First Impressions: 2010 Suzuki SX4

Expert Reviews Suzuki

Suzuki SX4 Crossover tuned by Road Race Motorsports
Review by contributing editor, Martin Swig

Many reviewers have been lukewarm toward the Suzuki SX4. I don’t understand that, and neither does my friend, Denise McCluggage of Autoweek. We each own one, love it, and rate the car VERY highly.

I bought an SX4 that had been heavily breathed-on by RoadRace Motorsports of Sante Fe Springs, CA. A Ronal wheel, plus tire and suspension package, and a turbo package make for a quick and stable trackday car that is still a tractable everyday street car. The carbon-fiber hood adds visual drama.

This car came into our two-driver, five car family about a year ago. The other cars are: a Cayman (wife’s car), a 2008 Miata softtop, an Audi A4 Avant Quattro 3.0 six speed, and an Audi S5 6-speed. The SX4, then, is the least costly in our little “fleet”. It has also proven to be the most useful, and most used of the five cars. Obviously a gem around town, it’s also a joy on any type of road. Great canyon carver, and relaxed 90 mph freeway cruiser (with old faithful Valentine One)

I spent a week with a box-stock 2010 SX4 fwd with CVT tranny. Liked it just as much, in a calmer way. The beauty of the car, beyond its efficient, tasteful Giugiaro design, lies in its tall, narrow stature, providing comfortable seating, great visibility, and a sense of precise driver control. By the way, I don’t understand the sedan variant; to me it looks dorky, and offers NO benefit over the 5-door hatch.

So why doesn’t Suzuki sell better? They are well priced, super durable and bulletproof, and a hoot to drive, all with plenty of practicality. But until recently, General Motors owned a minority interest in the company, and did some of their famous badge engineering, slapping the Suzuki name on some sub-par GM/Daewoo Korean products for sale in the US. GM got a bunch of sales, with low prices, EZ credit, etc. People who bought these erzatz Suzukis rated them poorly. The brand name was hurt. Now, Suzuki has dumped GM, and the sub-par cars.

Recently, Suzuki announced the Kizashi sedan, a sort of bargain price A4 that is a charmer. They also announced that Volkswagen bought a share in Suzuki. VW acknowledged that Suzuki’s expertise in small cars, and market strength, as evidenced by their market leadership in India, were the factors that attracted them.

I think Suzuki has a bright future!


A huge thank-you to Martin Swig for contributing his review of the Suzuki SX4. Martin Swig has his own column in the San Francisco Nob Hill Gazette called “Wheels” and writes articles for the Southern California Automotive Calendar of Events magazine.

Suzuki SX4 Photo Gallery

Suzuki Specs

Suzuki SX4 Specs

Suzuki AutoOfficial website for Suzuki cars, trucks and crossovers –

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