Suzuki SX-4 Crossover review – The nimble soft-roader adventurer

Who remembers the 1st generation Suzuki SX-4? Well, I am sure some of you do remember the brand. It has been since 2012 since Suzuki left the U.S. automarket and Suzuki is still alive and well and churning out new models overseas. Take this 2nd generation Suzuki SX-4, which now adds the Crossover (Taiwan market) or S-Cross (elsewhere globally) moniker, it came out in 2014, with a design freshening coming up later in 2017. I tested and reviewed the Suzuki Jimny last year and that was more of a real off-roader than the SX-4 is. However, Suzuki thought it would be cool to make the SX-4 feel like a crossover in the ever growing market and appetite of buyers for these particular vehicles.

Styling and specs:

Style-wise Suzuki wanted to make this Hungarian built SX-4 more like a crossover than a subcompact, with blacked out fender flares and slightly adjusted ride to make it like a soft-roader, it does stand out a bit. That is for those never venture off-road and just stick to the city or mall parking lots. The 16 inch six spoke alloy rims give it a more sportier look outside, with the styling still that of a compact hatchback. In my opinion the styling is just so-so to bland. It does not stand out when compared to say a Honda Fit.

When compared to the 1st generation SX-4, this 2nd generation SX-4 is much larger and wider. The dimensions on the 2nd generation have the wheelbase at 2,600 mm (102.4 in), length 4,300 mm (169.3 in), width 1,765 mm (69.5 in), and height at 1,575 mm (62.0 in), compared to the 1st generation specs with a wheelbase at 2,500 mm (98.4 in), length at 4,150 mm (163.4 in), width 1,775 mm (69.7 in), and same height at 62 inches. As you can see, the SX-4 has gotten larger than its predecessor. This all makes it more roomier and it shows. In the interior you’ll notice decent legroom with a spacious backseat for passengers. Both the front and rear seats are comfortable and supportive for passengers. The rear cargo area is huge at a 118 cubic feet of space with the seats folded down. Storage bins abound including 8 cupholders, which includes 1 in each door. The dashboard is well-finished with soft touch materials and chrome accents giving it a higher end feel. The SX-4 has automatic climate control and push button start technology. However, this particular model does not have bluebooth connectivity, but it does have a USB adapter.

What about the price? In Taiwan the SX-4 Crossover starts at $NTD 858,000 ($28,450USD), which makes it pricer than its rivals i.e. the Mitsubishi Colt Plus ($NTD $ 569,000 – 629, 000 ($18,500-20,900USD) or the Honda Fit ($NTD619,000 – 689,000 ($20,600-22,800USD). This goes without saying, many consumers maybe turned off by the price of the SX-4, but it goes to show that you’d be driving something more rarer than others.

On the road:

The engine is power by a 1.6L DOHC 16-valve VVT turbo that puts out 140hp at 15.9 kg-m/4,400rpm. This test model SX-4 is an AWD and the transmission is a CVT. With these specs the SX-4 does not sound that interesting nor fast, but Suzuki made this vehicle’s driving dynamics one of the better daily drivers.

Where the SX-4 Crossover shines is around corners and turns with gripping handing in Sport mode. This car loves the twisty roads. The steering feedback is great and sharp turns are precise, with a good turning radius to boot. Acceleration, it is alright, but the transmission gets really noisy when pushed hard. On the road the ride is smooth and the car never struggles to keep up with traffic on the highways.

Stars:

3.5 out of 5

I would say I enjoyed driving the SX-4 Crossover. Its too bad Americans will not have a chance to see these on the roads as this is definitely a big improvement over the 1st generation SX-4.

With competitive crossover and subcompact environment, it is hard to say how the Suzuki SX-4 Crossover/S-Cross will succeed in Taiwan. The competition is fierce and price on many other competing vehicles are lower, but it certainly adds to the crowded arena.

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