The Suzuki SX4 tries to combine multiple segments and is actually much better on the road than it might appear on paper
What's new? So far we've driven this car on a test track as a prototype and in pre-production form on ice. Now we’ve finally tried a production version of Suzuki’s new SX4 on the road, and you know what? It’s not bad at all.That should be no surprise: we were quite taken with early SX4s, as well as Fiat’s Sidici which, to all intents and purposes, is a differently styled version of the same car. Suzuki engineered and builds both; Fiat contributed the diesel technology.Diesel SX4s, however, won’t reach the UK until three months after petrol cars, which are in showrooms next month. Prices will range from around £10,500 for a 2wd 1.6 GL; a 4wd 1.6 GLX, as tested here, will breach £14,000.What's it like? That’s a lot of money for a car built on a Suzuki Swift platform, but the cheaper SX4 will be good value and the car is a fairly decent steer. The 1.6-litre engine is willing, if boomy when revved hard, while the gearbox is superbly positive. The ride is firm – it is just about compliant enough – while body control is adequate and the steering accurate. There is, however, excessive wind noise from the mirrors and a fair degree of road noise enters the cabin.The SX4’s interior is quite appealing. There is room for four adults, ergonomics are good and the cabin materials, albeit a tad plasticky, are inoffensively designed and well finished. The faux-metal-edged rotary ventilation controls have a particularly smooth, tactile action.Should I buy one? Globally, Suzuki calls the SX4 a ‘sporty crossover’, but Suzuki UK is a bit more simplistic. It will market the SX4 as a soft-roader and it is a fair one at the price. About 4000 UK buyers a year are expected to agree.