2010 Suzuki SX4 Review
2010 Suzuki SX4 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Crossover hatchback's low-cost AWD system, airy cabin, long powertrain warranty, navigation system standard on higher trim levels.
- Awkward driving position, so-so cabin materials, limited range of AWD model.
A new variant of the Suzuki SX4 hatchback, the "Sportback," debuts for 2010. With visual tweaks, a firmer suspension and a lowered ride height, the Sportback adds some spice to the SX4 lineup. All SX4 models benefit from a new, more powerful engine and a pair of new transmissions: a six-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), the latter of which replaces last year's four-speed automatic. Rounding out the SX4 changes this year are a restyled front fascia, a new instrument cluster, a height-adjustable driver seat, an auxiliary audio jack (delayed availability), a few new navigation features and some renamed trim levels.
The 2010 Suzuki SX4 certainly merits consideration if you're in need of an affordable all-weather vehicle or are just looking for an inexpensive but practical and feature-packed set of wheels.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2010 Suzuki SX4 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 6M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$141/mo for SX4 Base
Avg. Compact Car
Suzuki introduced its tall SX4 compact three years ago, and this hatchback (and later sedan) managed to catch our attention thanks to its roomy cabin, generous features list, available all-wheel drive, easy-driving demeanor and low cost. Our few complaints involved its rather tepid performance and below-class-average fuel economy.
This year, Suzuki addresses both gripes with a new, more powerful engine and two new transmissions that help boost fuel mileage by a couple of miles per gallon. A new trim level, the SX4 Sportback, has also been added to the mix. The Sportback is the hatchback model fitted with the performance upgrades of the Sport sedan. These upgrades include a lowered ride height, 17-inch alloy wheels shod with performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension and body styling tweaks.
All SX4s this year gain a new 2.0-liter engine that puts out 150 horsepower (7 more hp than last year). The power gain by itself is not huge, but there's some added spring in the SX4's step thanks to those two new transmissions -- a six-speed manual and a CVT -- which replace last year's five-speed manual and four-speed auto. Other changes this year include a revised front fascia, a new instrument cluster, rear-seat floor vents and enhancements to the navigation system that include weather maps and even airline departure/arrival information.
The 2010 Suzuki SX4 takes the age-old approach of offering more for the money than the segment's established stars. For around the same price as a Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris, the SX4 hatchback gives you a roomy cabin, a more powerful engine, sporty handling, power everything, a quieter highway ride and even available automatic climate control. And we'd definitely take the SX4 sedan over Nissan's Versa or Sentra, though it has tough rivals in the well-equipped Kia Forte, the sporty Mazda 3 and the tried-and-true Honda Civic. All said, the improved 2010 SX4 is a strong contender for the small sedan or hatchback shopper.
Performance & mpg
Power for all Suzuki SX4s comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 150 hp and 140 pound-feet of torque. It's connected to a standard six-speed manual transmission or a CVT. When paired to the CVT, the engine's output drops slightly to 148 hp. All SX4s are front-wheel drive except for the Crossover hatchback, which offers an AWD option.
Fuel economy estimates for the SX4 range from 25 mpg city/32 highway and 28 mpg combined for the base sedan with the CVT (23/33/26 with the manual) down to 23/29/25 for the AWD Crossover with the CVT (22/30/25 with the manual).
Every 2010 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 are standard on the Sport GTS sedan, the Sportback and all Crossover trims.
In government crash testing, both SX4 body styles received four stars (out of five) for driver and passenger protection. In side impact tests, the SX4 earned five stars for the driver and four stars for the rear passenger. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the SX4 earned the top rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
Though it has a powerful engine compared to its subcompact competition, the 2010 Suzuki SX4 is still no hot rod. Its typically heavier curb weight negates any advantage, and the 2.0-liter four is predictably light on low-end torque. Nonetheless, acceleration is satisfactory for a small car. The Crossover AWD, due to its smaller fuel tank, also suffers from poor range, with gas station stops a too-frequent annoyance.
