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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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Buying this car?

2012 Suzuki SX4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 257 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

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."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great car for the money!!!

By on Friday, June 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

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: "AWD, overall quality, interior and cargo room."

Cons: "Could use a larger gas tank (for trips)."

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

"Bought this car new - put 75,000 miles on it (half those miles are highway travel miles). Other than an air conditioning repair, never had any issues with it. The AWD works great - no trouble in snow or wet conditions. The interior provides plenty of room for 5 adults. Fold down rear seats and hatchback opening provides room for bigger cargo than you'd think would fit. Ours has a 5spd manual tranny - fun to drive and a lot of pep! We've made 3 trips from Oregon to Florida - very comfortable cruiser. We plan on selling it only because we need a larger vehicle (new grandbabies!)."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent value, runs very well in all weather

By on Sunday, June 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

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
7/10

Pros: "great price , great on gas, very reliable"

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

In Excellent Condition 2009 with Navigation system built in!!!

"Great starter car, very reliable, runs great and very stable in all kinds of weather, great visibility, safe on highway and easy to maneuver in city."

In Excellent Condition 2009 with Navigation system built in!!!

I love this car and wish I could buy a new one.

By on Saturday, May 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quick, Sure Footed, Intuitive Controls"

Cons: "Medium Gas Mileage (< 30)"

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

"This car may well be the best I've ever owned. I'm 6'04 and I have plenty of head room and it just keeps on going with nothing but routine maintenance. The only deficiency is mileage, but that's understandable with the power and pickup this car puts out. I would be buying a new one of these little dynamo's if Suzuki hadn't abandoned us in the lurch. Bad Form Suzuki."

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

great gas mileage, really small

By on Wednesday, May 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "gas mileage"

Cons: "no room for passengers or storage, blows all over"

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

"I should have done more research before I bought this car. The gas mileage is great and it's amazing in snow and ice, but it's tiny tiny tiny. There's no room for anything in it, the wind blows it all over the road and on the highway the big truck can be really scary with their drafting. If I had it to do over again I would have not bought it. The resale value is terrible too."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

best salesmans car ever

By on Tuesday, May 06, 2014

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

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: "best value i could have hoped for"

Cons: "well, its not the biggest beast on the road..."

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

"what - all wheel drive and great gas milage? i drove this thing 102000 miles already and have had to do nothing but put front brakes and 2 sets of tires. i reccomend the 5 speed as it takes the 4 cylinder to the next level. great trunk space and convertability with the folding seats. great for car seat too."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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