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Suzuki SX4 MPG Real World Numbers



  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    In the real world, the manual seems to do better than the automatic, despite the EPA numbers. Mine is an AWD manual transmission (Touring II) with stability control. I run it in 2WD all the time, except for heavy rain or snow. The difference over the AWD setting is slight, but every little bit helps.

    When in the city, I up shift to 5th as soon as possible, as it moves along nicely in 5th without lugging, as long as there is no grade. I watch the instantaneous mpg readout all the time, as it re-trains you to drive for better mileage as you try to keep the number high.

    When on an expressway, I try to find a truck to draft behind that is going about as fast as I want to go. It makes a difference of several extra miles per gallon and you don't have to be on the guy's bumper...just reasonably close and alert. Your readout will tell when you've hit the right spot. If you ever plan to to drive faster than 70 mph, you should have something in front, or your mileage will suffer accordingly.

    My overall reading (I have not re-set it since buying the car) is 30.3 mpg. Given the weight and AWD capability, I think that is pretty good. It would probably be higher if I re-set it and started over now.
  • stoner56stoner56 Posts: 3
    2008 SX4 Sport, convenience package, auto , fwd. got 32mpg on second tank. 85% hiway driving at avg 70mph.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Excellent mileage. I cannot get that high on the highway if I go 70 all the time, but I expect it will improve as it is broken in. I actually get better mileage in the city where I can keep the revs under 2K at all times. The thing walks around well at low speed in 5th gear and the readout shows the improvement. You can't do that with the auto I supposed, but I know it is geared to upshift quickly.
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    > If your thinking of accessories - skip the wing.
    > If they are on the car surface, you can bet tubulence
    > around the read far exceeds any pressure on the wing.

    A wing on the top of the back gate on a hatchback helps decreasing drag, if designed properly. But your rear window may get dirty more often because of turbulence.
  • mikusmikus Posts: 109
    Dude, never ever coast on neutral. Ever!
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    No rear wing or spoiler has much downforce function on any car at highway speeds. But the rear spoiler/wing standard on the crossover Touring II is a great thing to have. It keeps the rear window and hatch area clean. I don't have one on my Golf TDI hatchback and that window and hatch and bumper get dirty as soon as I drive it once after a wash. The wing on the SX4 keeps the turbulence from sucking all dust and dirt to the back surface.
  • lmirandalmiranda Posts: 1
    I have been getting about 29 mpg in city when i don't get caught at all of the lights. My drive to work is mostly uphill and I just coast a lot (engine on and in drive) on the way home. Haven't opened her up on the interstate yet. I have had this car for over a month and love it. Has saved me tons of money on gas despite what they advertised the averages to be. I can also park pretty much anywhere and not have to worry about anyone dinging it because it is so compact. :)

    I am a little irritated that they do advertise as XM ready when you actually have to buy a whole other component that costs close to $400. False advertising if you ask me! :confuse:
  • I just compleated a 1500 Kilometer trip in my 2-wheel drive sedan.
    Here are the results: Going 100 Km/hour (62MPH) I got a whopping 40 MPG! Going 120 (75) I got 32 MPH . It pays to go slower.
    I think this car is almost "green" if driven carefully. You have to stay in the middle lane and only pass when the truck in front of you causes danger.
    The seats are a little small for a long trip though, legs got tired; at that point, I wish I had bought a Volvo. But, for the money, this car is great.

  • I notice some slight crackling sound coming from the A/C fan through the vents. I will take it back to Suzuki for a checkout. Is anyone else having the same experience?

    Noise Hater
  • dudeboydudeboy Posts: 55
    We've just passed 10,000 miles on our '07 SX4 5-speed and the overall average is at 27.73 MPG. We've been able to exceed 30 MPG on probably 3 or 4 tanks. Oregon now requires gasoline to contain 10% ethanol and the mileage has dropped at least 5% because of it. I'm still happy with the fact that I can meet or exceed the EPA highway rating of 28 MPG consistently. It would be nice to have higher mileage with the current gas prices, but I'm satisfied with this mileage for a 3000 lb. AWD car. This past winter was a rough one with lots of snow and the SX4 performed very well. A little more ground clearance would be nice in deep snow, but with studded tires on all four wheels it is very competent.
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    >>>When on an expressway, I try to find a truck to draft behind that is going about as fast as I want to go. It makes a difference of several extra miles per gallon and you don't have to be on the guy's bumper...just reasonably close and alert. Your readout will tell when you've hit the right spot. If you ever plan to to drive faster than 70 mph, you should have something in front, or your mileage will suffer accordingly.

