2011 Suzuki SX4 Sportback (852)


This week we’re looking at the 2011 Suzuki SX4 Sportback. Right off the get go, I have to say whoever was responsible for the sun visors that don’t extend should be shot, or at the very least run out of town. Ok, so that is one of my pet peeves when you can’t block the sun on the side window. Glad I got that out of my system. It just bugs me because I’d be willing to pay the extra $5.00 to make them slide.

Pea popper was the first thought that came to mind when I saw this SX4 up close and opened the door. But after I drove it for a while I got used to it being smaller than my need, but moreover it is much larger than the exterior would imply. Years ago I bought an efficient Ford Fiesta that was very basic and fit the need at the time. For the money I could see buying this SX4 for my kid’s graduation from high school. Guy or gal it would serve them well all the way through college. The VW bug was the hot ticket when I went through college.


The thought occurred to me that everyone should buy one of these efficient cars. In fact, why can’t government force everyone to drive one of these green cars? Our social engineers in Washingtonshould take over all car makers, produce reliable green cars and while they’re at it, they could paint them all one uninteresting green color. Isn’t that the American way? Ford did it with the Model A and you could have any color you wanted as long as it was black…. oh, that’s right that was an innovative private enterprise company. Silly me.  

Handling & Performance:

Pea popper zippy little car that is fun to drive and handles well on the freeway at 70 mph. The 6-speed manual transmission covers for the minimal horsepower at 150. Finally we’re reaching fuel cost at the pump and a social awareness of the world cost of oil the rest of the world has always lived with. When gas in the US reaches world prices of about $8.00 a gallon you’ll see a lot more of these small cars on the road. You can take that to the bank.


Clean and simple aerodynamic lines. Older car buffs will relate to the similarities between the cars of today and the cars of the 1960s and 1970s. Young drivers would modify the look and feel by ‘torching’ the springs in the front to lower it, which was referred to as putting it on a ‘rake’. It was done to reduce air drag (or make it more aerodynamic). It would be several years’ later Detroit brainiacs with computer aided design tools would figure out the same thing high school kids had been doing for decades. So now every new car comes off the production line just that way.

Fit and Finish:

Quite good in class which tends to be typical of Japanese cars.


Excellent price to value.

Conveniences and comfort:

The most evident difference I see from the Ford Fiesta I owned and this SX4 is the many power features that were not readily available back then. Of course one of today’s competitors to the SX is in fact the new Ford Fiesta re-introduced recently. It is equally as nice as this SX4.

We handed our first Fiesta down to our daughter as a graduation gift for not flunking out or getting pregnant and having to drop out. (just kidding, she was a good student and earned the car). Our son bought his own car at 15 and a half, if that tells you anything. Of course boys are not as good in high school as girls because boys are more interested in cars and girls than doing homework.

Consumer Recommendation:

Beat the rush and buy a small car now before the rapid rise of gas prices that are imminent in the near future. It’s possible people will demand we drill and use up some of the 200 years worth of oil we have right here in the USA.  

Recognized Competition:

Suzuki SX4 $13-19,000, Chevrolet Aveo $12-15,000, Dodge Caliber $17-20,000, Ford Fiesta $13-17,000, Ford Focus $17-20,000, Honda Fit $15-19,000, Hyundai Accent $10-15,000, Hyundai Elantra $15-20,000, Jeep Compass $15-25,000, Jeep Patriot $16-24,000, Kia Forte $15-19,000, Kia Rio $12-16,000, Mazda3 $16-23,000, Nissan Versa $10-17,000, Toyota Corolla $16-18,000, Toyota Yaris $13-14,000.

Good News:

Fun to drive, economical, roomier than the size implies.

Bad News:

Sun visors don’t extend.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 150 hp inline 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission, 17” alloy wheels, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution, electronic stability program, traction control, 8 standard air bags front side and side curtain bags front and rear, tire pressure monitor, LATCH child anchor system with rear safety locks, keyless entry, fog light5s, air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, audio with CD/ MP3, Cruise control and tilt leather wrapped steering wheel mounted audio controls, trip computer, fold flat split rear seats, rear window defroster and wiper.

Gas Stats:

$3.31/ Gal avg. Feb 7, 2011


for more information.

22 City and 30 Highway MPG


MSRP $16,499.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2011 – An Automotive Love Affair

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