Saloon, hatchback, estate, MPV, SUV – which configuration best suits your driving needs? – the choice of body style gets ever wider and more confusing.
The latest trend is for models that are not one thing or the other but a crossover concept to better match complimentary design elements,
Such a vehicle is Suzuki’s attractive little SX4 five-door, which blends the character of sporty compacts, as exemplified by the company’s Swift model, with those of lightweight SUVs, such as the Suzuki Grand Vitara, to create an enticing small car alternative.
The resulting ‘Sport X-over’, as it has been dubbed, combines responsive driving dynamics, 4x4 capability and high levels of practicality and styling that, say the PR people, “suggest a freestyle approach to life”.
The UK line-up offers two engine options – one petrol and one diesel. The 120PS 1.6-litre VVT petrol engine is available in either SZ3 or SZ4 2WD (front-wheel drive) specification or as a 4x4 SZ5 model with selectable/automatic four-wheel drive. The 2.0-litre DDiS engine is available only as an SZ5 4x4 model. It has intelligent all-wheel drive technology with three modes – 2WD, 4WD Auto and 4WD Lock.
Three model grades are available: SZ3 and SZ4 (2WD), SZ5 4x4 petrol and SZ5 4x4 with 2.0-litre DDiS engine. All versions have a bold SUV appearance, with wheel arch extensions, side under protection mouldings and front and rear skid plates.
The “X-over” design continues inside the vehicle, with curving wraparound forms and trim materials and fabrics that have high visual and tactile quality. Circular motifs and a flowing centre panel express the car’s performance dynamics.
The Suzuki SX4 comfortably accommodates up to five people and their luggage needs, while retaining a sleek and stylish look. The 4WD models have exterior length-width-height dimensions of 4,150mm x 1,755mm x 1,620mm (2WD models:1,605mm) These efficient proportions and a minimum turning circle of 10.6 metres make SX4 easy to navigate around narrow urban streets and easier to park in spaces that would be out-of-bounds to large SUVs.
The spacious interior offers plenty of leg and shoulder room, even for rear seat passengers. Space is not the only factor in ensuring plenty of on-board comfort: the shape and position of the seats are designed to support a natural posture, a key factor in comfortable long-distance travel. Additionally, ideal seat heights, large door openings, and high ground clearance make access easy for all on board. The rear seats are set slightly higher, which means even those in the back get a good all-round view.
SX4 is well equipped as standard with the SZ3 model offering six airbags; remote central locking with deadlocks, air conditioning, MP3 / WMA compatible CD tuner with eight speakers (four Midrange and four Tweeters), front electric windows, driver information display and illuminated steering wheel mounted audio controls.
SZ4 adds front fog lamps; 16-inch alloy wheels, side body protection, rear electric windows and heated door mirrors, as well as keyless entry and start, dashboard centre speaker and automatic air conditioning.
The top of the range SZ5 adds intelligent all-wheel drive and rear privacy glass, with the 2.0 DDiS model adding cruise control and six-speed manual transmission as additional standard equipment.
The X-EC special edition model is based on the popular SZ4 grade; competitively priced at £13,430, which includes metallic paint; it is only available in two-]wheel drive format, with 120PS 1.6-litre petrol engine and manual transmission.
This model offers a comprehensive list of standard equipment, including colour satellite navigation system with Bluetooth connectivity; USB Port, unique design alloy wheels, electric folding door mirrors with built in turn signal lamps, rear privacy glass and new design seat fabric.