Suzuki SX4 test. Not like everyone else.

The model range of the Japanese automaker Suzuki in our market is now represented by a modest line of cars, consisting of only three models: Jimny, Vitara and SX4. In the spring of this year, the assortment was supposed to be expanded with another model, but the situation changed, so the novelty never arrived. And if Jimny is such a kind of frame jeep that stays in its niche, then the current generation Vitara and SX4 are very similar to each other, and it’s not very clear how they still manage to exist in parallel.

Crossover Suzuki SX4, which will be discussed in this material, was released in 2016. Up to this point, the SX4 in the company’s lineup was represented by a hatchback and a sedan. But Vitara before the update in 2018 was also a crossover. It is not clear what clicked in the Japanese brains, but from some point on, two almost identical crossovers appeared in the manufacturer’s lineup, only with different names and different designs. And until the moment I looked at the specifications of the model, I was 100% sure that the SX4 is smaller than the Vitara, and this is precisely the difference between the two cars. In fact, the situation turned out to be completely opposite, the SX4 turned out to be both longer (by 135 mm) and wider (by 15 mm) of the Vitara crossover, which, in turn, is only slightly higher.

In terms of exterior design, the SX4 is more reminiscent of an enlarged hatchback, although it belongs to the class of compact crossovers. The design is recognizable for a Japanese manufacturer, it even has something from previous models, but it lacks some zest and the use of modern solutions. The SX4 looks a little boring, especially from the stern, plus its headlights and taillights are large in size, which is not in trend, and even with halogens inside (in the initial configuration, in the older version there are good LED projector-type headlights). The crossover will appeal to conservative buyers who do not accept new trends in auto design, and those who are not particularly chasing new technologies. Well, there is only one plus in the appearance of the SX4: the car absolutely does not attract attention on the road.

The interior of the model also does not shine with something outstanding, on the contrary, it already smells a little of mothballs. Absolutely straight front panel, made entirely of high-quality, but still hard plastic, with the only exception in the form of a soft lining in front of the passenger, with a minimum of transitions and with a complete absence of elegant design solutions. That’s how I remember the SX4 sedan, which I managed to ride ten or twelve years ago, that’s how everything remains in the current SX4. Of the changes, perhaps a media system with a color screen, which was stuck in place of a conventional radio with a CD changer, however, this innovation still looks foreign here. In place are hard armrests, partially covered with fabric, and plastic inserts painted with silver paint, supposedly designed to imitate metal, and halogens in reading lamps have not gone away. In general, the interior is outdated. Yes, it is reliable and practical, but absolutely not in trend. Look at the same Mazda with its new interior, well, Japanese manufacturers can do something beautiful and interesting, but for some reason Suzuki stubbornly continues to exploit its old developments, not even trying to keep up with the times. Yes, the interior of the SX4 is more interesting than what we see in modern LADA, and even better in terms of materials, but our domestic cars cost two times cheaper than the Japanese.

A person of almost any height and build will comfortably sit behind the wheel of a crossover, all the adjustments of the seat and steering wheel are enough, the only thing that for tall drivers will be almost not enough length of the pillow. Armchairs are moderately hard, with the correct profile, but useless lateral support. Fabric upholstery seems to be practical, but in fact the dirt from it is very difficult to clean. In terms of visibility, there are no special questions for the SX4, the set aside side mirrors are large and give a good overview, although the pillars are wide, the additional sections of the window do not allow the same pedestrians to hide behind them.

By myself, with a height of 187 cm, I sit down not so freely, my knees rest against the back of the front seat, even though special recesses are provided under the fabric, it’s also not very spacious from below. Getting in/out at the back is a little difficult due to the sofa shifted inward, so you touch the body of the car, which may not be very clean. To install a child seat, open-type Isofix mounts are provided at the edges, so there are no difficulties with this moment. Unlike the Vitara, the child fit behind me in the SX4 without any problems, so surprisingly, there is even more room in the back.

But the SX4 not only has more space in the cabin than the Vitara, the former also had a larger trunk, 430 liters versus 375 liters. And by folding the backs of the rear sofa separately from the passenger compartment, which form an almost flat surface, the useful volume of the luggage compartment can be increased to 1269 liters. The floor in the trunk is two-level, you can either use a niche for some small things, or remove the upper raised floor, thereby increasing the volume of the luggage compartment. Even lower, in the very underground, a dokatka is hidden. Automatic opening of the tailgate is not provided in the SX4, even in the maximum configuration, we do everything the old fashioned way, with handles. Of the minuses of the crossover trunk, I will only note a high loading height, otherwise it is quite good for a compact car.

The media system, as I said above, looks a little alien in the car, as if it is not a native device, but an additional one installed. The 7-inch screen is made using IPS technology, with a low resolution (just below HD), low brightness and contrast, and even completely blinds in direct sunlight. The display is touch-sensitive, with good responsiveness, but a weak oleophobic coating, so it is quickly covered with prints that are not so easy to erase. For some reason, along the edges of the screen, the manufacturer made touch control keys that are inconvenient to use on the go, especially when it comes to volume control. The menu drawing is weak, and the fonts are a little clumsy. The main menu items are displayed on the main screen of the system, plus the “Favorites” item can be added there.