    If you ride a motorcycle behind a truck, the experience will belie your "technique." You are just putting yourself in extremely turbulent air, not "drafting." It is both unsafe and unsound.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    It makes a difference of several extra miles per gallon ...

    I haven't worked out the aerodynamics but it would seem to me that if you are benefitting from "drafting" by tailgating a truck then it is coming at the expense of the truck's gas mileage. That "savings" is coming out of the trucker's paycheck and the higher prices the rest of us pay for goods in the marketplace.

    Moreover, it is dangerous and you're putting others at risk.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Ok so i've heard this now from several ppl that own Aerio's or SX4's which have the same engine.
    These engines were designed primarily to be cost effective from the manufacturing standpoint. THis is one of the ways that Suzuki is able to keep the cost down on the SX4. One of the trade offs is that the engine has it's own quirks. One of them is that it doesnt receive the type of attention that a more refined and cost intensive engine would receive like for example in cars that cost twice the price. A good BMW engine comes in fully tuned and "blue printed" state. This is why the J20 engine which is in the Aerio/SX4 in many cases takes so long to break-in. But there is another problem. In order to get the rings to seat properly, it takes a fair amount of compression and lots of coaxing. This can be a problem though for high efficiency/low emmision engines, since they are running so lean now in order to meet newest emission standards that it tends to create a residue in the combustion chamber if the car is driven "too softly". Specially when the car is brand new. Where the problem happens is that the rings/seals are not being forced to seat properly because the person is driving like an old woman and never really letting the engine red-line. This type of driving continues for thousands of miles... and the rings in the J20 engine still have not seated 100%, and because of the low rev conditions, the dirty combustion causes the carbon to build up in the groove where the ring should have seated already but has completely. This is definitely not a good thing because this may prevent the rings from ever seating properly since the carbon is taking up space, and thus, gas mileage will never reach what it should, and other problems might develp as well such as pinging (caused by seapage of fuel past the chamber causing pre-ignition detonation), CEL problems, and possibly even/upto bearing failure do to pre-ignition detonation combustible by-products that eat away at bearing parts. I got most of this info from suzuki technicians, the few that are actualy willing to say what they know. Remember most dealer specific technitions would never divulge info like this for obvious reasons.
    So the Suzuki Technician that talked to, his name is Taki, he's a veritable genious with japanese engines. He said he's seen this problem most with the J20 engines when ppl drive it too softly after they first buy it. His recommendation is the following.
    Just drive easy for the first 500 miles. Keep it under freeway speeds if possible. After 500 miles dump the oil, get fresh oil. Now you are ready for REAL break-in.
    Doesn't matter if u have an automatic or 5-speed.
    Go pick a freeway entrance of your choice. One that will be convinient. I used to do this late at night when there was little traffic.
    get on the freeway on-ramp near where it starts but pull over to the shoulder. Make sure no cars are behind you or in front of you. When it's clear then go ahead and floor your pedal getting onto the ramp. Keep the pedal floor (automatic) all the way until you've reached maximum legal freeway speed. 5-speed, floor it wait until you hit redline each time before you shift, going all the way up to maximum legal freeway speed. That's it. Just drive like normal the rest of your ride. You want to do this hopefully once a day for atleast a few months straight, or until you've reached 5k miles. At first you might notice a slight decrease in gas mileage only because you are burning of a bit more by doing these redline runs. But after a few tank fulls, you will begin to notice small but real increases in MPG's. Get your oil changed again at 3000 miles. From this point on depending on the type of driving you do and the driving conditions where you live, I recommend oil changes between 3500 to 5000 mile intervals. If you choose to go synthetic then you might be able to strech out the intervals even longer.
    After 5k miles your engine will be broken-in well enough to where you should be at about 80% to 90% of the MPG you will be able to get out of the car. The remaining 10% to 20% will continue come as you continue driving and reach about 15k.
    A few other tips for you that you should at least consider/try. Usually the stock tires that come with the Aerio/SX4 are crappy and not very efficient. They have a lot of rolling resistance to them. One way of getting around this is to go a bit above the recommended psi when filling them. I use between 35 to 41 psi for best results. You can actualy feel a difference at around 38 psi in the way that the car handles. It gives the impression that the car is lighter. Stearing wheel responds faster. When I picked up my car from the dealership brand new, the tires where at between 17 psi and 23 psi each! That is terrible. So check yours! Also, every time I go to get an oil change or service done on the car the bloody wankers that work there always either over-inflate my tires or under-inflate them! So check them each time after you have any work done, even oil changes. Make sure you use a digital tire gage, not one of those cheap plastic ones that have the little stick that pops out LOL. Those are so inaccurate!
    After about 12k to 15k is when I would consider using either a synthetic oil or sticking with the regular oil but adding a friction reducer like DuraLube. G.I. Joe's sells it for $12.99 per bottle and it comes with a free bottle of Fuel System Cleaner. You can also get it at WalMart but they dont have the box that comes with the fuel system cleaner at WalMart. There are other ones out there but I've tested this one time and time again on several different cars and I always get good results. I only use between 1/4 to 1/2 a bottle every other oil change. The first time you use it you can try adding a whole bottle and then in subsequent oil changes cut back to about 1/2 a bottle every other or every 3rd or 4th oil change even. I add it when the engine is running. As soon as u at the first bottle you will immediately hear your engine get more quiet while you are pouring it in! You may also notice it runs smoother, specially at idle. If instead you decide to go with a synthetic motor oil like Mobil-1 you can skip the DuraLube.
    Ok now, if you have a 5-speed like I do, when you drive in the city, you should keep your shifts down below 2000 RPM's. It's kinda tricky in 1st gear but you will get used to it very quickly. You just gotta go real light. Then after 1st gear, it's much easier to shift below 2000 RPM's in the other gears. By the time I reach 30 miles per hour, I'm already in 5th gear with no problems.
    If you own an automatic just make sure you are starting off slow, and build up speed slowly. In the Aerio just keep the overdrive button on.
    In the SX4, unless its snowing out or there are other adverse road conditions for goodness sakes keep your car in FWD mode! AWD is nice when it's needed but in normal conditions
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 801
    In my 19 years of driving, I've owned nine cars- eight were Hondas and my current vehicle, '06 Mazda3, was the first car that was able to 'woo' me away from Honda. Of couse, the fact that the current Civic is, as one auto mag so blunty put it, shaped like a suppository did it's part in pushing me away from the brand.

