2012 Suzuki SX4 Review
2012 Suzuki SX4 Review
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- Hatchback model's affordable AWD system
- generous cargo capacity
- long powertrain warranty
- navigation system standard on higher trim levels.
- Awkward driving position
- so-so cabin materials
- limited fuel range of AWD model
- limited dealer network.
For 2012, all Suzuki SX4 sedans will receive standard stability control and rear disc brakes. The SX4 Sport S, GTS and LE Anniversary Edition trim levels have been discontinued in favor of a more streamlined model lineup.
While the 2012 Suzuki SX4 still remains a good value, a number of newer and more enticing compact sedan and hatchback competitors make it hard to recommend.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2012 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 $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$142/mo for SX4 Base
Avg. Compact Car
The 2012 Suzuki SX4 lineup of sedans and large hatchbacks present definite value when it comes to their generous lists of standard features at an affordable price. When you consider that the SX4 also delivers a decent amount of power from its four-cylinder engine and offers available all-wheel drive, its appeal certainly begins to brighten. But there are also some drawbacks to Suzuki's entry-level model that might give you pause.
For one, its elevated seating position favors shorter drivers; medium to tall folk might bemoan a lack of legroom and a telescoping steering wheel. Furthermore, the SX4's interior looks and feels out of date, and whatever advantages the engine output may have are negated by the car's heavy curb weight. In keeping with the "every silver lining has a gray cloud," theme, Suzuki's limited dealer network can make the purchase and maintenance of an SX4 more difficult.
With newer entries into this compact segment coming to market, we think most shoppers might be happier with other choices. The versatile Honda Fit has been at the top of our list for quite some time, while the Kia Soul also brings a substantial amount of utility along with a fun, funky vibe. The new Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta and Hyundai Accent are also worth considering given their superior interior designs and fuel economy.
Performance & mpg
All 2012 Suzuki SX4 models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 150 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. All base trims and the sedan LE come with a six-speed manual transmission, while other models receive the CVT. When paired with the CVT, the engine's output drops slightly to 148 hp. All SX4s are front-wheel drive except for the Crossover hatchback, which is only offered with all-wheel drive.
EPA 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 all-wheel-drive Crossover with the CVT (22/30/25 with the manual). These aren't as high as some other subcompacts, but are pretty good considering the SX4's greater horsepower.
Every 2012 Suzuki SX4 comes with antilock disc brakes, front- and rear-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags for all outboard passengers and stability control.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the SX4 the top rating of "Good" in both frontal-offset and side-impact tests but only a second-worst score of "Marginal" in roof strength tests.
With 150 horses under the hood, the 2012 Suzuki SX4 looks good on paper. The reality, however, is that the car's relatively hefty curb weight minimizes whatever advantage the 2.0-liter engine might have to offer. Most versions offer a firm but comfortable ride quality. The firmer suspensions underpinning models with Sport in their name produce better handling, albeit with a slightly harsher ride. Even so, the lack of steering feel limits how much fun you'll get out of a spirited drive. One other negative to note is that the SX4 Crossover's smaller fuel tank reduces the car's range, meaning you'll be filling up more frequently than you may be used to.
The 2012 Suzuki SX4's cabin falls short of much of its competition, with an aging design and lower-quality materials defining much of the interior. Obviously, the base sedan is the most spartan of the bunch, lacking both air-conditioning and a stereo. On the plus side, the gauges are easy to read and the controls are intuitive to operate. The available navigation system looks like a bit of an afterthought and uses a smallish screen, but the Garmin interface should be familiar to many people, and it comes with traffic updates and other real-time information.
Despite a generous amount of headroom, a tall seat height and the lack of a telescoping steering column can make it difficult for some to find a comfortable position behind the wheel. If there's one place the SX4 excels, it's in cargo capacity. Hatchback models boast a healthy 54 cubic feet of cargo room with both sections of the 60/40-split rear seatback folded forward. Sedan versions also offer abundant trunk space, with 15 cubic feet of cargo room -- as much as some midsize sedans -- and split-folding rear seats that allow longer items to extend into the passenger cabin.
