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Suzuki SX4 Sport: First Car Priced Below $16,000 with Standard Navigation Review

November 2008
Filed under: SUZUKI Car News | SUZUKI Headlines
Having appeared on several prestigious automotive industry lists in 2008, including Kelley Blue Book™s ( KBB ) Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000, and after receiving several awards, including a Ward™s Automotive Interior of the Year prize, the SX4 Sport quickly became a must-have vehicle in the compact segment.

2009 Suzuki SX4 Sport Key Features:
* Stylish compact sedan with an emotionally rewarding driving experience at an affordable price
* Distinctive front fascia and honeycomb grille, Aero body kit, 17-inch wheels, arched fenders, muscular athletic stance and wedged-shaped design make the SX4 Sport look poised for action
* Available lifestyle amenities include SmartPass keyless entry and start system, six-disc in-dash CD changer with subwoofer, iPod integration, steering wheel integrated audio controls
* Sport tuned suspension with performance lower ride heights and KYB shocks brings award-winning Suzuki Swift performance to the U.S
* Responsive engine delivering 143 horsepower and strong low-end torque provides fun-to-drive feel
* Class-leading standard features, including air conditioning with manual control, power windows, doors and locks, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and 17-inch alloy wheels
* Available AM/FM/MP3 in-dash six-disc CD changer with nine speakers
* Extensive list of safety features, including front, side, and side curtain airbags , ABS with electronic brake-force distribution
* Backed by America's #1 Warranty: 100,000-miles/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty

Now in its second model year, the SX4 Sport offers buyers even more value and freedom, adding a fully integrated standard navigation system, marking the first time a vehicle priced below $16,000 will include navigation as standard equipment. Other 2009 enhancements that add purposeful, real-world functionality include a driver and passenger armrest and split-folding rear seats. Automatic climate control, heated door mirrors and fog lamps also are included in the SX4 Sport™s Touring package. Suzuki is extending the SX4 family offerings with the new SX4 Sedan, the entry version of the four-door SX4 Sport. As with all retail 2009 Suzuki automobiles and light trucks, the SX4 Sport is backed by America™s #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.

New Navigation System Unlike Any Other

Enhancing the lives of people who live life like they really mean it, the SX4 Sport adds a fully integrated standard navigation system for the 2009 model year. Referred to as the Suzuki TRIP (Travel, Real-time traffic, Information and Play), the SX4™s navigation system is the result of a collaboration with Garmin.

It utilizes Navteq mapping software and comes preloaded with street maps that feature millions of points-of-interest, such as hotels, restaurants, gasoline stations, ATMs and Suzuki dealership locations throughout the country. The navigation unit includes a removable flip-up 4.3-inch touch screen display and is fully integrated into the vehicle™s audio system, which results in all navigation commands being channeled through the SX4™s speakers.

An available upgraded Suzuki TRIP system also offers Bluetooth hands-free calling technology, on-screen and audible text messaging and a number of available MSN Direct-enabled features, including real-time traffic, weather forecasts, news reports, stock quotes, local event listings and a gas station finder capable of locating the lowest priced fuel in town.

Suzuki also added a bit of brand essence to the system, programming lifestyle-oriented destinations and landmarks identified with a Suzuki Way of Life! icon on the navigation screen. Locations include hip music venues, popular surf spots, interesting road trip attractions and other activity-focused destinations. A Travel Guide expansion module also is available that provides Fodor reviews and recommendations for restaurants, hotels, shopping, nightlife, sporting events and other tourist attractions.

Powertrain: Sport is Built-In

Built in Japan, the Suzuki SX4 Sport lives up to the sport in its name with a sophisticated 143-horsepower 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, a more powerful standard engine than segment volume leaders. Customers can choose between a standard five-speed manual transmission or an available specially-tuned four-speed automatic transmission. The SX4 Sport returns city/highway EPA fuel economy estimates ranging from 22/29 mpg for the SX4 Sport (MT), to 22/30 mpg for the SX4 Sport (AT) and Sedan (MT), and up to 23/31 for the SX4 Sedan (AT).

The use of regular-grade fuel might come as a surprise given the engine™s high-performance credentials: an aluminum cylinder block and head, double overhead camshafts, a forged steel crankshaft, aluminum pistons on drop-forged connecting rods, a 10.5:1 compression ratio, a resin intake manifold and a variable induction system. Additionally, the camshafts are chain-driven, rather than using a belt, which reduces maintenance costs and enhances durability.