The SX4 boasts a smooth, refined ride quality on most surfaces. Big bumps don't upset the suspension much, and its character over broken pavement is firm but composed. With their lower-profile 17-inch tires and firmer suspensions, the Sport versions are the handlers of the lot, with a minimum of body roll through the corners. For vehicles with "Sport" in their names, however, their lack of steering feedback is disappointing.
The Suzuki SX4's cabin has a clean design with large, three-dial climate control knobs that sit just below a compact, well-labeled stereo. The optional navigation system has a small display screen and an aftermarket look, but it's surprisingly useful. The quality of some interior plastics isn't as high as in some rivals, however.
The SX4 earns high marks for its voluminous headroom, though we've found actual driver comfort a bit hit-or-miss. Some of our editors have found the elevated seating position very comfortable, while others complain about the lack of a telescoping steering wheel. Legroom can be tight for adults seated in back, but the high rear seat cushion provides good thigh support.
In the hatchback, the 60/40-split rear seatbacks flip forward to open up an impressive 54 cubic feet of cargo space, just 3 cubes shy of the marvelous Honda Fit (though the seats don't fold flat like they do in the Fit). The sedan sports a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and offers a generous 15 cubic feet of trunk capacity -- equal to that of many midsize sedans.
2010 Suzuki SX4 models
The 2010 Suzuki SX4 is a compact car available in sedan or hatchback form. The sedan comes in standard and Sport versions, while the hatchback is offered as the base "Crossover" and the uplevel "Sportback." The sedans are front-wheel drive only, as is the Sportback. The Crossover can be had in either front- or all-wheel drive. In lieu of a lengthy options list, the SX4 comes in a multitude of trim levels.
The standard SX4 sedan comes in base, LE and LE Popular trims. Standard features on the base SX4 sedan include 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt steering wheel and a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, but little else. Should you also want air-conditioning and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack (delayed availability), step up to the LE. The LE with Popular package adds the CVT (in place of the six-speed manual transmission), cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.
The SX4 Sport sedan comes in S, SE and GTS trims. The S comes with the LE sedan's equipment and adds a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, a lower body kit and a navigation system. The SE adds the LE Popular package sedan's features, and Bluetooth is optional. The GTS adds foglights, a rear spoiler, an upgraded audio system (with a six-disc CD changer), upgraded navigation features (MSN traffic, weather and airline flights), keyless entry/ignition and automatic climate control.
The SX4 Crossover comes in base, Technology and Touring AWD trims. The base Crossover comes with the LE sedan's features and adds 16-inch wheels, a roof rack and a rear wiper. The Technology trim adds the LE Popular package sedan's features along with the navigation system. The Touring AWD adds the GTS's features, except it has 16-inch wheels rather than 17s.
The Sportback comes only in loaded GTS trim, which includes the features of the Sport GTS sedan minus the CVT and MSN subscription, both of which are optional.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Wonderful little car
2010 Suzuki SX4 Crossover 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
With 150 hp on tap as opposed to its rivals (Nissan Versa Note, 108hp, Honda Fit, 117hp and Mazda 2, 100 hp), this little buggy will get up and scoot! And it has a six, count 'em SIX speed manual transmission! I was looking for a car with a manual to use as a commuter, and was able to buy this 2010 (in 2016) with 71K on it for $2700! I was pretty happy, let me tell you. It has been a … blast to drive, even though in central Illinois the roads are pretty straight and flat. The clutch take-up is p-e-r-f-e-c-t and the shifter is smooth and creamy - the nicest and easiest manual I think I've ever driven. I think the Italian design is attractive/cute and this thing zips in and out of traffic lanes and parking spots with ease. I have yet to reach it's handling limits, but will tell you they're very high. This is like a reliable version of the Mini (which has pathetic reliability and costs much, much more). The only things with which I take issue on the car are the sun visors that don't tilt forward enough and block my view (and let sunlight in on the sides) and poor AM radio reception. That, and parts being a little tougher to find since Suzuki (cars) left the country. Still plenty of parts available if you search hard enough, though - and oil filters, air filters, plugs etc are pretty standard sizes so super easy to find. Oh, and insurance is a bit high - higher than my wife's '14 Honda CR-V, for some reason. MPG has been good for me - about 31 mixed 60/40 hwy/city. Plenty of front seat room - I'm 6' tall and 230 lbs and don't feel the least bit crowded - plenty of fore/aft and up/down adjustment. Rear seat room does look tight on legroom, though - so it's probably best for short trips for adults or for mini-me's. After doing my research, the only problem areas on these seem to be an errant airbag light (covered under recall), and the A/C compressor clutch. Most genuine Suzuki's are bulletproof (not the Suzuki-named Daewoo models like Verona, Forenza, etc. though). Anyway, this is my commuter and I'm getting to work with a big grin on my face (not that I'm happy to be at work) and looking forward to my next drive - it's seriously THAT fun.
