2008 Suzuki SX4 Review


Pros & Cons

  • Hatchback's standard AWD system, tall cabin provides exceptional headroom, long powertrain warranty, available stability control.
  • Below-average fuel economy, modest cargo capacity, sedan's rear seats do not fold, interior materials lag behind class-leading Fit and Versa.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$1,848 - $3,449

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Edmunds' Expert Review

While the 2008 Suzuki SX4 might not be your top pick if gas mileage and cargo space are primary concerns, it's worth a look -- particularly in hatchback form -- if you're very tall or in need of an affordable all-weather vehicle.

Vehicle overview

Although Suzuki is a small-time player in the United States, it's among the automotive giants in Japan -- and its success is based largely on its ability to build desirable small cars. Oddly enough, Suzuki has struggled to come up with subcompact and compact entries Americans want to buy. In recent years, the company has even turned to its partner General Motors, and sourced cars from the GM Daewoo Auto & Technology (GMDAT) plant in Korea. However, Suzuki finally turned the corner last year with the introduction of the SX4 hatchback, an attractively styled four-door hatchback with solid performance, an ample features list and standard all-wheel drive. It's not a best-in-class entry just yet, but for buyers in need of a low-cost snow vehicle, the Suzuki SX4 makes a lot of sense.

For 2008, the company is attempting to give the SX4 line broader appeal with the debut of the 2008 Suzuki SX4 Sport. Offered only as a front-wheel-drive sedan, the SX4 Sport will eventually supplant the Forenza/Reno siblings as Suzuki's mainstream economy sedan entry. The "Sport" in the sedan's name is intentional, as Suzuki hopes to emphasize that its lowered and more firmly tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels and lower body kit add up to a sportier driving experience. Suzuki even fitted a rear crossbrace in the sedan's trunk for a 15 percent increase in structural rigidity over the hatchback. Unfortunately, this stiffening measure also prevents the rear seats from folding. Otherwise, the SX4 sedan is mechanically identical to the hatchback, using the same 143-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. This new SX4 iteration performs competently in most respects, but it's a stretch to call it sporty.

In terms of size and market positioning, the 2008 Suzuki SX4 sedan and hatchback fall somewhere between traditional subcompact and compact classifications. On one hand, they're built on Suzuki's global B-segment platform (also used for the Swift hatchback outside the U.S.) and naturally compete with the Chevrolet Aveo, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent/Kia Rio, Nissan Versa, Scion xD and Toyota Yaris. On the other, they're longer, wider and taller than most of these cars and arguably more in line with less expensive compact entries like the Chevrolet Cobalt, Dodge Caliber, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Spectra.

This is a large, competitive field, and although the SX4 sedan offers a sufficient features list and plenty of interior room, there's not much to set this newcomer apart from other budget four-doors. The driving experience is decent enough, but the quality of its cabin materials is merely average at best and its fuel economy numbers are below average at a time when small-car buyers are giving EPA estimates extra scrutiny. The Suzuki SX4 hatchback is the stronger sell in our view, as its standard all-wheel drive and pint-size SUV styling make it an appealing option over AWD versions of the Caliber, Subaru Impreza and any number of small sport-utilities.

2008 Suzuki SX4 models

The 2008 Suzuki SX4 is a compact car available in four-door hatchback and four-door sedan body styles. Known as the SX4 Sport, the sedan is front-wheel drive only, while the SX4 hatchback is all-wheel drive. Both body styles come in base, Convenience and Touring trim levels.

Standard features on the base SX4 hatchback include 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, a CD/MP3 player and full power accessories. The base SX4 sedan has 17-inch alloys, a lower body kit and a lowered suspension with firmer tuning. Equipped with the Convenience Package, both SX4s gain cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. In addition to that, an SX4 with the Touring Package offers automatic climate control, an upgraded nine-speaker audio system with an in-dash CD changer, heated outside mirrors and the SmartPass keyless entry and engine-start system.

2008 Highlights

Suzuki expands the model line to include a front-wheel-drive sedan dubbed the SX4 Sport on the basis of its aero body kit and more firmly tuned suspension. Otherwise, the 2008 Suzuki SX4 sedan is equipped similarly to the all-wheel-drive SX4 hatchback introduced last year. The latter carries over unaltered, save for a taller 5th-gear ratio on its manual transmission and assorted packaging changes.

Performance & mpg

Power for all Suzuki SX4s comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 143 hp and 136 pound-feet of torque. It's connected to a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic.

The EPA's 2008 fuel economy estimates for the all-wheel-drive SX4 hatchback are 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with either transmission. The front-drive SX4 Sport sedan fares a bit better in this area, earning a 23/31 rating with the automatic and 23/30 with the manual. Still, all those numbers are at the bottom of the barrel in terms of subcompact sedans and hatchbacks.


Every 2008 Suzuki SX4 comes with antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags and head-protecting side curtain airbags for all outboard passengers. Traction and stability control, an unusual feature for this class, is standard on SX4 Touring models only.


Though it has a powerful engine compared to its subcompact competition, the 2008 Suzuki SX4 is no hot rod. A bulky curb weight negates any advantage and the engine is light on low-end torque. As a result, acceleration is no better than other less powerful competitors -- we've timed an automatic-equipped hatchback at a leisurely 11.3 seconds for the 0-60-mph run. Buyers so inclined would be wise to stick with the manual gearbox: It makes better use of the engine's power while offering a satisfyingly snappy gearchange.

