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Suzuki SX4 MPG Real World Numbers

erics6erics6 Posts: 684
edited September 2014 in Suzuki
Curious to hear what new SX4 owners real world MPG numbers are?


  • "Real World" for mine after the first 500 miles is 25.4 MPG. Not as high as I had hoped, but acceptable for colder weather and shorter trips. This with a 5 speed and mostly 2WD mode.
  • So far ours (Auto) has a tad over 2k miles -- when I drive it to work which is about 550 miles round trip per 5 day week mostly highway it nets me about 28 mpg. When my wife drives to work about 45 miles round trip per 5 day week its about 19 mpg (correct mostly city and she is very lucky)

    We also looked at a Honda Fit which has a tad more room and off the line pep. But lacking AWD was a deal breaker and at this price point can't complain. The SUV we traded in netted about 15 mpg no matter who used it so its win for us.

    as they say your millage may vary
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    wow i was shocked to read you saying the fit had more pep off the line considering it has a 25% smaller engine! I do believe you though because on the honda hit part of this forum they say its got pep! and its got alot less horsepower than the sx4 .. btw what is the mpg for a fit anyways? i think they are in the 30's for city.?
  • not sure about the fit - we never really wanted it. Due to the fact that we have had a 4x4 for so long and are depended on that feature. And didn't want to spend more then the SX4. As far as power yeah it seems weird that it make a good "number" but feels less? Maybe its just drive-line loss? I'm still thinking Suzuki is using some sort of torque management to reduce power off the line. Cause as soon as its rolling the Sx4 seems very strong for its class.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    btw what is the mpg for a fit anyways?

    You can find out in Honda Fit: MPG - Real World Numbers.

    tidester, host
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Honda Fit curb weight: 2400 lbs
    Suzuki SX4 curb weight 2900 lbs
  • and mainly fwd, about 20-25% city, rest Hwy, and he drives 120 miles per day(alittle over 2K right now).
    28+ MPG avg.
    He does drive faster than the speed limit(by about 5 MPH).
    No cruise( he said if he had cruise, adn dorve the speed limit, he could probably hit 30MPG, as advertised).

    Great Car. I hope the rest of the line up, over the next few years, mimics the SX4.... may have to buy a Suzuki myself, then!
  • good feedback... my thoughts were the same at having (wishing mine had cruise); but I think you can actually get "better" MPG with out it on a small egine car like ours. My reasoning is that on slight inclines you will either start going faster sooner to overcome the hill or just give up some speed for a short distance, which saves a tad bit of fuel. Where most cruise system will force a down shift which I think will burn more fuel?

    Then again maybe I tell myself that as no Sports were available - LOL

  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    since the fit has 500 less lbs of weight. what is the CC (engine size) differences between the fit and the sx4 since the sx4 is heavier.
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    are you saying the sx4 has to get a running start to climb a hill? my tracker with a 2.0 engine (4x4) doesnt have to get a running start to climb a slight hill nor does the engine rev real high either. the tach might jump a tiny bit but thats all. my tracker is only 127hp but i bet it weights alot less. mine is only the 2door.
  • I think you may read my message incorrectly (or I wrote it wrong, very possible)

    Most cars I have owned while using the cruise control on a highway that is not flat, rather hilly. The system will hold you at the selected speed then when the hill comes up speed drops down a bit - maybe 2-4 MPH. Then the system starts to increase gas flow & kicks down to a lower gear to maintain that speed.

    My other car is a Isuzu Ascender with a 4.2L inline six making about 293HP and at 65MPH it turns about 1800RPM. with a slight hill the speed stays the same but in 3rd at about 2800RPM.

    My little Sx4 can climb a steep hill with no worries :-)
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Curious if any of you new owners have experienced a mileage difference between 2wd and auto 4wd? It'll be interesting to see if there is any benefit to the manual system. Those of you up north may have to answer this question.
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    who here has the Optional 4-Speed automatic trany in their sx4? my tracker has the option 4 speed in it and i must say it was worth it! you can turn the 4 speed off to put it into 3 speed mode and wow that engine revs alot higher than when it is in 4 speed mode. my question and comment is what kinda gas mileage you get with the optional 4speed and did anyone see how expensive the sx4 gets when adding the 4 speed? $18,000!!
  • I've noticed that my average fuel mileage begins dropping when I travel at 65-70 MPH on the Interstate vs. a steady 45-50 MPH on rural roads. I expected this due to increased wind resistance at the higher speed, but probably another big factor is the low overall gearing on the 5 speed. After re-fueling and resetting the mileage computer, I was up to a 33-34 MPG average driving at a steady 45-50 MPH on a level rural road for a distance of about 30-40 miles. This included some traffic lights, stop and go, etc. After getting back on the Interstate and driving about 65 MPH, I watched the average mileage drop to 28.9 MPG after about 60 miles of driving and it was continuing to drop slowly. I think the highway rating of 28 MPG is pretty darn accurate. I believe you could probaly average 30 MPG with careful driving at 50-60 MPH or so, on level country roads. Some have questioned the accuracy of the onboard mileage computer, but it should know the exact mileage since the ECU knows exactly how much fuel it is sending to the fuel injection system, right down to the duration in milliseconds for each pulse of the injectors. The only variable I see might be in the rolling circumference of the tires which is subject to variation due to inflation pressure. The biggest variable in calculating your own mileage on a car with this small of a fuel tank is the accuracy in getting the tank filled the same each time. I haven't run with the AWD in "Auto" much yet, but I do know that the drive shaft is disconnected when you are in "FWD" so there is probably some reduction in drive train loss running in that mode.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    "I do know that the drive shaft is disconnected when you are in "FWD" so there is probably some reduction in drive train loss running in that mode."

    It is also disconnected all the time in AWD unless there is front wheel slippage, because all you do by putting it in AWD is "turn on" the rear electronic clutch pack. Nothing is physically engaged, though, until the computer detects wheel slippage.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    thats exactly what i thought. that switch is a Gimmick. The only real advantage or purpose to that switch wouldbe to put the sx4 into a Low range or (lock) setting. other than that the fwd and awd is useless, you might as wel just be in awd. this way you get the same fuel economy and if you ever needed it you wouldnt have to remember to hit the switch. So the switch should really read 4low/low range or something to that nature, as the fwd is useless. I think it might give a faulse sense of better fuel economy? Who knows maybe suzukis reseach shown that people like to pressure button?
  • I thought the drive shaft was disconnected in 2wd because when I had one back wheel jacked up, I could turn the wheel and the drive shaft didn't turn. Today I rolled the car a bit with the key on in both FWD and AUTO and the drive shaft turned in both modes. Evidently the drive shaft is being driven by the front differential. I've read that the center differential is located in the rear axle. I would like to know more about how this system engages and disengages. I did drive in some snow today and you can definitely feel the rear drive engage when when the front wheels start to spin. FYI the SX4 does not have a 2-speed transfer case so there is no low range or 4 Low.
  • erics6erics6 Posts: 684
    Interesting. I'd be curious to see technical details on how this system works. You really don't feel much of a transition with Subaru's AWD system, either auto or manual.
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    you said there isnt a 2 speed transfer case. is there a 3rd switch? fwd, awd and i thought there was something else that you cant drive fast with..
  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    with my chevy work van (awd) you can surely feel when awd kicked it. if your on icy roads it sounds like a brick hits the frame. in snow its more like a Clunk! With the chevy van there is No switches. it just knows when it needs more traction and engages.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    There is no 2-speed transfer case on the SX4. The 'lock' mode merely runs at least 30% of the power to the rear at all times (adjustable up to 50% by the computer, as needed), until you turn it off or the vehicle reaches 36 mph.

    The electronic clutch pack in this model is attached to the rear differential, so the driveshaft will turn any time the front wheels are being driven. However, this does not mean the rear wheels are being driven - that only happens when the computer detects wheel slip at the front and engages the rear.

    Subaru's system in all its manual-equipped models is merely a viscous center coupling. This runs all 4 wheels at 50/50 front/rear all the time until slip is detected, at which point power is directed away from the slipping axle. No computer intervention at all. Now I have never owned an automatic Subaru, but I know the autos get a more sophisticated computer-controlled system.

    The SX4's system is very similar to many of the more popular AWD soft-roaders out there today, including the CRV and RAV4, both of which run in FWD until slippage is detected. The RAV also has a 'lock' mode just like the SX4, with a lower speed threshold - I think it is like 25 mph when the RAV's 'lock' mode disengages (can't recall the exact speed).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    i think you are right about the rav 4's being 25mph. i met up with a guy today that had a 2006 rav4 WOW. it was nice great MPG also he was claiming. now i have another question since there is NO transfer case, and the drive shaft spins on both shafts, what is the purpose of fwd (2wd) and the awd button? im not talking the Lock mode. just the FWD and awd setting. since the shafts turn either way is there a point to the fwd position of the switch? any advantage? Im really interesting in understanding this I-awd. if you leave it in awd vs fwd does your fuel mileage go down? is there more drag? if not why not just leave it ALways in awd?
  • There is a transfer case, but it's a single speed unit. As far as your question about whether there is any advantage to running in 2WD, I don't know - you raise a good point with that. If all the same things are turning in 2WD, how can there be any reduction in drag? Also I'm wondering if there actually is a 3rd differential, and where it's located? It seems like someone has said it is in the rear of the car. I recently sold an AWD Mitsubishi built car (Eagle) and it had the transfer case, 3rd differential, and viscous coupling all located at the front. There was no button, and it was in AWD all of the time - you didn't feel any engagement. If you have a third differential with no method of partially locking it up with a viscous coupling or clutch pack, then the car can "get stuck" when only one wheel loses traction.