    I always had an inexplicable afffection for the dorky/wonky-looking Aerio. It was a great little car with more personality than most any other econobox when it was introduced in 2002. The symmetrical, freakishly narrow slit of an instrument panel wasn't very easy to read in daylight, but the digital gauges took me back to my high school days when my sister would let me drive her '85 300ZX with it's Lite-Brite instrument display. Compared to most other subcompacts, it was much peppier and handled quite well. Back then I traveled almost every week for my job and went through the same routine ad nauseum with rental car desk clerks- they simply couldn't comprehend that I WANTED an Aerio....not a LeSabre or Impala 'upgrade'. Once they redesigned the interior and added AWD as an option for 2005, it truly was the BEST car that nobody knew about!

    The SX4 Sport struck my fancy the moment I layed eyes on it, though. No awkward proportions or polarizing design elements like the Aerio....this is actually a dang good looking car from every angle! The interior design, materials and fit/finish- another slam-dunk! And totally unexpected features such as Automatic Climate Control on the Touring trim level and even the least expensive Navigation system (costing $490 or less depending on trim level- compared to $1750 in the Civic and $1950 in the Mazda3...and even then, only an option on their $20k top of the line trim level).

    The real world fuel economy was the only real concern that I had about the SX4. The automotive websites and magazines have mentioned that they didn't get the best MPG, but they're also driving most test cars wide-open most of the time. I use Consumer Reports fuel economy figures on the models they've tested, but they have only tested the SX4 AWD Crossover so far.

    The figures I've seen posted here and a few other similar forums that I've discovered seem to be almost identical to my current Mazda3, so I can certainly live with that. I'd rather have a little extra kick in reserve when I need or want it even if it does cost a few MPG overall.

    The only change I'd love to see Suzuki make , and it's highly unlikely in the near future, is upgrading the automtaic transmission to a more modern 5-speed automatic unit. Highway fuel economy would see a boost of 2-3mpg and low-end acceleration would improve as well (provided they optimized the gearing to achieve these improvements). Perhaps when they roll out more home-grown (Japanese, not mediocre Daewoos like the Reno and Forenza) they'll also develop a new transmission.

    In the meantime, I think I'll be paying my Suzuki dealer a visit for a test drive tomorrow....
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • I drive a lot, since my girls live 2.5 hours away and I'm an outside salesman. I average about 25 - 26 MPG, both freeway and city driving. On the freeway, I get about 30, and in town, I get about 20. I have 13,000 miles on my SX4. I love this little car!!

