2010 Suzuki SX4 SportBack

Suzuki actually sells three distinct 2010 SX4 models. First there's the 2010 Suzuki SX4 Sport, which is a traditional four-door sedan. Then there's the 2010 Suzuki SX4 SportBack hatchback, which is the subject of this review. There's also the 2010 Suzuki SX4 Crossover, which is available with all-wheel drive (the other two are front-wheel drive only). All three SX4 models have the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with either a six-speed manual or CVT. Strangely enough, it is possible to buy a 2010 Suzuki SX4 Crossover with all-wheel drive starting at only $17,584, whereas the front-wheel-drive SX4 SportBack like our test car costs $1100 more, at $18,684. The two vehicles have nearly identical interiors, and their exteriors differ only in body cladding, the front fascia, and the Crossover's roof rails. The Crossover also rides slightly higher than the SX4 SportBack and SX4 sedan.

Why is the front-wheel-drive SX4 more expensive than the Crossover? Good question. But American Suzuki views the two models as distinctly different. The SX4 SportBack is supposed to be a bit sportier and aims for the Honda Fit and perhaps the base VW Golf, whereas the SX4 Crossover aims for the base Subaru Impreza.

Most Americans don't even know that the SX4 exists, let alone that there are three variations of it. I bet you can drive a hard bargain down at your Suzuki dealer, especially since Suzuki sales are doing very poorly here in America. But the main reason I'd want an SX4 would be if I were looking for a cheap way into an AWD vehicle, so I'd aim for the Crossover, not our SX4 SportBack. The Suzuki SX4 Crossover is, in fact, the least expensive all-wheel-drive vehicle available in America.

Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor

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