New Suzuki SX4 goes all-wheel-drive

Suzuki’s SX4i is a distinctive five-door hatchback that now features intelligent all-wheel drive.

The new SX4 i-AWD 4x4 will retail at €20,950 and have an annual road tax of €156. And it now blends the characteristics of sporty compacts like the Swift, with those of lightweight SUVs such as the Grand Vitara. One could say it creates an exciting alternative to most small cars.

Suzuki tells us the resulting ‘sport X-over’ combines responsive driving dynamics, 4x4 capability, and high levels of practicality and styling that suggest a freestyle approach to life.

The signature feature of the Suzuki SX4 4x4 is the i-AWD switchable three-mode all-wheel drive system. An electric control coupling device allows the driver to select 4WD-Auto, 4WD-Lock, and 2WD modes to suit driving conditions, giving excellent traction on low grip surfaces.

In 4WD-Auto mode in normal driving conditions there is no torque transfer to the rear wheels, so the SX4 effectively operates as a front-wheel drive vehicle. As soon as any pronounced front wheel slip is detected, torque is automatically apportioned to the rear wheels to give all-wheel traction and improve vehicle stability. 4WD-Lock mode maintains full traction up to around 60km/h before automatically switching to 4WD-Auto mode for smooth cruising.

Of course selecting 2WD (drive through the front wheels ) will optimise fuel economy, but this does reduce the added safety advantage of AWD.

The recently introduced 2.0-litre DDiS offers even more refinement and strong torque of 320Nm at just 1,500rpm. This Euro 5 compliant engine has an output of 135bhp at 3,500rpm and offers 5.3 litres/100kms (51.4mpg ) on the combined fuel consumption cycle with emissions of 139g/km.

This engine features a six speed manual transmission to take advantage of its torque potential and features triple cone synchromesh for smoother shifting.

The latest model features a redesigned front bumper and grill together with new design 16-inch alloy wheels. The new SX4 i-AWD 4x4 has a bold SUV appearance with wheel arch extensions, side under protection mouldings and front and rear skid plates.

The “X-over” design continues inside the vehicle. The lower centre dashboard panel incorporates a new display; housing the audio, air conditioning and other controls.

The large dials of the fully automatic air conditioning have ring lights, which make them easier to see and use. Steering wheel audio controls are now illuminated for added convenience.

The SX4 is well equipped as standard cruise control, keyless entry and start, automatic air conditioning, remote central locking, MP3/WMA compatible CD tuner with eight speakers, illuminated steering wheel, mounted audio controls, 16-inch alloy wheels, side body protection, and heated door mirrors, as well as rear privacy glass, come as standard equipment.

The SX4 inspires confidence with its extensive array of safety features. Active safety elements include ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, together with rear disc brakes for enhanced braking performance.

Overall SX4 has an outstandingly crashworthy structure, which helped it gain four stars for adult occupants in Euro NCAP testing at launch. Front, side and curtain airbags are provided on all models, together with front pre-tensioners and force-limiters for front seatbelts; three-point belts with emergency locking retractors are provided on all rear seats and ISOFIX child seat anchor points with top tether mountings.

Check out this interesting alternative to most small cars with all-wheel drive.


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