Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Classy and Dynamic Suzuki

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Classy and Dynamic Suzuki

Article excerpt

Byline: By Andy Richards

Suzuki's new SX4 is a distinctive five-door hatchback that blends the characteristics of sporty compacts exemplified by the Swift, with those of lightweight SUVs such as the recently launched Grand Vitara, to create an exciting small car alternative.

The resulting "sport X-over" combines responsive driving dynamics, 4x4 capability, high levels of practicality and styling that suggests a freestyle approach to life.

And it's good to drive, pacey, with an accomplished four-wheel-drive system. It's also very competitively priced.

The UK line-up comprises four models: in front wheel drive only powered by a 107PS 1.6-litre VVT petrol engine in either GL or GLX grades ( the latter with manual or automatic transmission (the 4GRIP GLX with selectable/automatic four-wheel drive, and the 120PS 1.9-litre DDiS diesel derivative which uses a highly flexible engine supplied by Fiat.

The latter was my test car and it's worthwhile noting that the vehicle is the first car in its class that features a four wheel drive system, six-speed manual transmission and diesel engine.

Engineered from the outset to be 4x4-capable, yet still deliver sharp, dynamic performance, it meets these goals impressively.

The 1.9-litre intercooled turbocharged direct-injection diesel engine boasts a flat torque curve guaranteeing powerful acceleration and smooth performance throughout the rev range.

Its common-rail direct-injection system helps cut down emissions, while making the engine one of the most powerful in the class, generating 120PS at 3,500rpm and 280Nm torque at 2,000rpm. Punchy performance allied to great economy sees 0-62mph clocked up in 10.6 seconds and fuel economy registering a miserly 44.8mpg on the combined cycle.

Emissions are similarly low, helped by a standard diesel particulate filter.

The cabin is comfortable and practical and there is decent room for four people and five at a bit of a pinch. …

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