2012 Suzuki SX4 models
The 2012 Suzuki SX4 is a compact car available in sedan and four-door hatchback body styles. The sedans and the "Sportback" version of the hatchback are front-wheel-drive only, while the "Crossover" hatchback is only offered with all-wheel drive.
The SX4 sedan is offered in base, LE, LE Popular Package and SE trim levels. The base model is sparsely equipped, coming with 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, a trip computer, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks and a tilt-only steering wheel. The LE adds air-conditioning and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack. The LE Popular Package trim adds alloy wheels, a continuously variable transmission (CVT), remote keyless entry (optional on the LE), cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.
The sporty SE model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, an aero body kit, foglights, paddle shifters and an integrated Garmin navigation system with real-time traffic and other live information. Bluetooth is offered as an option.
The four-door SX4 Sportback hatchback is available in base and Tech trims. The base model is similarly equipped to the SE sedan trim, but the CVT and navigation are options. Opting for the Tech trim gets you a larger rear spoiler and the CVT with shift paddles. Bluetooth is optional.
The all-wheel-drive SX4 Crossover hatchback model is available in base, Premium and Tech Value Package trim levels. The base is aligned with the LE sedan trim, adding 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, remote keyless entry and a cargo cover. The Premium trim essentially adds the items in the sedan's LE Popular trim. The Tech Value Package tacks on the navigation and heated front seats and offers Bluetooth as an option.
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
The Best Kept Secret Small Car
2012 Suzuki SX4 Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
The SX4 is a great all around general purpose vehicle, especially the Crossover. This car is heavy, solid, and handles great when driving around twisty back roads. Suzuki is biased towards building great handling cars rather then simply ones that accelerate fast. The SX4 Crossover is NOT an economy car. It easily weighs over 3000 with a driver and full tank of fuel. This is a vehicle … that tries to do everything well and succeeds. Some cars just do one thing well, like a Prius getting great mileage or a Wrangler being good in the middle of the woods. You will get fed up with that when you need a car that does something else. The SX4 is that very car, and a reliable one.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Fun all-weather crossover commuter
2011 Suzuki SX4 Crossover 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
My sx-4 crossover has the 6-speed MT, the first 6 speed I have had - and I really enjoy having that extra gearing for high speed interstates. My normal commute is 55 miles each way and its mostly in 5th gear. The fuel economy is much better than claimed. I usually get 31-32 mpg commuting using E10 fuel but a little better now with the AC off. I got a high of 35.7 on an interstate trip … with ethanol-free fuel. I have the base model with nothing that I don't want. The base model lacks cruise control and I am fine with that. I prefer to have features that I'll actually use. I didn't realize until I drove it home just how great the visibility is on this car - great for merging to the right!
4.5 out of 5 stars
2011 Suzuki SX4 Crossover Premium 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl CVT)
Overall, the Suzuki SX4 Crossover has to be one of the most underrated cars on the market and a terrific value. This car was a few thousand dollars less than a comparably priced Subaru Impreza or Toyota Matrix. The looks inside and out won't blow you away but are more than adequate. This car handles well, is fun to drive, and has a smooth quiet ride.I am currently averaging about 26.5 … MPG combined city and highway. One of the biggest complaints that I consistently read about from other owners was the quality of the radio. Initially, I agreed but later found that the radio bass and treble controls were set to zero. Once that was corrected the sound quality was much improved. I love my Suzuki!
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.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2012 Suzuki SX4, so we've included reviews for other years of the SX4 since its last redesign.
2012 SX4 Highlights
|Combined MPG||25 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$152/month|
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger3 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall3 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall3 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger2 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat4 / 5Back Seat2 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover13.3%
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 TestMarginal
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintMarginal