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Suzuki SX4 (2010 - 2013)

ALLIANCE OF EQUALS (some text hidden)

By Andy Enright

Introductionword count: 164

Car manufacturers have developed their wares into ever smaller niches looking to gain a competitive advantage and Suzuki is one that will occasionally come up with something quite creative - as was the case with the first generation version of its SX4. The formula doesn't initially seem that groundbreaking - taking a supermini-sized hatchback, adding some SUV styling cues to it and introducing the option of 4WD - but it was marketed as a more affordable option to a soft-roading compact 4x4. These so-called 'crossover' models like the Nissan Qashqai have done good business in recent years but they tend to weigh in at around £15,000 to £20,000 bracket. What if the same concept could be applied to a slightly smaller car - for a much smaller price? That's exactly what's offered here by Suzuki, a recipe that was improved in 2010 by the lightly facelifted SX4 model we're going to look at in this guide. Here's how to track down a used bargain.

Modelsword count: 11

5dr supermini crossover (1.6 petrol, 1.6, 2.0 diesel [SZ3, SZ4, SZ5])

Historyword count: 283

If the dates at the top of this review don't quite tally up with your recall, don't worry, you're not getting a bit forgetful. The first generation SX4 was originally launched in 2006, but was improved substantially early in 2010, creating the version we're looking at here. Suzuki needed to enhance power yet improve emissions and economy in the 1.6-litre petrol version that most customers chose. Both were duly accomplished, plus a competitive diesel option was needed - and provided by a torquey 2.0-litre DDiS unit. You will find early facelift cars still fitted with the old 1.6-litre diesel, but it's worth paying extra for the superior 2.0-litre unit. The front-wheel drive petrol-engined cars arrived first, with vehicles rolling into dealerships in January 2010. We had to wait until April of that year for deliveries of the all-wheel drive model and the diesel engined cars to begin. Sales were steady, as the facelift was modest and many customers didn't actually know that there was much new with this vehicle, Suzuki's marketing budget not stretching particularly far. July 2011 saw the introduction of a Special Edition SX4 model, X-EC, priced at £13,430 including metallic paint. Available in two wheel drive format with the 120PS 1.6-litre petrol engine and manual transmission only, it was relatively well equipped with a colour satellite navigation system with Bluetooth connectivity, a USB Port, unique design alloy wheels, electric folding door mirrors with built in turn signal lamps, rear privacy glass and a new design seat fabric. Suzuki displayed an SX4 S-Cross concept at the 2012 Paris Motor Show which looked suspiciously production ready and it formed the basis of an all-new vehicle which replaced this generation SX4 in mid-2013.

What You Getword count: 127

The five-door SX4 is obviously a crossover - but certainly not as SUV-like and in your face as more recent interpretations on this theme from slightly larger Qashqai-class cars. Visual tweaks to the improved version are very minor, amounting to changes to the grille and front bumper. But if you were to save a few thousand and buy this car rather than Crossovers like Nissan's Qashqai or Peugeot's 3008, would you really miss their extra space? Well judge for yourself. The SX4 won't take three people across the back seat as easily - but there's decent room for two adults. And the 270-litre boot isn't huge - but it can be increased to 1045-litres with the split-folding rear seats flattened, which is more than a 5-door Qashqai.

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