  • In the almost year I've had my SX4 Crossover (w/Touring, AT), I've been getting anywhere from 19mpg to 28mpg per tank in hilly Seattle, depending on my city/highway mix. Last weekend I went on a trip where I drove mostly on rural state roads going mostly 50-55mph. I finally got over 30mpg (about 31mpg) overall on a tank of gas. Goes to show that you'll get better gas mileage in the 50-60mph range than in the 60-70+ range
  • Well, as it turns out, the computer DID need to be reset. Now it's showing anywhere from 22.6 to 24.5 city ..... just hold the two buttons on the right for about 5 sec and it will blank out and then all blank dashes will appear. That resets it..
    Actually, you just need to press and hold the left of the 2 buttons to reset the mileage, not both.
  • I now have 6000 miles on my 08 sedan sport (MT). I average 33.1 mpg. I live in the mountains and try to stick to freeways.My mileage really jumped @ 3000 miles and after my first oil change.
  • My wife had a similar experience. It was the water build up in the AC condensation pan. It is randomly hitting the AC fan when it sloshes into it. You can check this by putting the driver's side on an incline with the fan on. I did this using a car ramp (had to use an extender). The design of the tubing that drains the pan is too horizontal and does not provide enough gravity drain. The solution is simple if this is your problem. Pull the passenger floor board covering away from the center console, then remove the hose by pulling it up through the floor board. Blow into the hose and the water will drain out. I have had to do this two times during the summer. I finally put an extension on the hose so I can get to it from under the car.
  • BTW, You probably won't have this issue in the Winter since the A/C first must dry the humidity from the air to cool it which is where the water comes from. Next Summer, give this a try.
  • Drafting actually benefits both the donor and the vampire.
    The vampire gets a free tow, the donor (particularly a box like a semi trailer) gets a free boost because the terrible aerodynamics of the box get cleaned up a bit because of the turbulance intervention courtesy of the vampire.

    It's a long as the trucker doesn't mind (you might ask on the cb), the vampire stays awake and alert so he doesn't get decapitated in a sudden-brakes situation, and no cops stop you for following too close.
  • I've been interested in the SX4 Crossover since its inception. The idea of packing all that technology into such a go-anywhere auto has intrigued me. BUT----I do alot of driving; anywhere from 60-150 miles daily and I'm concerned about the small 11 gallon tank. If the SX4 Cross had a 13 gal. or bigger tank it would be sitting in my driveway now, but I don't want to fill it up every 2 days.

    I have a 12 gal. tank in my 2005 Scion XB but I also get 33 mpg and can go 3 1/2 days between fillups. Calculating mileage from the posts on this site highway distance should be 270-300. Is this correct? What kind of highway mileage per tank can you get in the SX4 Cross?
    Thank you.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    You have a choice here. The AWD Crossover has an 11.9 gallon tank, which is a bit small. The FWD Crossover has a 13 gallon tank. If you do buy the FWD Crossover, you get a bigger tank, better mileage, and standard stability control and traction control (both of which you may find more useful most times than AWD), and you can get the Garmin navigation system only on the FWD model at present. I have the AWD, but if I only used it once, when I was too lazy to plow my driveway before going up it. Given the mileage you drive, teh FWD model would fill your bill.
  • ^^ Good point, Gregg. That must be an '09 change. Too bad they didn't go to 15.2 gallons, even 13.2 is a bit on the small size. But an improvement nonetheless.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    It's a packaging difficulty, sorting AWD hardware, cargo space and gas tank on a car that has almost no rear overhang. That is why the tank can be bigger on the FWD model.
  • Thanks Gregg-vw and other posters. I did not realize that the FWD version had a larger tank and that the Garmin was only available with it. The 13 gallon should be fine and the Garmin looks like a nice feature on a vehicle in this price range.

    My daily commute is from eastern WV to Wash DC and I was looking at the AWD model for its capabilities. The FWD would probably be fine as I've driven them for the last 6 yrs. on this route and would be lighter on my wallet too. I have dedicated snows for winter driving on the 05 XB and have never been stuck on the mountain ridges or highways. As it approaches 100k and my daughter approaches 17, it looks like the Scion will soon be her daily driver.
  • The 11 vs. 13 gallon tank must be a 2009 MY change. Or perhaps late '08, as they did with decontenting the sedan to include 15" wheels.

    IMHO the small fuel tanks are an inherent design flaw that indicate Suzuki still doesn't have a thorough comprehension of the American market. Here people often travel vast distances on a daily basis.