Road Manners Honed in Europe

A rigid steel unibody with reinforced suspension mounts allows tuning for crisp handling with excellent highway stability and minimal body roll in the SX4 Sport. Refined in Europe, the sport-tuned suspension with a 10-mm (0.4-in.) lower ride height than SX4 Crossovers, KYB performance shocks and standard stabilizer bars, delivers dynamic, responsive handling. The combination of a wide track and large 17-inch wheels with low-profile 50 Series tires also helps optimize the ride and handling balance, while adding to the vehicle™s dynamic personality.

Big Safety Package

Active safety technology in the SX4 Sport includes daytime running lights, four-wheel disc brakes with an anti-lock braking system, electronic brake-force distribution and a tire pressure monitoring system. The available Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with traction control works to help vehicle stability when cornering, under acceleration, during emergency maneuvers and when driving on slippery road surfaces. It is available on the SX4 Sport with Touring package.

Passive safety starts with a reinforced body with front and rear crumple zones designed to help absorb impact energy and direct it away from the reinforced cabin. Six airbags are standard: driver and front passenger advanced frontal airbags and front seat-mounted side-impact airbags; and side curtain airbags designed to help provide additional protection for front and outboard rear-seat passengers. Front three-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners integrate force limiters. The SX4 Sport also is equipped with ISO FIX-compliant child seat anchors and the LATCH system (Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children) for all three rear seat positions. In combination, these active and passive safety features make the SX4 one of the best-equipped cars in its class when it comes to safety.

Head-turning Stance

The SX4 Sport exudes a bold, road-hungry stance. A large Suzuki S over the honeycomb mesh grille proudly conveys the brand™s dynamic spirit. The low, rising beltline and triangular windows adjacent to the A-pillar give the SX4 Sport a distinct wedge profile, while the wide track, standard 17-inch alloy wheels and flared fenders accentuate the car™s well-tuned underpinnings.

Functional Interior

Large cabin proportions reward SX4 Sport drivers and passengers with comfort and roominess that belie the car™s compact dimensions. The driver sits higher than in other compacts for a better view of the road, which is further enhanced by the car™s low cowl and glass line " giving drivers a real sense of control and stress-free driving. Raised theater-style seating for rear passengers, combined with rear legroom of 35.8 inches and class-leading rear headroom make riding in the back seat a pleasure rather than a punishment. The SX4 Sport also offers substantially more trunk space than segment leaders to facilitate active, independent lifestyles. For adventure-seekers looking to stow their gear, the versatility of the SX4 Sport™s 15.5 cu.-ft. trunk is enhanced for 2009 with a standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat. Storage compartments are located throughout the cabin, including large pockets and bottle holders in all the doors.

Controls in the Suzuki SX4 Sport are refreshingly easy to use in an age when some carmakers are adding needless complexity. Drivers have a clear view of gauges that seem to float while backlit by contemporary, high-tech red lighting. The center panel™s large, circular controls are flanked by aluminum-colored trim.

Trim Levels and Packages that Make Sense

The Suzuki SX4 Sedan and SX4 Sport are some of the best-equipped compact cars in America, with more standard features than cars costing significantly more.

For entry buyers, the SX4 Sedan LE offers a comprehensive list of standard safety and convenience features, including air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, tilt steering wheel, power windows, locks and mirrors, trip computer and 60/40-split fold-down rear seat.

The SX4 Sport and SX4 Sport with Technology package share the same content as the SX4 Sedan LE, and add the fully integrated standard navigation system, Aero body kit, 17-inch wheels and remote keyless entry.

Additional amenities on the SX4 Sport with Technology package include fog lamps, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls and navigation system with MSN and Bluetooth. The comprehensive Touring package (SX4 Sport only) adds automatic climate control, a six-disc CD player, upgraded audio system with nine speakers (including subwoofer), ESP with traction control, SmartPass keyless entry and start system and heated exterior mirrors.

Both the standard and upgraded audio systems are XM Satellite Radio-capable and an accessory iPod interface is available. A connected iPod works seamlessly through the radio or the steering-wheel-integrated controls, with playlists and track information appearing on the audio display.

About Suzuki

The Brea, Calif.,-based Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) was founded in 1963 by parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC) and currently markets its vehicles in the United States through a network of approximately 500 automotive dealerships and numerous other motorcycle, ATV and marine distributors in 49 states. With global headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan, SMC is a diversified worldwide automobile, motorcycle, and outboard motor manufacturer. In 2007, SMC sold more than two million new cars and trucks and more than three million motorcycles and ATVs. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has operations in 193 countries and regions.

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