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Suzy's crossover SX4 all grown up

2014-03-28 07:51

NICE ONE, SUZY: Suzuki has launched its second-generation SX4 in South Africa set to take on Nissan’s Qashqai. Image: SUZUKI SA


MAGALIESBERG, North West Province - Suzuki South Africa has launched the second-generation of its SX4 SUV on the meandering roads of North West.

Crossover vehicles are all the rage in SA and Suzuki claims it was one of the pioneers in the crossover SUV C-segment market. The new SX4 is not only bigger and better than its predecessor but also boasts new 4x4 technology.

Nissan’s Qashqai  better watch out...

The two-litre petrol engine has been replaced by a 1.6–litre, borrowed from the Swift Sport  (100kW), although de-tuned.  Hmm, a pity...

IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Suzuki SX4

The range comprises of five derivatives, starting with the entry-level GL, GLX available in either five-speed manual or seven-speed auto, to the range-topping AllGrip (all-wheel drive) versions, also in either manual or auto guise.

The 1.6 has variable valve timing, kicks out 86kW at 6000rpm and 156Nm at 4400rpm but given the vehicle's bulk, more power would have been appreciated.

The manual transmission is definitely the right pick. After driving the CVT versions I have resolved to stay as far away from them as possible.


Gear changes might be smoother but, dear Lord, the poor transmission has no idea which gear it needs as it hopelessly searches for the correct one. Even when using the "manual mode", it’s rather dismal.

And judging by my colleague Sergio Davids review of the 2010 units, things have not changed much. Hopefully, the next version will be better.

The manual however is fun to drive, and much, much better than the CVT. The 86kW available is adequate for chugging along in Gauteng traffic or driving along the open road. It's handling is great and the SX4 proved confident and comfortable on the road.

The SX4 can be specified infront-wheel drive or with Suzuki’s latest All Grip all-wheel drive on the range-topping models. The system has four driving modes: auto, sport, snow and lock.

The biggest change is definitely the size of the car. I remember the SX4 being marginally bigger than its Swift sibling and often wondered when it was launched in 2008 why the vehicle was not bigger.


I’m glad that the Japanese automaker has come to its senses with the second-generation car. The new unit is 165mm longer, with a 100mm larger wheelbase and 10mm increase in width. The interior is more spacious than before - 220mm longer and 35mm wider.

Then there’s the addition of the next-generation all-wheel drive system called AllGrip. This system allows the driver to choose a driving mode on the fly which includes auto, sport, snow and lock.

Although it doesn’t look that way because of the sporty front apron which appears to sit rather close to the ground, it has a 175mm ground clearance on the base GL model and 185mm on all other versions. Now that’s not too shabby , especially when the route included some off-roading on a mountain pass outside Mogale City in the North West.

Give a motoring journo the opportunity to take on gravel roads and we sure will. It’s safe to say the SX4 held its own on the rutted paths.

Suzuki SA’s product planning manager Charl Grobler says the SX4 meets the requirements of those consumers who live a “crossover lifestyle”. Grobler said: “The SX4 follows the lifestyle of its owners.”

What does that mean? Well, it’s akin to a banker or businessman who goes mountain-biking on the weekend or the school teacher who is part of a rock band.

Grobler added that customers’ needs have changed, hence the increased dimensions of the car. Also, consumers want “less emissions, something that’s fun to drive, has a good fuel economy and appealing styling”.

In the styling department, there are subtle refinements such as the new LEDs  (on higher-spec models), a revised front and more chromed bits.

Other additions include reclining backrests on the rear seats and the passenger doors can now open much wider than before.

Do I like it? Yes, though only in manual guise. What I love most is the fuel consumption. Suzuki SA claims a combined fuel consumption of 5.8-litres/100km and 6.2-litres/100km in the AllGrip versions with emissions of 137g/km CO2.

Despite a few hours of driving the fuel-gauge needle hardly moved much. That alone is a key selling point.

Its price is relatively competitive from R265 900 - R341 900. Suzuki SA says it aims to sell about 120 units a month.

The seating position is comfortable, the facia simple in its layout and there's loads of space.

There's lots of stowage compartments throughout and it has 463 litres in the boot with the seats up and a whopping 1269 litres when folded flat.

Safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, electronic stability program, seven airbags, cruise control (not included in the GL model), as well as Bluetooth and MP3-capable infotainment system.

All units are sold with a three-year or 100 000km warranty, a three-year or 90 000km service plan and a three-year roadside assistance package. Services intervals are 15 000km.


1.6 GL 5MT - R265 900
1.6 GLX 5MT - R295 900
1.6 GLX CVT - R318 900
1.6 GLX 5MT Allgrip - R319 900
1.6 GLX CVT Allgrip - R341 900
Read more on:    suzuki  |  launch  |  north west  |  new model

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