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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 270 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

Best descion I made

By on Saturday, February 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

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: "sporty, value for price, gas mileage is great"

Cons: "gas tank smaller than I like"

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

"I bought my 2009 SX4 new from the dealer. I have loved it from the start. It handles wonderfully in 2wheel or 4wheel drive. The wheelbase is short enough to make the turns I need but feels stable going down the road. I have never had a problem mechanically. The 4 wheel drive gets me to work on snowy highways without trouble. Never have gotten stuck. The back seats will fit an average adult without problem. I am short and I can adjust the front seat comfortably. The spoiler and roof racks make it look sporty. Excellent gas mileage."

Great Car.

By on Thursday, February 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 146,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"I've had mine for a couple years now. I drive an hour to work one way everyday. but that car still acts like it is nearly-new. no major problems ever. the j20 engine is great. Very reliable. I love it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

good vehicle for the price

By on Friday, January 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

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
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "overall dependable"

Cons: "cvt transmission"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"a surpizingly good vehicle for the price. overall I have had good luck with this car. excellent for what it is"

15 people out of 26 found this review helpful

Best Sedan for the Money

By on Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "gas, trunk, cheap to fix"

Cons: "not big enough to 3 kids with 2 car seats."

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

"I bought my 2011 Sx4 new. drive great in snow. i drove it all over the US with no issue. just a regular oil change every 3 months."

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

New driver, first car, works for all my needs

By on Saturday, December 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, cute design, easy clutch"

Cons: "oil light doesn't come on, little engine power"

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

"Parents bought the car new in December of 2008. They were looking for an inexpensive AWD car, and the SX4 Hatchback fit all their requirements. I received the car in April at 90,000 miles as my first car. At 80,000 miles, the engine blew up so we had to replace it. Later, we learned that the oil light does not come on when the oil is low, which then caused the engine to blow up. Also, the engine loses a lot of power when you add passengers, I often find myself going up hills in third gear when I have friends in the car. When riding solo, the car rockets, kind of. The engine isn't powerful enough to win races, but it has enough to launch from a stop. It's a kick to drive, and I highly recommend the stick- shift. The trunk has a lot of space, and can carry almost anything I want, especially when I fold the rear seats up. I enjoy the dashboard, I think it's stylish, and the radio works well. I did put in an iPod plug in, however, and it is my main source of music when I drive. The hatchback model is super cute, and I love driving around in it. As a first car, it is really great, and I don't have many complaints. My parents feel comfortable with me driving in it. I would buy this car again if it came with a much better engine with a lot more power, but everything else is great."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

This car is awesome in the snow great to handle

By on Thursday, December 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fair price great to drive"

Cons: "no storage space like console"

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

"This is an awesome awd car great in the snow the gas tank is way to small and the back seat not to roomy but I will keep it I live in upstate NY and love it"

3 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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