5 out of 5 stars
Love my Suzuki!!!!
Jen Hunt, 05/30/2017
2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD w/Touring Pkg, Nav (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
This car has been the best car I have owned! Good gas mileage, low repair cost, great in rain and snow! Love the AWD! I have not had to do a repair besides maintenance, new tires, and brake pads until I hit 150,000 miles. I have had this car up in the mountains, commuting, etc.. I needed a new transmission at 152,000 miles. It has been a great dependable car! I'm now at 170,000 and … still running great! I wouldn't want any other car.
5 out of 5 stars
No Complaints So Far...
2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD w/Technology Pkg, Nav (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
May 2019 Update: This review is an update with the same title submitted on 4/21/2012. The car is now 10 years old and I have owned it for 7.5 of those 10 years. The car currently has 145,000 trouble free miles. The only maintenance has been oil/filter changes and a few replaced lightbulbs. It continues to be an economical and reliable daily driver. I am an enthusiastic SX4 owner … and like other reviewers, regret Suzuki's decision to abandon the the US market. Previous Edmunds Review: 04/21/2012
5 out of 5 stars
A great small crossover
2009 Suzuki SX4 Crossover 4dr Hatchback w/Technology Pkg, Nav (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
The first generation SX4 Crossover is a smartly styled small 5-door hatchback designed for Suzuki by the Italian firm of Italdesign Guigiaro. It is comfortable to drive and has a surprising amount of interior room. It is not a luxury car, but the interior appointments are nice and as good as what you would find in other Japanese cars of this size. The fit and finish is above par, and the … materials proved to be durable to me under normal use. You can fold and flip up the rear seats to get lots of cargo carrying room with a fairly flat floor. I was the second owner of my 2009 which had the Technology package that came standard with a Garmin Nuvi navigation device cleverly built into a retractable compartment on the top of the dashboard. While it has a small screen, the voice directions are very clear, and you can download map updates from Garvin or third parties via the Internet. The SX-4 scored well in crash tests, no doubt due to its rugged construction with front, side, and curtain air bags. It handles and brakes with precision. Its small size makes it easy to park and drive on crowded streets, but it is stable enough for 70 m.p.h Interstate highway trips. Its acceleration is adequate. Its fuel economy is good. With 98,000 + miles on mine, there were no repairs needed except for normal maintenance like oil changes, brake pads, and a compressor for the AC (the AC gets a lot of use in hot, humid Florida). A downside is that Suzuki no longer sells passenger vehicles in north America, but they do honor the 10 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty at a network of dealers (my warranty was still in effect when I traded it in December 2019 toward another vehicle). I that sourcing parts can be a challenge for major stuff if needed, but I did not need any, and you can find many parts and accessories on eBay, including "dress-up" options, many of which come from China. Mine was not equipped with All Wheel Drive (we do not get winter road conditions in Florida), but having lived before in northern climates I'd imagine that would really be good in many areas of the country with those ice and snow conditions. The resale prices are probably lower than equivalent cars due to Suzuki having gone out of business, so if you can find a low mileage SX4, I don't think you could go wrong in buying it.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2010 Suzuki SX4, so we've included reviews for other years of the SX4 since its last redesign.
2010 SX4 Highlights
|Combined MPG||26 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$141/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestNot Tested
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintMarginal