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5.0 out of 5 stars here is what I liked about the Suzuki SX4,
This review is from: Suzuki SX4
I am currently driving a 2008 Suzuki SX4 Crossover that has the Convenience Package, along with the 4-speed automatic transmission and AWD. I decided to write this review after embarking on a ~1,500 mile, 3 day road trip from Buffalo, NY to Raleigh, NC with trips to Asheville, NC in between. In short, I was overwhelmingly surprised at the performance of the Suzuki SX4, and hope this review will answer questions others may have about the car.0
The 1,500 mile trip really allowed me to assess the vehicle; it's the first long trip I've been on in the car after owning it for about 2.5 years. The trip in each direction took 14 hours of straight driving, and in the car was me, my friend, and our luggage.
I'll start off by saying I would have preferred to give the vehicle a 4.5/5 rating, but amazon only allowed me to rate it as 4/5 or 5/5. I couldn't justify taking off an entire star for the cons (which will be addressed shortly), as the pros were numerous. So, here is what I liked about the Suzuki SX4:
Firstly, the car handles wonderfully. The majority of the trip was on a 4-lane highway, but if anyone has ever traversed the entire state of West Virginia, they know that there are numerous turns going uphill and downhill. The car felt well planted and could easily maneuver the turns at high speeds. Along with the handling, I felt that the visibility was great, which made the car very easy to drive overall. Something I noticed about driving in the city is that the A-frame support beams that run along the windshield can block the driver's view, especially when making a left turn. This was not an issue however for highway driving. The upright driving position was surprisingly comfortable for the entire 14-hour trip. As one would expect, my lower back hurt a bit after, but I'm not sure any car would be any better for the extensive amount of time I spent driving. The seat in general exceeded my expectations, and offered enough support while still being soft enough to sit in for an extended period of time. All accessories, including heat, A/C, radio, worked flawlessly the entire trip. The small i4 was surprisingly powerful and afforded me all the power I needed to climb steep hills and pass cars; that being said, most power was achieved in second gear at high RPMs (see below).
Here are some things that I didn't like over the course of the trip:
First of all, the hills in West Virginia, western Virginia, and eastern Tennessee are very steep. I quickly found out that the cruise control wasn't up for the challenge, as it aggressively down-shifted from 4th to 2nd. Instead of maintaining the speed going up the hill, it shot the car about 5 mph over the set speed, up-shifted to 4th, and repeated process until the hill was climbed. This was irritating, but was circumvented by disabling the cruise control and pedal driving. This also brings me to another con, and that is 3rd gear. It seems as if the car was geared to make 3rd completely useless; it's too weak to maintain speed going up even smaller inclines, which forces the car to drop directly into second even when going at 75 MPH. Acceleration was very weak from a complete stop, but was sufficient for passing at increased speeds. When cruising at 85 MPH, the car was at 3100 RPMs in the highest (4th) gear; it's almost as if this car is begging for a 6-speed automatic transmission. Filling the gas tank every 250 miles became an annoyance.
Here are some things to think about when considering the MPG I averaged-
- The temperatures during this trip ranged from 30 degrees to 85 degrees.
- My cruising speed was an average of 75 MPH on the highway, and ranged from 65 MPH to 85 MPH.
- The air conditioning was used for about 50% of the drive (when in North Carolina, mostly).
- The terrain, having very steep hills, was very unforgiving.
- AWD was never used.
With that being said, I was able to average a surprising 28.2 MPG on the trip, which is much higher than I expected.