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Suzuki SX4 Crossover



  • sunlightcoppersunlightcopper Posts: 6
    edited May 2011
    I have the brand new 2011 automatic CVT with the 6 speed.

    Yes, if this car is driven "hard" it will guzzle fuel like water.

    However, I did drive it very, very, I mean VERY carefully, and only, but only then the car met its advertised MPG 23 for city.

    I'd like to stress out here that driving like that is not what you'd call "average driving" but it is rather a road hazard, plus a lot of other people behind and around you appear to not appreciate the fact that on a posted 35 miles/hr speed limit, I -basically- reach 30 mph when it is about time to brake again for the oncoming traffic light.

    Suzuki claims that with "average driving" the SX4 should yield 23 mpg in city driving.

    This is far from being the truth.

    ONLY if I drive slower than my 80+ year old granny I might get the 23 mpg.

    This means keeping the engine around 2,500 rpm while starting off from a complete stop, never going over 3,000 rpm while driving and letting the car coast as much as possible while approaching a red light.

    Ignore that and you will be reminded at the next fill-up at the gas pump.

    Sorry, but this is not average driving. Not only it is border-line dangerous, it is also distracting while driving to be thinking of all that and it is frustrating to the car driver as well, as to all the other drivers sharing the road.

    I though about complaining about that to the dealer I bought it from but they will giving me the usual run-around and I have no time or desire for all that BS.

    Guess, I made a mistake (or may be not?) I 'll get my punishment and hopefully I 'll learn my lesson.
  • sunlightcoppersunlightcopper Posts: 6
    edited May 2011
    Sorry, I somehow missed your message, so I wanted to repy:

    You say: 1) I agree about the mileage, though I have gotten 30 when I have almost 100% highway. I once even got 32mpg on a tank. But, yes, low 20's is my average in the city.

    I never get 30 like you and I drive around 65-68 mph. If I get 27.x I am happy.

    You say: 2) Also agree that that A pillar is too big. Just need to lean forward when turning to make sure I see where I'm going on left turns.
    But other than the small band where the A pillar is, the view is excellent. You sit up high, the front windshield is huge, and the B and C pillars are very small, giving you excellent view to the side and the back.

    Not sure what you mean with B and C pillars, what I know is I'm always scared when turning left that I missed something and that's because of the pillar where the left rear view mirror is attached. Other than that I have no problems with this cars visibility.

    You say: 3) Have you seen how little space there is in the back of the car? The AWD takes up extra space, too. The non-AWD has a bigger gas tank. With a car this small, there's only so much room for a gas tank. Other small cars have comparable gas tanks (though, yes, they tend to have better mpg)

    This is not an answer to my question but more like trying to exonerate the Japanese engineers. All I am saying is this: Since Suzuki knew MPG is not going to be that great why didn't they try to "squeeze" in a slightly bigger tank?

    You say: 4) Sounds like this is problem with your and your highway-mates driving than the car. If you're going the speed limit, no should be tailgaiting you. And why are you blaming the car for tailgaters?

    You did not understand what I 'm saying or I did not explain myself well enough: In an attempt to get decent MPG, I have to drive slower that the rest of the traffic. I do reach the posted mph limit but much later than the others. Unfortunately Chicago area drivers are somewhat impatient. Unless I drive faster I am being tailgated constantly. But driving faster means much lower MPG. I just can't win with the SX4.

    You say: 5) I've never had a car with manual ON/OFF switch for the cruise control, and that's including a relatively new Mazda3. I think that's pretty common for Japanese cars to not have that.

    I disagree with your last statement. My wife's 2011 CR-V does have that. My two previous cars (Mazdas, 626 and Protege5) DID have that, my 1980's Ford Escort L Hatchback DID have that, many, many other cars DO have that. It appears to me that having THAT (it's a convenience feature not a must) requires a more expensive setup with the car's computer. And apparently Suzuki chose to cut corners here as well.

    You say: 6) What's wrong with daytime running lights? They only help with safety and don't detract from anything. Again, remember that this is a low-cost car. If they had to make a modification just for the U.S. market, they'd probably have to charge more.

