OEM vehicle of the month

Jan. 1, 2020
Suzuki created the SX4 Sport by removing the four-wheel-drive system and converting it to a sedan. The result is a practical little car I'm tempted to call underpowered, but really isn't. The engine makes precious little torque at the bottom end, but

Suzuki SX4: On the cusp of performance

Suzuki created the SX4 Sport by removing the four-wheel-drive system and converting it to a sedan. The result is a practical little car I'm tempted to call underpowered, but really isn't. The engine makes precious little torque at the bottom end, but wakes up above 3,200 rpm. Combined with superior handling, it drives like a sports car.

With only front wheel drive (FWD), the car weighs less than 2,700 pounds. The suspension uses struts up front and a torsion beam axle out back, and the low curb weight makes this system work well. Even with a high seating position, it doesn't feel like it will tip at the limit.

Though the 2.0L engine has a dual-path intake manifold, torque peaks at 136 foot pounds at 3,500 rpm. With so little torque and all the power up high in the rev range, this engine must be managed to get any performance. But for some of us, that adds to the fun.

There's plenty of headroom with the A-pillar placed more than arm's reach away, but it also improves crashworthiness and makes room for the car's full-length side-curtain airbags.

From a service point of view, this car seems easy to own. The dual-cam engine uses a timing chain not a belt, but periodic fluid changes are required for the coolant, transmission, differential oils and brake fluid. The car comes standard with Bosch ABS (stability control is also available), so flushing the brake system requires activating the ABS pump and valves with the appropriate scan tool.

Suzuki vehicles tend to come from the factory pretty well equipped, but the options list includes a variety of carbon fiber interior trim pieces, chrome exterior trim, special alloy wheels and an "SS Exhaust Tip." There's also a spoiler, roof rack and fog lamp kit. Given that the SX4 Sport is new this year and not really aimed at the kind of buyer that might attend the SEMA Show, there are few model-specific aftermarket parts available at this point. But, at last year's Frankfort Auto Show, Suzuki unveiled a rally car based on the all-wheel-drive SX4 that will be campaigned by the factory in the 2008 World Rally Championship (WRC). Judging by Suzuki's history in motorcycle racing, there's every reason to believe this car will be a serious contender. Combined with the basic car's low price, there may eventually be a healthy performance parts aftermarket for both models, even for customers who don't intend to race. These might include cold air intake kits, motor mounts (the stock mounts are very soft), brakes, steering and suspension pieces, spoilers and other body pieces, wheels and tires, gauges, lighting, and of course, exhaust systems. In fact, some of these accessories are already available as universal fit items.

Sponsored Recommendations

Access Carside OEM Repair Data with MOTOR TruSpeed

Now available on all Autel MaxiSYS Ultra Series tools, MOTOR TruSpeed Repair delivers expanded OEM service and repair data within days of being published by

ADAS Case Study: From 10 Calibrations a Month to Over 10 A Day

Originally published by Vehicle Service Pros, March 26, 2024

Autel MaxiTPMS TS900: 3-in-1 TPMS Tablet

Originally published by Tire Review, April 4, 2024

Ask The Expert: The Basics & Benefits of Bringing ADAS Calibrations In-house

Originally published by Vehicle Service Pros, March 26, 2024

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Vehicle Service Pros, create an account today!