Maruti Suzuki had launched the SX4 in the year 2007. It has been designed by the world renowned Italdesign studio and was brought to life jointly by Suzuki and Fiat. The SX4 is currently produced at Suzuki’s plant in Hungary and India. Of the total units produced, one-third is sold by Fiat bearing the Sedici model name. The SX4 is Maruti Suzuki’s most brawny and chiseled offering in the Indian mid size segment till date. Its earlier offering in the same segment was the Baleno which fared poorly on the sales chart owing to its bland design.
Design and Features
The SX4 clearly does not cater to the subtle design elements adopted by the other models in the Maruti Suzuki stables. It looks stout and burly from whichever angle you might choose to look at it. The front end design of the car which comprises of swept back headlamps, honeycomb grille, a high waistline, flared wheel arches along with the muscular bumper and a gaping air dam gives it a distinctive masculine look. The thick A and C pillars coupled with the 190mm ground clearance further accentuate its brawny appeal. The huge boot at the rear gels well with the overall design and gets livened up by the large trapezoidal tail lamps. The interior comes across as pretty bland in comparison to the exterior though and doesn’t feel lively. The seats are supremely comfortable and there is adequate head, elbow, shoulder and leg room.
The Maruti Suzuki SX4 is offered to buyers in tow models namely VXi and ZXi. The base Vxi comes equipped with air conditioner, power windows, power and adjustable steering, tubeless tyres, remote boot and fuel lid along with central locking as standard. The top ZXi variant gets ABS, twin airbags, electrically adjustable ORVM’s, foglamps, MP3/CD compatible integrated music player and ten spoke 16 inch alloy wheels as standard in addition to the above features found on the lower model.
Driving abilities and Comfort
The high ground clearance makes a lot of people jump to a conclusion that the SX4 won’t be a potent handler. On the contrary, it boasts of highly impressive driving dynamics. Driving this car through winding roads or open highways is an enjoyable experience. There is no excessive body roll when hot footing through corners. At high speeds, the straight line stability is phenomenal and it doesn’t get unsettled by mid corner bumps or sudden changes in road surface. The front suspension setup comprises of MC Pherson struts along with independent gas filled shock absorbers and an anti roll bar. While the rear setup too involves gas filled shock absorbers and semi independent torsion beams.
Irrespective of whether one occupies the front or rear seat, the SX4 doesn’t disappoint with respect to ride quality either. The robust suspension soaks up every crater sized pothole on the road with elan. At low speeds, the ride quality does feel a tad too stiff though. Braking duties are efficiently handled by 280m ventilated discs at front and 220mm drums at the rear. The electronic power steering offers decent feedback to the driver. The diver along with the front passenger sits quite high which arms them with a commanding view of the road ahead. The thick A-pillar creates blind spots for the driver and the high rear end makes reversing this sedan a chore.
The SX4 is offered to buyers with only a single engine option. It gets powered by a 1.6 liter petrol engine which produces a maximum power of 104.68PS@5600rpm and a maximum torque of 145Nm@4100rpm. This mill belongs to Maruti Suzuki’s new age M-series engine which conforms to euro V emission norms. The engine gets four cylinders and dual overhead camshafts configuration along with four valves per cylinder. During our performance tests, the SX4 took 12 seconds to reach the speed of 100kmph from standstill and attained a top speed of 180kmph. During the fuel efficiency test, it returned an overall mileage of 13km per litre. The only glitch in the 5-speed manual transmission is its relatively long throw.
The Vxi model retails for Rs.7.2 lakhs (on-road Mumbai) while the ZXi model is priced at 8 lakhs (on-road Mumbai). It competes against the likes of Honda’s City, Ford’s Fiesta, Hyundai’s Verna and Chevrolet’s Aveo. With respect to its rivals, the SX4 is the most butch looking of the lot, has the ’go’ to match its ’show’ and is a good value for money buy in the car mid-size segment. It is well rounded product which scores well across all parameters. Being a Maruti Suzuki product, its owners will also be at peace with respect to ease of servicing, maintenance and low cost of ownership.