistent power to the front and rear wheels for use in especially slippery conditions.
Favorite Features

Interior Flexibility
SX4 Crossover and SportBack models feature rear seats that not only fold, but also tumble forward. The tumble feature opens up interior space and allows this little vehicle to swallow quite a bit of cargo.

Armrests
We appreciate the little things in vehicles that make driving more comfortable, and when traveling long distances, armrests help reduce driver fatigue.

2012 Suzuki SX4 Details
Interior

The SX4 in Crossover and SportBack forms offers a flexible interior with 60/40 split-folding rear seats that also tumble forward. With the rear seats folded, there is a bigger-than-expected 43 cubic feet of cargo space. Up front, a tilt (but not telescoping) steering wheel is standard across the lineup and is available with leather wrapping. All SX4 models can seat up to five passengers, but keep in mind these are small cars, so the rear seats are not exactly spacious for adults. Steering wheel-mounted controls for audio and cruise control are available on higher trims of the sedan and Crossover, and standard on the SportBack. The simple gauges and instrumentation are well lit, easy to read and still fairly fresh looking. Bluetooth hands-free technology is optional. Driver and front-seat passenger comfort is improved with the built-in armrests.

Exterior

Though six years old, the SX4 Crossover still looks relatively modern, boasting a short, wedge-like profile with plenty of windows. The front-drive-only SX4 SportBack is about an inch shorter than the Crossover and has slightly lower ground clearance. You might know it as the economy car tapped by the U.S. version of "Top Gear" for its Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment. The SX4 Sedan remains quite bland with little to distinguish itself, but the Sport version has a, well, sportier appearance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on all SX4 models includes a rear heater duct, pollen filter, halogen headlights, ABS, 12-volt power outlet, dual front vanity mirrors and power windows, locks and mirrors.

Optional Equipment

A navigation unit, carbon-fiber door-sill trim and XM satellite radio are among the relatively short list of interior upgrades available on the 2012 Suzuki SX4. An auto-dimming rearview mirror is optional on the Crossover and SportBack versions. A roof rack is available across the board, and Crossover versions can be fitted with a ski/snowboard holder or cargo box. The Sport version of the sedan has a sport-tuned suspension, spoilers and larger wheels and tires.

Under the Hood

All 2012 Suzuki SX4 models are powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out 150 horsepower when connected to a 6-speed manual transmission or 148 for vehicles with the continuously-variable automatic transmission.

2.0-liter inline-4
150 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
148 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (CVT automatic)
140 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
Crossover: 22 /30 mpg (manual transmission), 23/29 mpg (automatic)
SportBack: 22/30 mpg (manual), 23/30 mpg (automatic)
Sedan: 23/33 mpg (manual), 25/32 mpg (automatic)
Sport: 23/32 mpg (manual), 23/30 mpg (automatic)

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Buying this car?

2012 Suzuki SX4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 250 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
    8.6/10

Reliability & Value

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

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
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Reliable, Great Value"

Cons: "Not the best in its category for gas mileage"

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

"My 2008 Suzuki SX4 Sedan is as about as reliable as one could ever hope or expect. I bought in July 2008, and have had zero issues with it. I've changed the oil and the tires of course, and put on new brake pads. Never had to re-charge the AC, and it keeps it as cool as the first day I bought it. The base model came with the accessories normally found on the Plus Plus packages for the same year Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Great value for the price. I also have a 2004 Suzuki Grand Vitara with 125,000 miles on it and it is still running strong. Suzuki really engineered their cars very well. Solid. The silver paint still waxes well on the 2008, and you can't tell it's not a current model economy car. I will say the gas mileage is not the best among its competitor cars, but that would be my only mild complaint."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Most reliable car I ever had!

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "A little to small for my wife & I's needs."

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

"This car has been great! Safe snow driving w/good snows great A/C & cool driving in summer. Oil change every 2500 to 3000 mi. & the most reliable car ever!! And sharp looking."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great for the Money

By on Sunday, March 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Price is good - fun to drive. Fine for four adult"

Cons: "Uncomfortable for long trips"

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

"I've had the car for almost 3 years and have never had any type of problem! Not the most comfortable car on the road but for driving around town every day, it's great. Easy to park and has plenty of room for carrying groceries. Has been very reliable. We had some bad weather this year and this little car handles great on snow/ice."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Cheap awd/second suzuki

By on Friday, March 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Cheap,frugal,reliable,hatchback,safe,handles well"

Cons: "slow,noisy,poor ride,low resale,suzuki exited U.S."

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

"This is my second suzuki after having a 99 Esteem wagon for 10 years. I cheaped out when I bought this car, should have bought the Kizashi.Just in the last week have I had to out any repair money into this car as a rear disc brake caliper wouldn't release and ruined the pads and rotor. I have no complaints about suzuki in general. Sad to see them leave U.S. as they would have had a customer for life in me. As for my SX/4 it is a rough riding somewhat uncomfortable buckboard of a car with very good reliability.Easy to park and zippy enough for fighting through the 120" of snow in my area.This car would make a great first car for a student just starting out as it is reliable,safe,somewhat frugal and easy to bop around in especially in the urban environment."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

very good

By on Monday, February 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "ALL ABOVE"

Cons: "LOT OF WIND NOISE WHEN WINDOWS DOWN"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"ex head room both of us wife is 5 ft spouse 6 ft good visibl&& &y 30mpg excellent traction she loves it many months of snow an ice in north maine. cold bothers the low tire light on a lot.WHERES THE THE SEAT REPAIRS PROMISED BIG PROBLEM NOT IMPORTRD NO DEALERS ONLYREASON FOR NO RECOMMEND."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

EXCELLENT YEAR ROUND VEHICLE!

By on Thursday, January 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "excellent in snow, convenient city parking; color"

Cons: "small gas tank. cheap plastic inside"

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

"The AWD is awesome in the snow! I love the SX4. The only cons I have are: some of the plastic pieces on the rear interior seats popped out after folding down for storage and had to be replaced; the gas tank is small so for frequent use you will be stopping at a gas station more often; there is no interior button for the hatchback so when you want to open it, you have to do it manually outside of the vehicle; the gas tank door opener is in an inconvenient location on the floor next to the driver's seat. Suzukis are no longer being sold in the United States!! WHY?????"

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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