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2010 Suzuki SX4 SportBack

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When Suzuki released the country’s ‘least expensive AWD car,’ as they marketed the SX4, those of us who live in snowy climes took note, as options to the ubiquitous Subaru lineup are always welcome. So I didn’t know what to make of things when they not only dropped the all-wheel drive, but the little Suzuki as well, lowering it down over its bigger, bolder 17” alloys. Looked kinda butch, in a Mini-esque way, which was enhanced by the subtly sporty body kit and rear spoiler. Would this be an American version of the hot hatch Swift they firm successfully sells in other markets—a cool little car that is used effectively in international rally racing?

While perhaps not that hardcore, I think Suzuki is on to something. The tighter suspensions settings of this Sportback result in better handling and composure, yet the ride isn’t so stiff as to rule out comfortable urban use over gnarly tarmac. The revised 2-liter is smoother, pumps out more power (150hp/140lb-ft), and gets better fuel economy. It’s coupled to a new 6-speed manual which is light and precise (a new CVT auto is optional). And, with only front drive, this SX4 has less weight to shuffle about, meaning it’s both quicker and more frugal.

All the things I’ve liked about previous SX4s are intact: a well-built interior with supportive seats, gobs of cool standard stuff like a smart key, climate control, a leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, and all the practicality of the five-door body (more conventionally minded souls can take refuge in the four door sedan version) and excellent value.

THE BROKER’S VIEW: Yep; hate to drag out that adjective to describe Suzuki’s offerings, but durn if it isn’t true. My auction data show that an ‘07 SX4 holds onto the same percentage of its value—or more—than a Honda Fit—the darling of compact car lovers. Add in that Suzuki’s warranty is unbeatable and you have a compelling case for the entire SX4 line.

Price as tested: $18,814

Here's what Suzuki has to say about it.
 

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