Suzuki SX4 Saloon

Four-door supermini offers something different.

Overall Auto Express Rating

2.0 out of 5

The likes of the Alto city car, Swift supermini and Splash supermini-MPV have helped Suzuki raise its profile in the UK. Yet they have also raised our expectations – and the SX4 saloon feels like a step backwards. It’s by no means a bad car, but if bosses want to attract new buyers to the brand, this isn’t the way to do it.

The boot has been put into the SX4! This saloon sister car to the Suzuki compact SUV is designed to offer plenty of space for not much money – so, does it make sense in today’s crowded and fashion-conscious supermini market?

Well, the £11,995 SX4’s looks won’t win many fans – although the bulbous shape does mean there’s plenty of space inside. Three adults can sit comfortably in the back, while there’s a 515-litre boot.

What’s more, the seats split 60:40, and there’s even a neat through loading hatch that allows you to make the most of the room on offer. Quality is in short supply, though. Cheap, plain plastics occupy most of the no-frills dash, and the stereo and instrument panel are unexciting to look at.

To compensate, standard equipment is generous. Our car came with electric windows all-round, an MP3-compatible CD stereo, air-conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start, plus heated door mirrors.

SX4 saloon buyers get only one engine option: a 1.6-litre petrol unit which drives the front wheels through a five-speed manual box. It isn’t especially powerful, offering 105bhp, while peak torque is rated at 145Nm – so the car doesn’t feel as fast as its 10.7-second 0-62mph sprint time suggests. The motor is strained once you get up to motorway speeds as well, with too much road and engine noise entering the cabin.

The trade-off is reasonable economy, at 41.5mpg, plus 165g/km CO2 emissions. Ride comfort is one of the Suzuki’s stengths, and the steering is direct, too. But body roll blunts the car’s cornering ability.

The SX4 saloon won’t worry the Ford Fiesta or VW Polo – plus, a Hyundai i30 1.4 Comfort costs £395 less. So the case for the Suzuki looks thin.

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