Built-in navigation with maps on the SD card, it builds a route well, though without traffic jams, but has a rather mediocre interface. Plus, navigation is not integrated into the car system, and you can only see visual cues for it on the main screen, and this is with a 4.2-inch display on the dashboard. The maps in SX4 are up to date, they have almost all the latest roads and junctions. Yes, the SD card with navigation should be protected and not touched once again, since the price of this carrier with maps is quite high.

The car’s media system also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, only by wire, so the issue of navigation and traffic jams, as well as access to music in general, can be closed by connecting a smartphone to the car. For unknown reasons, there is only one USB-A connector in the 2022 car, it is located in the niche of the front armrest, which is inconvenient. To charge additional devices, you will have to use a car adapter. The truth is, for rear passengers, the issue of charging can no longer be solved, since for them there is not only USB, but also a conventional 12 W socket. You can place your smartphone in front of the SX4 in the niche of the console, even a large device can easily fit there. The only pity is that the manufacturer did not provide some kind of rubberized mat there, since the device constantly rolls back and forth on the smooth plastic of the compartment.

Phones connect to the system via Bluetooth without any problems, call lists are also correctly pulled into it. But, as with the built-in navigation, you can work with contacts and calls only on the central screen, no data is transferred to the dashboard display. The speakerphone works well, but not perfectly, the sensitivity of the microphone is often not enough for a calm dialogue while driving along the highway.

As for the dashboard, we have a monochrome 4.2” display, which is absolutely useless, as it only allows you to view the on-board computer data. Even the speedometer cannot be displayed on this screen, not to mention additional data. By the way, the change of information on the screen is carried out by a button on the instrument panel itself, it is also responsible for adjusting the brightness of the backlight. The rest of the instruments here are analog, the speedometer has a large, well-read markup, although I personally don’t have enough duplication of data in digital form.

As for the electronic driver assistants, even the SX4 in the maximum configuration of the GLX can not boast of anything here. There are front and rear parking sensors with visual and sound indication, there is also a rear-view camera with a terrible picture by modern standards, and besides, it gets dirty very quickly. Information from the parking sensors and the camera is separated, the first is displayed on the dashboard, and the second on the central display. Cruise control is only normal, with control buttons on the steering wheel. And there are also light and rain sensors that work flawlessly. A voice assistant can also be attributed to assistants, but it only works with clearly defined requests and does not allow even small deviations.

The car has dual-zone climate control with a convenient control unit, with temperature setting knobs and its own display with large characters. The climate system works in automatic mode in most cases well, but in rare moments you still have to reconfigure it manually. There are no separate deflectors for the rear passengers, only under the front seats there are air ducts to the legs. Two-level heating is available for the front seats, it works quickly, but basically only warms up the pillow. Yes, the heating is turned on with the help of old-fashioned switches, but, by the way, with a light indication of operation. And there is also a heated rear window and mirrors, but the steering wheel heating, like the windshield, was not delivered. It is strange, of course, to see this on a car for more than 2 million, but only the driver has a window closer here.

For comfort, the car does not have enough stars from the sky. In the city, it is quite quiet, but on the highway noise from the road is already making its way into the cabin, accompanied by aerodynamic noise. The suspension, although it smooths out small and medium bumps, still lets them into the cabin. But on the other hand, on large potholes and the same joints with sharp edges, it works out very well, without particularly disturbing the passengers of the car and smoothing out the bumps as much as possible.

In Russia, Suzuki SX4, like Vitara, is offered with two power plants, this is a 1.6-liter naturally aspirated engine with 117 hp. and a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine with 140 hp. The car is offered in either front-wheel drive or ALLGRIP SELECT all-wheel drive. Box to choose from, five-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

We tested a crossover with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, a 6-speed classic automatic and all-wheel drive. Such a car rides cheerfully and provocatively, there is practically no restraining electronics, as in most modern cars, which controls your every maneuver, everything is simple and transparent, as before. The box quickly sorts through the gears, but thinks a little when kickdown. The power of the motor is enough for both dynamic driving in the city and for free overtaking on the highway. Only quite noticeable rolls in corners upset, so you have to slow down on winding sections. There is an additional sports mode in the crossover, which does not make the car twitchy, but slightly weights the steering wheel and sharpens the reaction to the gas pedal, so it is also suitable for daily trips.

Of course, the SX4 does not pretend to be a full-fledged SUV, but it is possible to drive off to light off-road sections on it, however, extremely carefully. The ground clearance of the SX4 is 180mm, 5mm less than that of the Vitara. Of the assistants, there is only the “Snow” mode, in which you can also lock the differential.

The fuel consumption of the compact crossover is about 8.6 liters per 100 km in mixed driving, not to say that a lot, but not so much. It is recommended to fill the SX4 with 95th gasoline.

The price of the Suzuki SX4 on the official website starts at 2,069,000 rubles and reaches a maximum mark of 2,549,000 rubles, for a metallic color you have to pay another 22,000 rubles. But the reality now is that RRPs from manufacturers do not mean anything, in the salon of an official Suzuki dealer, I was given a price range for the SX4 from 2,500,000 to 3,500,000 rubles.


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