With two roomy, well-designed body styles, a perky driving feel, and lots of features for the money, the 2012 Suzuki SX4 remains one of the stronger small-car entries for value-conscious shoppers--and one of the most often-overlooked possibilities for comparison shoppers.The 2012 SX4 is available in several different configurations, as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback. Both SX4 Sedan and SX4 SportBack (hatchback) models are front-wheel drive, but the hatchback is also offered in SX4 Crossover guise; as such, the SX4 is the lowest-priced new car with all-wheel drive.
We tend to think that the SX4 works best, design-wise, in either of its hatchback forms; the silhouette of the Suzuki SX4 sedan can appear a little too pert and truncated at the back, giving it an anonymous, rather tall-and-narrow look (and greater anonymity in parking lots); both the SX4 Crossover and its sportier front-wheel-drive twin, the SX4 SportBack, are more distinctive. Inside, the instrument panel is upright and businesslike yet sporty, and while materials are on the hard-and-cheap side, they're a bit more impressive than in other affordable rivals thanks to judicious use of textures and just a little bit of brightwork.
Compared to most other on-a-budget subcompact cars, the 2012 Suzuki SX4 is simply more enjoyable to drive. Both versions of the 2011 Suzuki SX4 come standard with a 150-horsepower version of Suzuki's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, along with a six-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CIT). Models with the manual gearbox are especially strong and zippy, and the CIT escapes the acceleration drone that plagues larger four-cylinder models with this type of transmission.