    Original planning for a 15 gallon tank for all, and folding rear seats in the sedan, would have garnered a lot of sales that were otherwise lost because these are core issues that were not grasped by Suzuki management.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Maybe, but I doubt it. The lack of folding rear seat in the sedan is becoming a more common thing, as more and more manufacturers are foregoing the sedan folding seat in order to obtain the more desirable greater chassis stiffness. It is a trade-off of course, but you will be seeing fewer folding seats overall. If you want a folding seat, then get a wagon or hatchback. As for the fuel tank size, there is no change. The FWD model always had a larger tank, but recall that the FWD Crossover was not initially available in the US in 2007. And finally, a 13 gallon tank is pretty usual on cars around 160 inches in length or smaller. Honda FIT (same length) 10.6 gallons; Chevy Aveo 11 gallons; Nissan Versa sedan 13.2 gallons; Hyundai Accent 11.9 gallons, etc. etc. Most of the others have smaller more fuel efficient engines, but the point is, given the footprint size, the fuel tank size is actually right on the money. Increasing it more would tighten space in the back seat or cargo area or both. I'd rather have the room than have to refuel a bit less often. Want a bigger tank? Buy a bigger car.
  • Actually a folding back seat is pretty much standard, not in danger of becoming a rarity.
    A no-folder is the exception, not the rule. It always garners comments from road testers, because utility and flexibility are attractive features. Once something has become common and expected, such as power windows, customers notice when it's not there. Same with folding seats.

    And of course, not everyone wants a wagon or a hatch. Me, for one.
    Wagons are not exactly common as they were in the 60s. Hatches never made it big in the US, despite their popularity on The Continent.
    And I want a sedan, not a hatch.
    I would still buy the 08 sedan version sans folder, but eventually I would have to make some sort of mods to give me access to the trunk for long objects such as 8' boards and what have you.

    It is not exotic engineering to design the back seats to fold. Otherwise, the 2009 sedans would not be folders. Clearly that was an issue that Suzuki responded to from field reports, otherwise why would they go to the trouble of doing later what they should have done in the beginning?

    As for the hatch fuel tank, my '08 SX4 catalogue which covers both models lists all hatches as having an 11.2 gallon tank and all sedans as having a 13.2 gallon tank.
    One of the common complaints on the boards is the limited range with an 11 gallon tank. Just because an Aveo and an Accent have tiny tanks does not make it a smart marketing move. Our PT Cruiser takes 15 gallons and it's about 160" OAL.
    The VW Golf etc. have a 14.5 capacity IIRC.

    I'm not here to argue, I am simply repeating the old adage that has been known for centuries regarding doing things right the first time, vs. correcting things later.
    Measure twice, cut once. Look before you leap. A stitch in time saves nine.

    And IMO despite Suzuki's having been in the US market for a long time, they missed two important concepts: range and utility. And in fact, range is a large factor in the definition of utility for many.

    One gallon liquid is 231 cubic inches, the cube root of which is 6.136". So squeezing in two or three more gallons of fuel tank capacity is fairly simple if you do it at the outset.
    Apparently enough customers and dealers commented about hatch fuel capacity and sedan folding seats that Suzuki was motivated to make changes for MY 2009.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,437
    Have it your way if you wish. Deny reality.

    However, the Crossover FWD fuel tank has always been 13 gallons, and that is right in the ballpark of all the competition. It is on the web site. It is in my 08 owner's manual.

    As for folding seats in sedans, they became quite popular in the 90s and early 2000s. If you pay attention to the auto press and new models (I can name names if you wish), many of the 09s and 10 sedans have gone back to pass-throughs are no access at all through the back seat for the greater stiffness and improved handling dynamics this imparts. The SX4 sedan, even as tall as it is, has been praised for its stiffness and handling feel. Many like you would prefer the utility to the greater stiffness, but Suzuki is hardly alone in making the choice for greater stiffness on its newest models.

    I frankly don't understand why the huge preference for sedans in the case of little cars. The hatchback is far more versatile (greater hauling capacity) on a shorter more efficient, easier-to-park footprint. A larger sedan usually looks better than a large hatchback, but in the case of subcompacts, the sedan usually looks like a little hatchback with a trunk grafted on. In some cases, like the Versa sedan, the result is truly awkward-looking. To each his own.

    Bottom line, what Suzuki has done with tanks and seats on a little car is very much in line with what the rest of the market is doing or has done. If you don't like it (and after all, it is all personal preference) then buy something else. But given the few models Suzuki has for sale here (and in niche areas like where the Crossover resides), they are doing ok. They need to dump the Daewoos badged as Suzukis, get a mid-size sedan, bring back the Swift, and generally expand their offerings. Meanwhile, they do very well in other parts of the world, notably India.
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