Review: Suzuki SX4 (2006 – 2014)

Rating:

Reasonably spacious five-seater with a decent boot, strong and economical diesel, tidy handling in 4WD.

The boot has a high loading lip, originally you could not get a diesel with four-wheel drive but from 2008 you could.

Recently Added To This Review

8 May 2018

Report of right spring failure in a 2008 Suzuki SX4 at 46,000 miles. Read more

18 September 2017

Both coil spring failures reported on 2011 Suzuki SX4 at 21,000 miles in September 2015. Then, again, in September 2017 at 28,629 miles another front coil spring was found to have snapped. Read more

26 January 2016

Intermittent starting problem reported with Suzuki SX4 keyless ignition (engine unspecified). Read more

Suzuki SX4 (2006 – 2014): At A Glance

'Cute and Chunky' seems to sell cars, particularly to women. Now that Toyota has abandoned the short wheelbase RAV-4, Suzuki has come up with a new 3-door Vitara with very similar looks. And, in collaboration with FIAT, also presents us with this cute and chunky 5-door hatchback called the SX4, built in Esztergom, Hungary.

It's likely to succeed whereas others like the Rover Streetwise failed because as well as having urban warrior looks, it's also available with four wheel drive so has the kit to act the part should the occasion arise. However, to make sure it gets a bite at every faction of the its niche market, you can also have it as a plain two wheel drive, as a two wheel drive automatic, and as quite a powerful, yet economical diesel. Not all at the same time, though, as the two permutations you cannot have are a diesel automatic or a four wheel drive automatic.

Suzuki SX4 2006 Road Test

Suzuki SX4 2010 Road Test and Video

What does a Suzuki SX4 (2006 – 2014) cost?

List Price from £17,749
Buy new from £14,499
Contract hire from £184.52 per month

Suzuki SX4 (2006 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4135–4235 mm
Width 1755 mm
Height 1605–1620 mm
Wheelbase 2500 mm

Full specifications

Though the car looks quite small (about the size of a Citroen C3) it's actually a reasonable 5-seater with plenty of headroom for the centre back and enough width to accommodate three pairs of adult hips. The boot is a decent size, too, and the back seats tumble forwards 60/40 to leave a flat floor, though the rear sill is quite high to give the car structural strength and won't take a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

It's easy to get comfortable in the higher than normal driver's seat and visibility is good, aided by large quarterlights in the A pillars and big, van-like door mirrors.

Child seats that fit a Suzuki SX4 (2006 – 2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the Suzuki SX4 (2006 – 2014) like to drive?

We took the 4-Grip diesel out first. It was a bit gruff if you pushed it through the gears (same engine as the Vauxhall Zafira recently tested) and ran out of useful revs at 4,000rpm. But it was decently high geared with 4th, 5th and 6th all fairly close together and 6th delivering a relaxed 100mph cruise at 3,000rpm. Push it into the corners with 2WD selected (for economy) and you feel the weight of the iron block engine at the front. But pop it into ‘Auto' and the sensors bring in the rear axle when understeer is detected at the front and it handles much more tidily. For really rough going you can also lock the centre diff so drive is permanently delivered to both axles, but you would never normally do this on the road except in deep snow.

In direct contrast, the 1.6 petrol 4-Grip we tried was far less refined. The engine seemed to pass through an unpleasant boom period at 5,000rpm before it smoothed out again, finally hitting the limiter at 6,750rpm. This was not a universal trait as other drivers on the launch actually preferred ‘their' petrol models to the diesels they had tried. However, 1.6 manuals only have 5 speeds and are geared to deliver just 20mph per 1,000rpm which would have made 100mph very boomy indeed had we ventured as fast.

We left the launch in confusion. Fiat is offering the same car badged at the Sedici, but with greater emphasis on the diesel. Yet we were told Suzuki favoured the 1.6 and had not even made a decision about importing the four-wheel drive diesel. Prices, we were told, would be between around £10,000 and around £13,750, but the dealers had to be told before we would be and we could expect to hear on 22nd March.

That didn't happen. Nor did it happen on 23rd or 24th March, despite requests. So I'm posting this road test not knowing what the final price will be, but hoping the reason for the delay is that Suzuki is having a re-think about its UK range. If I was the boss I'd offer the front-drive 1.6 auto and the four wheels drive diesel, and hold the rest back. I wouldn't try anything else unless the market asked for it.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6 38–46 mpg 10.7–12.3 s 141–175 g/km
1.6 4x4 41–44 mpg 11.5 s 143–149 g/km
1.6 Automatic 42 mpg 12.3 s 155 g/km
1.6 DDiS 53–58 mpg 12.2 s 129–139 g/km
1.9 DDiS 45 mpg 10.6 s 166 g/km
1.9 DDiS 4Grip 44 mpg 11.2 s 174 g/km
2.0 DDiS 4x4 53 mpg 11.2 s 139 g/km

Real MPG average for a Suzuki SX4 (2006 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

99%

Real MPG

32–64 mpg

MPGs submitted

194

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Suzuki SX4 (2006 – 2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What's a good Suzuki SX4 equivalent for coping with narrow and winding roads?

I'm living in Cumbria; windy roads, mountain passes, narrow lanes and lots of potholes. My Suzuki SX4 is a brilliant 4WD car. However, it is not made anymore. What would be a similar car to look at for a suitable replacement? I'm looking for a car which is not too wide (for those narrow lanes) really high clearance, (for tracks and occasional off-road) and, if possible, 4WD capability too. I don't need fancy, I need practical.
I'd stick with Suzuki. They make robust vehicles and most of the range is available with 4x4. You could look at a Swift or Ignis, or if you'd prefer something bigger (and with more ground clearance), consider an SX4 S-Cross or Vitara. Or there's the go-anywhere Jimny, but it's an acquired taste on the road. Also consider a Dacia Duster.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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