I was quite torn as to what to buy. I looked at the KIA Soul, the MItsubishi Eclipse, the Subaru legacy, and the Suzuki sx4. First, let's prface this with, I know the eclipse is a whole different type of car. The Soul was very nice, drove nice, and had lots of options, but was just a bit too funky for my taste. the Subarus are nice too, but for far less money i was able to get the AWD suzuki. I fell in love with it at first sight! Mine has custom leather interior, carbon graphite accents, body moldings and custom wheels, so it looks different from the run of the mill Suzuki, but even the plain version is a kick to drive! I've had it for over a week, and still look forward to driving it!
GPS, Ipod attachment, steering wheel controls, all wheel drive (a MUST after this winter!!!!)customized!(WAY TO GO Wright.nicely done!) good sounding audio, Red instrumentation at night,easy to read gauges, easy to find knobs/switches. Nice sized cargo area-I fit BOTH my sons and my hockey bags
6 speed in '10 a nice upgrade, mp3 dock/input standard, more available customized accessories available, high end sport model-like the WRX
I have a 2.5 mile commute and get 21 mpg overall. Handled great in the snow this winter. 3600 miles on it so far and working good. I had to replace one tire for a nail in the side wall and that cost $138 with taxes and fees.
Radio and GPS
Aux input for the radio. Larger gas tank and better gas mileage.
Came upon the sx4 by accident at a car max. Asked to drive one, was so impressed by the build , quality, responsiveness, very maneuverible, very fun to drive. Love the hatchback, you sit high looking over most cars, great visibility, had rails on top, got optional bike racks,very high quality at fraction of the cost of leading car tops. Looks sharp, have had so many compliments on this car. Upholstrey is comfortable, very supportive, fit and finish are very good. Love driving the stick, smooth shifting. Temp.gauge ,time and mpg display very visible. Beautiful red lighting at night, easy on eyes. The pop up navigation system is so convenient, works immediately, blue tooth connection, and MP3.
Pop up navigation, visible in sunlight, so convenient and easy and fast unlike complicated slow units built into most cars. High seating, wheel controls, hatch, folding seats 40/60 or flip again for total storage in back! Great visibility, very fun to drive! Very roomy, a 6'6" guy can fit .
Increase gas mileage , maybe with direct injection engine.
Do not buy an SX4 Crossover with manual shift!! When I test drove this car I noticed an odd tendency to over- rev when shifting up through the gears but put it down to my unfamiliarity with the car or to the engine being cold. I have driven stick shift cars for the last 35 years and was confident that a slight adjustment in driving style would avoid any issues. How wrong I was! The SX4 has a bizarre electronic throttle linkage that unpredictably decides to rev the engine in between gears when upshifting and no amount of adjustment in style can reliably avoid over-re
My third Suzuki (Esteem, Aerio, now SX4) sedan. This is essentially an Aerio with all the needed refinements: shorter stick throw, stronger brakes (ABS), variable intermittent wipers, improved cornering stability, quieter all around, smoother engine, improved front bumper clearance, improved gas mileage (running 31.5 mpg all around with gentle driving), stronger AC, paint seems to hold the turtle wax better. Gearing is shorter so expect frequent up shifting BUT much stronger at lower RPM's so less frequent down shifting on inclines . Excellent road manners as high as 75 mph. No problems after 6 months and 3800 miles.
Smooth, quiet ride makes for a calmer trip. Easy shifting. Excellent visibiity. Spacious trunk. Gas mileage is competitive in its class (To the person complaining about the low mpg: Initial readout is very low. You must run car a few hundred miles before producing accurate average readings. )
The Aerio's seat bottom was more level and firmer which made for greater lower back comfort. Could also use more leg room. (I'm 6'1", 165 lbs) Not an issue for short trips but I suspect that I'll need a firm seat pad for touring.