Drive Type: 4 wheel drive
Trim: 2 door
Waterford Works, New Jersey, United States
Despite the fact that the coffin has been sealed on Suzuki's US automotive arm, the brand is carrying on elsewhere in the world. The first new product to spearhead the Japanese automaker's product offerings in Europe is this SX4 crossover, making its official debut here at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. You may remember the little SX4 as the cheapest all-wheel-drive car on sale in the US, packing cute styling and efficient, affordable packaging. And it doesn't appear that the formula has changed too much for this new generation, despite what we think are less attractive new duds derived from Suzuki's 2012 S Cross Concept.
The new SX4 is powered by a choice of two 1.6-liter engines - one diesel, one petrol - the former mated to a six-speed manual transmission while the latter uses a CVT with a "seven-speed manual mode" operated by steering wheel-mounted paddles. All-wheel drive remains intact on the SX4, now with four driver-selectable modes and the Allgrip name.
Suzuki is touting the SX4 as having the world's first double sliding glass sunroof, offering "the largest opening areas" in the segment. Overall, the updated interior looks nicely designed and quite functional, though not exactly a shining beacon of refinement.
The Detroit News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation on the 2006-11 Suzuki Grand Vitara and 2007-11 Suzuki SX4 due to issues with the airbag and seatbelt for the front passenger seat. So far, NHTSA has received 128 complaints on these vehicles for airbag warning lights, airbag off lights and seatbelt lights, on a vehicle set that totals around 205,000 units, but there is no indication as to how many, if any, injuries have reported.
Via technical service bulletins, Suzuki has already acknowledged two airbag-related issues with front passenger seats on both vehicles, including a programming error for the passenger seat load indicator on 2009 models and an open-circuit problem for the sensor mat that determines if an adult or child is sitting in the front seat. Since this latter issue would not shut off or lessen the impact of the passenger airbag, Suzuki has already extended the warranty for the seat cushion bottom to 10 years or 120,000 miles. After ceasing new-car sales in the US and Canada, potential recall repairs (which still may or may not happen) would be handled by remaining dealers as laid out in the recent court-approved bankruptcy plan.
Suzuki has prepared the C-segment Authentics concept for the Shanghai Motor Show, a preview of a sedan that would slot into the fattest chunk of the market among China's car buyers. Suzuki hasn't given away much, saying only that it is "Sporty x Elegant" and that it's long and low and has a "rich and fine curved surface."
PaulTan.org says this is the trunked version of the SX4 crossover, and if that's the case then it would represent a new approach to the SX4 in the region, offering markedly different styling instead of being, literally, an SX4 with a trunk. We'll know more when the Shanghai show opens in a couple of weeks, for now there's a press release with a tad more info on Suzuki's plans just below.