A few years back, an obnoxious woman was nearly screaming at the mpg the
Suzuki SX4 had listed on their display at the Denver Auto Show. Rather
than make her look more foolish than she already sounded, I pointed out
that the SX4 Crossover was actually a thrifty SUV. She rubbed the sides
of her massive mouth (to remove the remains of a mini doughnut) and
huffed at my polite observation.
“Well, maybe they should build a regular economy car!”
I was stunned at her stupidity, nativity and general lack of proper
hygiene. She waddled away huffing after I motioned to the Suzuki SX4
sedan. Apparently, some people refuse to see diamonds in the rough.
This new Suzuki SportBack is one of those diamonds – no doubt.
The 2010 Suzuki SportBack is more than a SX4 Crossover without its 4WD
system; it is a sporty representation of a flexible chassis. I have to
say, it handles nicely. The retuned suspension, road worthy,
17" tires/wheels and lower center of gravity gave the SX4 SportBack very
nice cornering ability.
There is a tweaked 2.0-liter, DOHC 4-cylinder that now puts out 150
horsepower and 140 lbs of torque. This is around a 6% increase over last
year’s engine. There is a 6-speed manual or a new continuously variable
transmission (CVT), both improvements over the equivalent transmissions
from last year.
The estimated 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway is about the same as last
year… I got a terrible 20 mpg by driving like a numb-skull. So the
mileage is not stellar, but it’s acceptable. Yes, the Toyota Yaris,
Scion xD and Honda Fit are more frugal.
Ah, but the Suzuki SX4 SportBack has a hidden talent.
One of the reasons it gets mediocre mileage is that it weighs over 2,700
lbs, which is quite a bit more than its competitors. Much of this
weight is based on the huge windows and higher roof line. It’s not a bad
thing, ESPECIALLY for big folks (that massive, rude woman at the auto
show should have looked with better eyes). Indeed, the interior is wide,
with lots of head and shoulder room. The door openings are massive for a
car of this size and total interior space is impressive.
If you’re running low blood sugar while driving, don’t panic. The SX4
SportBack comes standard with a nifty, portable GPS system that’s a
breeze to use. Beginning a low-carb diet and need a Costco/Sam’s Club
big run? No sweat, the Suzuki SX4 SportBack has a ton of storage. AND,
there’s a handy-dandy lower storage compartment under the main storage
area that holds a lot.
0 to 60 mph was acceptable at just a whisker under 9 seconds and
breaking was excellent with new 4-wheel disc brakes. Cornering is real
good with decent tactile feedback from the steering wheel. All in all;
the SX4 SportBack is a fun car to drive (although I wish it were faster)
with a high safety score, mid level economy and gobs of room. It’s
trump card? Ride quality, especially on the highway is exemplary.
There are a few flaws I noticed during my abusive week with the
SportBack (It’s what I do): the manual transmission is rubbery, there
are some noticeable rattles coming from the dashboard (probably the
after-thought addition of the GPS) and the stereo sounds dreadful. Oh,
and who’s idea was it to name it “SportBack!?” There’s like three other
cars with that same designation!
Still, and in all honesty, I would rather plunk down about $18,000 on
one of these than just about any of its competitors – with one
exception… we live in crazy-as-hell-odd-weather Colorado; so, I would
opt for the SX4 Crossover and enjoy one of the cheapest AWD/4WD cars on
The Suzuki SX4 SportBack is a great, fun car with plenty of room for my
Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car
sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out
of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to
enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com