    I never said "there is something wrong" with DRL. I questioned why they included that since they are not mandatory in the USA and how about providing the owners with an easy way to decide if they want to keep them ON or (temporarily) disabling them. DRL is undoubtedly a safety feature. My personal opinion is they are good under certain and very specific driving conditions. Driving say in and around a big city (i.e. Chicago and suburbs) DRL are useless. They are a must driving cross country in Canada and the USA and if you live in a state like Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, etc. Since the government says they are not mandatory, YET, I argue that the owner should be given the right to chose or build separate car versions for different markets. But that would be expensive for Suzuki.

    You say: 7) My car has an excellent straight track, and I've never experienced any drift as you describe

    8) My windshield has held up great with no cracks or dinks or mystery white material.

    And I am extremely happy for you! However, and if I sound a bit sarcastic, I apologize, I am mainly concerned about my car not yours.

    You say: 9) I find the front seats to be very comfortable. Last summer took a long road trip from Seattle to Montana and loved how comfortable the seats were. I think the seats are more comfortable than the ones I had in my Mazda3.

    I feel exactly the opposite. I find, at least the driver's seat, very soft and uncomfortable. The bolsters will not keep me in the seat when turning, the fabric is slippery and I constantly slide forward, even the cable from the heating element is protruding making my ..."behind" hurt. :) My Protege5 had by far better seats when I bought it 10 years ago.

    You say Everyone has their specific needs and considerations. I'm sorry that you've found those specific items that you described to weigh so heavily in your view of the car.

    I agree 100%, different people, different needs and considerations. Even identical cars will behave different -somehow don't ask me why- from owner to owner. But I do sincerely thank you for your sympathy.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    edited May 2011
    I hear you on the highway mileage. I drive a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and I get about 31mpg in the city. My car weighs around 3,380 lbs. with the automatic CVT transmission. At one time I wanted the first year of SX-4, the 2007 model, with a passion.

    I also took a April 2010 test drive in a 2010 Suzuk Kizashi that had an automatic CVT transmission. You might trade for one of them, magazine test drivers are getting about 26-29 mpg on average on the highway in their long-term Kizashi test drives. I am seriously thinking of buying a Suzuki Kizashi Sport one day.

    It's between a Suzuki Kizashi Sport, Mitsubishi Lancer GTS Hybrid and a 2012 Kia Rio Hatchback or a Mazda 2 with the 5-speed stick. Or just keeping my 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS with the 2.0L 152hp 4-cyl with 148 lb. ft. of torque, automatic CVT transmission. I love the car, just always think about what I want to buy next. It's built in to me, I'm a car nut with passion for sporty cars.

    But your highway gas mileage is terrible. How many miles do you have on your copper sunlight 2011 SX-4 with automatic CVT transmission? Something is seriously wrong...I think Chicago drivers are driving you batty...this is probably the only need to get the hell out of Dodge. Chicago is nasty...I wife is from there and I've been there several times...couldn't wait ta get out each and every time...the town has a Napoleon is forever in NYC's shadow and they seriously don't know how ta let it down...they need to just relax but they can't, it's too much of a rat race to stop and relax.

    I just figured it out...take your beautiful Suzuki SX-4 and get out of Chicago. Test drive it some more in another area of the U.S. and then get back ta us, OK? Seriously. :shades:

    2010 Suzuki SX-4 Sportback

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    I had the manual transmission in my loaded 2008 Sunlight Copper AWD Touring SX4. My overall lifetime mileage was 29 mpg, and I never drove as conservatively as you describe. Nonetheless, I usually did shift into 5th at the earliest opportunity, and if I needed to accelerate quickly, a downshift to 3rd (or 2nd) was always sufficient for some scoot. City mpg was around 23 mpg, and on mostly highway tanks, it varied from 25 (in the dead of winter with temps around 0F) to 34 (warm, non-windy weather). I cannot complain about that mileage, considering the AWD and the equipment level.

    As for the seats, I thought they were a bit hard after a couple hours of driving. Cornering was great...sort of like driving a Mini, that go-kart, on rails feeling. I usually took 30 mph corners at 50 or better with no strain and no braking (unless there was a slowpoke in front of me).