The extra pounds help give the SX4 a smooth, refined ride quality at least, and the standard antilock disc brakes don't seem to mind the extra heft. Big bumps barely upset the suspension and the hatchback's sizable 16-inch tires provide solid grip. With its lower-profile 17-inch tires and firmer suspension, the SX4 Sport sedan is the better handler of the two, and body roll is well managed through the corners. For a car with "Sport" in its name, however, its steering feedback is disappointingly minimal. Buyers seeking a truly sporting drive in an inexpensive car will do better with a Honda Fit or a lightly optioned Mazda 3 i.


The Suzuki SX4's cabin has a clean design with large, three-dial climate control knobs that sit just below a compact, well-labeled CD stereo. Unfortunately, said stereo doesn't include the auxiliary audio jack younger buyers will be looking for, and the quality of the surrounding plastics is a step or two below the materials in rivals like the xD, Fit and Versa. However, those who are very tall will appreciate the Suzuki's voluminous headroom in both the front and rear. The propped-up driving position may feel a bit awkward to some consumers, but ex-SUV owners will find it familiar and beneficial to outward visibility. Knee room can be tight for adults seated in back, but the high-mounted bench provides good thigh support. In the hatchback, the 60/40-split rear seat can be lowered and tumbled forward to open up an ample 38 cubic feet of cargo room. In the SX4 Sport sedan, the rear seat is fixed in place, but the large 14-cubic-foot trunk provides a deep well of usable space.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2008 Suzuki SX4.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Well built car
Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
Bought this car brand new in January 2009 and owned ever since. The following are the only problems I have had in 6 + years: Year 2: Change radio; CD player sticking (warranty). Year 3: Change power steering pump (made noise) and warranty. Year 6: Change water pump $350 for part and labor. Year 7: Changed wiper arm $80 Year 8: Nothing Year 9: Changed tie rods, idle arms $1,000 150,000 miles.
My Wife Wanted a Reliable AWD Car
James Hamilton,10/01/2015
4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
My wife loves the car and she routinely receives compliments from others regarding the styling. From my point of view (husband) the car has been ideal for her as she loves to bird watch and takes the car off highway quite routinely. Also we have had zero problems with the vehicle. This is the second Suzuki we have owned; the first was the Suzuki XL7 but as our kids grew up and moved out we downsized. We recently took the SX4 from Mapleton Utah to Seattle and the ride was comfortable and without incident traveling 75 to 80MPH averaging 28MPG.
Great Choice!
Marilyn Miller,07/29/2018
Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
I purchased the SX4 Hatchback in 2008 and was looking for a sporty little hatchback that was also good in the snow and reliable. I've owned Honda's, Toyota's and Nissan's over the years, and each had good and bad points. Was curious about the Suzuki - it's funny looking and different, which always appeals to me, and was one of the rare cars that has AWD and a manual transmission. Plus it came with auto climate control, keyless electronic entry, rear window and mirror defrost, auto wipers, cruise control, tire pressure sensors, adjustable tilt steering wheel and surround sound stereo system for under $18k with the top package. I've owned it for 10 years, and it has been the best car with the lowest maintenance costs I've ever owned. Only one dealer recall issue with a sensor in the passenger seat for the air bag sensing which was replaced without issue. Other than that, I've had the tires replaces, had to replace and upgrade the stereo, and regular oil changes and other regular maintenance. One big benefit is that this car has a timing chain, not a timing belt, so you don't have to have it replaced!
over 100,000 and not a problem!
I purchased this little car in June on 2008. I drive from Maine to Boston to work over 160 miles at a time. Thankfully I have never had a single problem with the car and I am on only my second set of tires with lots of tread to go. I have put on one set of brake pads and done a lot of oil changes, but that is all. Gas mileage is about 27mpg, but I must say I do not always follow the speed limits! I just read with a different air filter it may increase my mpg, so I'm going to give it a try. Great in the snow and reliable, low maintainance, and room enough for most everything but a sheet of plywood!! :) No complaints here! (ok one, I wish the gas tank were bigger!)


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2008 Suzuki SX4

Used 2008 Suzuki SX4 Overview

The Used 2008 Suzuki SX4 is offered in the following submodels: SX4 Hatchback, SX4 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Sport 4dr Sedan w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Sedan w/Popular Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Sport 4dr Sedan w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Sedan w/Popular Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Hatchback w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Sport Road TRIP Ed 4dr Sedan w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Hatchback w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Sport Road TRIP Ed 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Sport 4dr Sedan w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Road TRIP Ed 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Road TRIP Ed 4dr Hatchback w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Sport Road TRIP Ed 4dr Sedan w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Sport 4dr Sedan w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Sport Road TRIP Ed 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Sport Road TRIP Ed 4dr Sedan w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Hatchback w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Hatchback w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Road TRIP Ed 4dr Hatchback w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Road TRIP Ed 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Sport Road TRIP Ed 4dr Sedan w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Road TRIP Ed 4dr Hatchback w/Convenience Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A), and Road TRIP Ed 4dr Hatchback w/Touring Pkg (2.0L 4cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 Suzuki SX4?

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Can't find a used 2008 Suzuki SX4s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Suzuki SX4 for sale - 1 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $13,993.

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Suzuki SX4?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Suzuki lease specials
Check out Suzuki SX4 lease specials