32-valves, DOHC, variable intake and exhaust timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
143 @ 5800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
136 @ 3500
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
The SX4 features "same-day" acceleration. I can really feel the lack of torque in this engine as it struggles to get into the upper revs. The four-speed does it no favors either, as the gear spacing is rather wide.
While a 137-foot best is nothing to rave about, it feels better than the number it suggests. Pedal feel is better than some other subcompacts, and the ABS felt reasonably sophisticated (e.g., no humming or intermittent lock-ups).
With "Auto AWD" mode selected, the SX4 does a decent job of doing what it's told. There's good balance with moderate understeer and the steering weight is appropriately heavy. With "Auto AWD" mode selected, I was happily rewarded with a good amount of vehicle control through the throttle. Conversely, in FWD, lifting off the throttle while cornering merely exaggerated a tendency for oversteer. The best slalom run was in "Auto AWD," using both steering and throttle to rotate and plant the rear for each cone.