From £11,921
Decently priced, attractively styled junior soft-roader.
Matt Prior
17 March 2006

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. 

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