    The "Full-Time 4WD" pickups were like that. You could jack up one wheel and the vehicle wouldn't move. Also if you spun that one wheel, you could explode the tire, because the wheel would spin at 4 times the speed shown on the speedometer. For example if you were spinning one wheel at an indicated 50 MPH, the tire would be going an actual speed equal to 200 MPH (if it hadn't already disintegrated).

    I have a 4WD Toyota pickup that has an automatic disconnecting differential (ADD) in the front axle. One front axle shaft disconnects when you are in 2WD, and that allows the front driveshaft, and also the front ring and pinion to stop turning. The reduced drag is supposed to improve fuel economy slightly.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Well, I will say one other thing about the RAV4. If you've got the extra $10 grand and don't mind an automatic, you would be better off in the RAV. It has the same mileage, WAY more power, and generally better handling too. It will also depreciate a lot more slowly.

    But the interior is not all I would like, I would say the SX4's is marginally better. And of course, not everyone has (or wants to spend) the extra $10 grand.

    I would think if you are on the highway, in wet or dry but not snowy weather, doing highway speeds, you might want the car in FWD-only. The AWD probably cycles in and out of the rear axle more than you might think, because minor variances in rotational speed between the front and rear would cause short bursts of driving the rears, when the car would be using more gas. Over the course of a long highway trip, that could siphon off 1-2 mpg I would guess.

    Most of the rest of the time, I think you would probably just leave it in AWD. Anyone think the AWD light on the dash is a bit bright? For me, that would be an incentive to leaving it in FWD as much as possible.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    The "3rd differential" in the SX4 is the clutch pack - that clutch can slip, and is in fact designed to.

    You are perfectly correct about "old school" 4WD like most of the Toyota trucks had up until about the year 2000. It's one reason mine have always had the rear limited-slip, or rear locker (several different trucks over many years). Then at least you need 3 slipping wheels before you are a fish out of water!

    The downside to the old Toyota system was that while it was good for the longevity of the front axles, hubs etc when the 4WD was completely disengaged, they weren't receiving lubrication in that state, which was hard on them over time if they didn't get very good owner attention and maintenance. That is why the manuals began recommending that you drive in 4WD for 10 miles per month. The SX4 of course has none of these concerns - everything that might need lubrication is rotating all the time, and the electronic clutch pack is maintenance-free (at least, until the day it is fried - wouldn't want THAT repair bill!).

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    i was wondering if any Owners out there have seen how far they have gotten on a Full tank of gas till it hit the Big E. i wanted to see how different it is from the specs some of these reviewers said it gets. I think im going to give the sx4 another test ride when the Sport comes out. i was comparing specs of my tracker to the sx4 as far as power is concerned there is a 2ft-lbs more torque from the Sx4 but the sx4 is close to 100lbs heavier. I think on my next test drive i will really test it, more than just a few miles...
  • I haven't had the gauge down to the "E" yet, but did have the low fuel light come on once before filling up at about 250 miles. I'm not sure if the tank holds 11.0 gal or 11.9. I've seen both in print, but I believe that 11.9 gal for the AWD model is correct. Canadian 2WD models hold a bit more.
  • I get 21 in town and 25 hwy. I have a little over 2500 miles on it. I leave it in awd. I would like better mileage but that's not what I bought it for. I got it for the awd which is great. I don't think you can expect high milage from the SX4 because it weighs more than others but it's still a fine car for the money because everything comes standard.
  • brenbren Posts: 24
    The March issue of Car And Driver magazine has a short article on their time with the SX4.

    They tested a 5 spd. -- and only got 22 mpg. Yikes. That's what I consistently get with my 2004 Suzuki Aerio SX AWD automatic with 2.3 liter engine.
  • They must have spent a lot of time doing acceleration and braking tests to get something that low. That's something that is often unclear in the magazine tests. Did they actually take the car on a mileage test loop, or just "run the heck out of it" for a couple days and then report the mileage for the entire test period?
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