    I miss the car already, but I upgraded to a Volvo. The Kizashi could be an alternative for you: AWD available, solid, comfortable and quiet--and more power and better mileage (with CVT) than the car you have now. I know Chicago traffic cuts into mileage on any car, but yours should really do much better than 18 mpg if you drive normally. One thing I found is that gas mileage did improve on mine after 15,000-20,000.
  • joeyrabjoeyrab Posts: 65
    Well, I'm not sure how much truth there is to this theory, but they say after the new engine "breaks in" you may get better mileage...I can see breaking in a pair of sneakers, to get a more comfy run.......but does a motor, really "break in"?
  • joeyrabjoeyrab Posts: 65
    edited May 2011
    Worked with this lady in the late 80's...had a 1.3liter swift 4 door wagon looking car.....we used to laugh at her for having this little Suzuki. Now I would buy one in a second. She had 100,000 miles on it at one point, and did NOTHING except change the oil. that is all. (I kind of remember her using Mobil 1).....she had mentioned that to me......anyway....
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,974
    does a motor, really "break in"?

    Good question - many new cars don't require a break in period anymore. They get that at the line when they build the engine and you just drive them off the lot and keep going.

    I keep track of my mpg with every tank out to two decimal points. For my '99 van, the lifetime mileage increased (by very small increments) until I hit 117,000 miles. It's started falling off a little bit now (up to 155,000 miles currently).

    I don't know if the engine kept breaking in (and now it's breaking down :shades: ) or if my ECU keeps getting smarter or what.

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  • joeyrabjoeyrab Posts: 65
    I can see driving the car for a little bit to get the hoses and pumps "loose" but, that's the kind of break in I think happens. Which makes me wonder why Hyundai takes a new engine of the assembly line and red lines it for like 5 minutes or something...I guess they do that to all their engines as they come of the "belt".....I saw this on tv, I think it was "ultimate factories on Nat'l Geographic or something, then I read it in a magazine....I personally don't like the idea, but that's what they do I guess.

    I was driving in town yesterday, and I saw a white SX4 Hatch.....I was pointing it to my 10yr old daughter, (excitedly), I think the guy thought I was nuts, especially when I immediatly turned around and got behind it...(I wasn't following it, I forgot to go to the ATM!)
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,974
    There's a school of thought in the motorcycle crowd about "driving it like you stole it". Owners who go by this theory say it's critical to "exercise" the engine in the first couple of hundred miles after you buy a new bike. Taking it easy supposedly lessens the engine's performance in later years.

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  • joeyrabjoeyrab Posts: 65
    Ah, I see...
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,974
    Here's one link about it. I'm not sure I buy all of it though; tolerances seems to be a lot better and closer these days than even a decade or so ago.

    Probably came from a bunch of Suzuki bikers. ;)

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,675
    Probably came from a bunch of Suzuki bikers.


    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • prados3prados3 Posts: 1
    Thank you for your extensive feedback on this car. I am considering purchasing an SX4 because I am looking for a small hatchback with AWD and decent milage. I have read a lot of positive reviews of the SX4, but I am most interested in hearing--from the people who are disappointed in it--what would you recommend instead? If you could trade it for something else, what would you choose?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    It is a great little to drive, well-equipped, rattle-free, reliable, and economical for an AWD vehicle. However, it is not plush or particularly quiet.

    Alternatives, however, are few, if you want something small and economical. The Subaru Legacy has AWD and gets at least as good mpg as the SX4, but it is a sedan and bigger. The Outback also gets reasonably good mileage (though not as good as the SX4), but it is even more bulky than the Legacy. The all new 2012 Impreza also has AWD, and will get significantly better mpg than the SX4.

    You could also look at the Kia Sportage (or the equivalent Hyundai), but they are somewhat bigger, and the AWD mileage will not be as good.

    The Nissan Juke is probably the most similar vehicle out there to the SX4 (same length and layout), but all reports I have seen say it rarely gets close to its EPA estimates. The only other vehicle on the American market set up similarly is the 4dr AWD Mini, but it is not in the same price range (it would cost you at least $15K more).

