When you think of a compact car with an all-wheel-drivetrain, you probably think of a Subaru Impreza or perhaps a Mazda3. But what if you don’t want to spend $20,000 to $30,000 on a new one and just need a practical means of transportation to tool around town in? Enter the 2009 Suzuki SX4. That’s right, we said Suzuki.
Why would anyone want a Suzuki SX4?
Suzuki has always been known for its sportbikes, but once upon a time, it did build cars. In case you don’t remember, there was a Suzuki Gran Vitara, a Suzuki Kizashi, and the SX4, which was the brand’s plucky hatchback – also offered as a sedan – that no one really knew about or cared for. It’s a shame because it was actually pretty fun to drive and it could be equipped with everything you would need in a daily driver including an all-wheel-drivetrain.
The Suzuki SX4 wasn’t perfect
The Suzuki SX4 went into production in 2007 to replace the Aerio and was discontinued in 2013 when the brand stopped producing cars. And while we can marvel at the fact that the SX4 presents a great value package, it wasn’t exactly perfect. Yes, it had an all-wheel-drivetrain as standard equipment, but according to Consumer Reports, it had a stiff ride and it accelerated slowly. How slow?
Motorweek was able to click off a 0 to 60 mph time of 9.1 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 16.8 seconds when they tested the SX4, it sure wasn’t quick, but it was adequate enough for everyday driving. Under the hood was a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produced 143 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque and could be matched to either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic, so it’s no surprise that it wasn’t too fast.
Where the SX4 really shined, though, was on an off-road trail. The beauty of its AWD system was that you could operate the car in front-wheel-drive mode, part-time AWD, or full-time AWD by the simple flick of a switch on the center console. And if you don’t think it could hang with the likes of a Jeep, then you should check out the video below:
What else did the Suzuki SX4 offer?
Back in 2009, there wasn’t much offered in any car on the market, but the SX4 did come with cloth seating, an AM/FM radio with a CD player and Bluetooth, an auxiliary jack, and most notably, a navigation system. However, it wasn’t exactly the type of navigation system that you’re used to, it was actually a portable Garmin unit that popped out of the dashboard. And yes, you could even take it out. Otherwise, everything was nice and analog, just like they were in the old days.
Is it really worth it to buy an SX4 now?
While U.S. News did report that the Suzuki SX4 received subpar ratings for reliability from J.D. Power (2.5 out of 5), we would argue that the SX4 is still a worthy buy today given its super low price point on the used market. How low? You can currently find SX4s listed for around $4,000 to $5,000 nationwide, however, the price increases to nearly $10,000 for really clean, low-mileage examples. Considering it used to cost nearly $20,000 when it was new, we would consider it a good bargain.