Plain (Petite) Jane

Shop the competition, and the first thing you'll notice about the SX4 is its diminutive size. A family friend who owns a Honda Fit said my test car looked tiny. Technically, it isn't: The SX4 has roughly the same footprint as cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, but its height — 60.8 inches — is tall for this class, and that gives it a stubby, thin appearance. A benefit of that is the SX4's tall windows, which translates into excellent sight lines all around. That — and the car's relatively impressive 34.8-foot turning circle — makes this car great for city driving. At my North Chicago condo, I have to thread cars down a back alley to park in my garage. The SX4? Piece o' cake.

As cakes come, though, it's a bland one. Elements from the headlights to the fenders fit a cohesive styling theme, but that theme seems to be "forgettable design." This doesn't necessarily spell doom for the SX4: Toyota has struck automotive vanilla with the new Corolla, but that hasn't stopped droves of shoppers from choosing it.

See also:

Remote Audio Controls (if equipped)
Remote Audio Controls (if equipped) You can control basic functions of the audio system with the switches on the steering wheel. To control the volume: • To increase the volume, push the uppe ...

Tilt Steering Lock Lever
Tilt Steering Lock Lever The release lever is located under the steering column. To adjust the steering wheel height: 1) Pull up the lock lever to unlock the steering column. 2) Adjust the ste ...

Front Fog Light Switch (if equipped)
Front Fog Light Switch (if equipped) The front fog light comes on when the fog light switch is pushed in with: • the lighting switch turned to the third position and the beams set to the low ...

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