    I don't know why manufacturers have failed to offer more AWD choices in smaller cars. This lack also extends to larger ones. The new Ford Explorer will now offer a 4 cylinder with 240 hp and 270 torque (higher torque than the six cylinder) that gets 20/28 mpg, but won't offer an AWD option with that engine...even though the Explorer was sold for many years with an engine with only 160 hp, and 4WD.
  • sunlightcoppersunlightcopper Posts: 6
    edited August 2011
    I bouht my sunlightcopper SX4 in Feb 2011 and 3 months it was replaced by the dealer because of the following (major) complains I had:

    1. Car from day one, was pulling to the left to the point after my long (~40 miles commute) my left hand hurt!

    2. My average city mpg was 19-21 and hwy was 25-27 not the advertised 23/29 even though I was driving very -I mean VERY- carefully.

    3. Overall my car felt sluggish, slow and lacked both start-off acceleration and hi rpm power.

    Turns out that at the 3,000 miles (1st) service they tried to address the alignment but that was not possible therefore they got authorization from Suzuki to replace the entire rear subframe. This was a ~$2,000 job, of course it was fully covered under warranty but at that point and after only 3 months I did not have a new car any more but a used car with a major repair in its history.

    I decided to go back to the dealer and after some negotiations they replaced it with another same trim just in dark gray color.

    The new car still has a slight drift to the left but this time it is so negligible it does not bother me. MPG is also much better, I get 23-24 in the city and over 30 in the hwy. The engine is also much more responsive. Overall, I am happy but puzzled with my experience.

    Would I buy it again? NO

    Would I recommended it NO. But this is a personal matter. I say go drive one extensively, yes insist to test-drive it a few times for at least 20 minutes, and focus on my 3 problem areas above. It is hard to figure out the mpg in such a short time but the real time mpg gauge is a fair idea. About the alignment and engine power issues, you should be able to assess that almost the first time around.

    I will not keep this car for too long. As soon as I am right side up with my loan I 'll trade it for something else. I am not 100% happy with this Suzuki.

    Suzuki missed the point here with this car. Yes the SX4 incorporates some hi-tech safety related features but over all even though this car looks nice from the outside and aside from the problems I had, it is lacking everywhere else and has been blown away by its competition.

    Yes, it is great to have a switchable 3-way FWD/AWD little car that -admittedly- turns heads at the parking lot but in my humble opinion the SX4 cons are more than the pros.

    Hope I was of some help!
  • I have a 2007 sx 4 crossover now with 55,000 plus miles. I will tell you the truth, gas mileage = dissapointment, second my ac just went at around fifty thousand miles. Read another blog about it. It's gonna cost a penny and guess what it won't be covered by there warranty. I bought it at thirty six thousand miles. When I bought it the passenger air bag light was on and the dealer said it would stay on as long as there wasn't someone sitting on it. Made sense to me at the time, if no one was sitting on it, why would it deploy in an accident. He happened to be a liar. It went bad before I even bought it, ohhh and gues what, it's not covered either. It was the bladder in the seat that went bad. To replace it, they would half to replace the whole seat. Terrible. Now as far as how it drives, I have no problem with. I think it drives great, but at my sacrifice, it's just not worth it. We are talking up to 4,000 dollars just to correct the problems, and whol wants to drive without a/c. Frustrated
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,415
    Did you investigate the history of the car before you bought it? Obviously, the dealer lied to you; the owner's manual would have cleared up the airbag question. I wonder if the car was abused by the first owner.

    As for the AC, get a second and third opinion. You may be able to get the unit re-charged, even if there is a leak somewhere. Good luck. The 2007s did have the worst mileage it appears. The manual transmission especially.
  • I have my SX4 for 4 yrs now to be exact. Since I owned it am never encountered any (minor nor major) problems. This is a car that last for long to my possession - usually I traded-in a car that gave me a head ache. I experienced a lot of driving during snow storms/blizzard but this little car was kept me moving- I was stuck only in our street with more than 2 feet of snow (was not plowed) but in NYC driving, amazed me because lots of buses, expensive cars, taxis, etc.,were stuck up but me with my SX4 was moving like a snowmobile in short I like this car very much.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,974
    edited November 2012
    “I don't think it's a big surprise given their lackluster sales performance of recent years. They have have low margin, low-priced cars with small volume. That's far from the ideal combination,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with auto information company

    The good news:

    "Suzuki said it will continue to honor warranties and will provide automobile parts and service through its parts and service dealer network."

    American Suzuki to file for bankruptcy, end U.S. auto sales (LA Times)

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