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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.

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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2012 Suzuki SX4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 263 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

Great compact suv type vehicle, great in snow.

By on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very reliable, good power, great in winter"

Cons: "True gas milage about 23.8 mpg due to awd"

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

"Great compact suv type vehicle, it is very reliable, along with great ability in the winter. With rear seats folded down, lots of room for hauling large items. The teck package offers MP3, CD, Bluetooth, Navi, remote door mirrors heated. All work very well and trouble free. A value packed vehicle, offering a lot for a $20,000 new price tag."

6 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Great car..eeasy to handle

By on Monday, September 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price and fun to drive"

Cons: "by the side windows you have a spot where you cant"

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

"With push button 4 wheel drive..you can go any where...easy handling...about 29mpg...wish it has a little bigger gas tank..but would highly recommend this car.."

11 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Great commuter car, does great in winter driving

By on Thursday, August 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

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
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Inexpensive/easy to maintain, great winter car."

Cons: "Small gas tank/limited range. Weak radio."

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

"0 repairs on this car so far, have owned for 7 years. Only rountine maintenance (which I religiously do), and a new battery at 6 years. Still have original brakes/rotors, and clutch still nice and tight. 5 speed manual gives you a little edge over the automatic. Awesome winter car, which is now it's primary use. Not the most comfortable sub-compact on the market, but certainly would not hesitate to own another one."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Good Car for Me!

By on Friday, August 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "AWD, heated seats, handling"

Cons: "Small gas tank, front visability could be better"

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

"Love this car. Other than a few minor recall items (navigation, airbag wiring, etc.), it's been great. The car gets decent gas mileage and can haul just about anything I need to move. It won't win any speed competitions but the car has been reliable transportation. I've owned mine since November 2008 and I won't be getting rid of it any time soon."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Love the mileage, interior and trunk space

By on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Roomy, good mileage, reliable"

Cons: "Blind spots front left and right at intersections"

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

"This car is roomy inspite of it's small size. Only down side is blind spots front left and right due to the front window frame. Maker tried to compensate with small side windows which only help if you are really short. I'm 5'6" and it took over a year to double check both directions before pulling out in traffic. Car has lots of pep. Not a luxury car so road noise can be heard."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

GOOD, ECONOMICAL, ALL-WHEEL DRIVE

By on Tuesday, July 01, 2014

I owned and sold this car

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "GREAT PRICE, EASY TO PARK, GOOD MILAGE"

Cons: "MANUAL HAS MORE PEP AND MPG"

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

"WITH THE PUSH OF A BUTTON YOU HAVE FRONT WHEEL,ALL-WHEEL, AND 4 WHEEL DRIVE. WE AVERAGE 28 MPG. WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT THIS VEHICLE WILL PERFORM NO MATTER WHAT THE ROAD CONDITIONS. THE HATCH-BACK MAKES IT CONVENIENT, EASY TO PARK AND THE GREEN COLOR IS EASY TO FIND."

5 people out of 10 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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