We’ve praised Suzuki’s SX4 Crossover in these pages before. With its quasi-softroader abilities, surprisingly direct steering, segment-exclusive all-wheel drive and generous equipment levels, the cheap n’ cheerful hatchback has carved out a unique niche for itself in the U.S. marketplace. What it has always needed, however, was a bit more power and better fuel economy.
For 2010, Suzuki has given it exactly that – but only just. An all-new, 16-valve, 2.0-liter four-cylinder has taken up residence under the hood, and it now achieves 150 horsepower (@ 6,200 rpm) and 140 pound-feet of torque (@ 3,500 rpm). Those figures represent increases of 7 hp and 4 lb-ft of torque, increases that we presume would be difficult for most drivers to detect without other changes to go along with them. Thankfully, Suzuki has also spent a few shekels on the SX4’s gearbox range, and the standard-fit manual transmission gains an extra ratio (for a total of six), while the three-pedal averse will get a new paddleshift CVT – both units with rejiggered ratios to improve acceleration times as well as mileage scores. About that – Suzuki claims the SportBack manual will get 22 mpg city/30 highway, while the CVT will net 23/30. While these figures represent improvements, they still trail classmates like the Honda Fit and Chevrolet Aveo, though the Suzuki does offer more power.
On the outside, the SportBack has been dropped onto 17-inch, 50-series Dunlops, with a lowered, KYB-controlled suspension setup, and there’s a new bumper and grille to go along with the car’s revamped aero package that includes new side skirts, a rather meek front spoiler, and a tweaked rear spoiler. Interestingly, Suzuki claims that the 2010 alterations actually make the SportBack perform better than its own well-regarded Swift in various handling disciplines, including steering and yaw performance, skidpad, as well as braking. Light-duty off-roaders take note – the SportBack is really just a conventional subcompact, as it isn’t available with all-wheel drive like its Crossover stablemate.
Inside, the Sportback gets an updated navi system that includes 3D graphics, lane guidance, as well as collateral information like weather mapping and airline arrivals/departures, and there’s a new instrument cluster as well. No word yet on pricing, but by way of guidance, the 2009 model-year SX4 Crossover (with its extra pair of driven wheels) commands $16,099. You can check out the full press release after the jump and the high-res gallery below.
2010 Suzuki SX4 SportBack takes more to the streets, less to the fields originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 24 Aug 2009 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.