The Inside

Though the SX4's interior was on par with the competition a few years ago, Suzuki has since been leapfrogged. There are some highs: My test car's backlit gauges and silver dashboard accents looked sharp, and most controls operate with high-rent precision. But major areas you regularly come in contact with, like the door panels, are shod in hard, cheap-looking plastics. The steering wheel in my tester had unsightly gaps between the spokes and hub. The headliner is a mess of cut-rate mouse fur, and the narrow doors feel unsubstantial when slammed. The Civic and Hyundai Elantra feel a cut above; the Mazda3 and Volkswagen Jetta are in another league altogether.

Don't care so much about aesthetics? Well, there are functional issues, too. At 5-foot-11, I would liked it if the driver's seat could move back by a few more inches for a comfortable distance to the pedals. My legs were crammed too close. With the seat all the way back, I also wanted the steering wheel within closer reach, but it only has a tilt adjustment. The Civic and Corolla both include a telescoping adjustment. With the seat height cranked up to my tastes, I found the cushion angled too low for decent thigh support. In short, I just didn't fit — and I'm no NBA player. (Truth be told, I'd be hard-pressed to complete a decent layup.)

At least headroom in both rows is good. Really good, actually — one benefit of such a tall car. Legroom in the backseat is limited, even for a compact car; if you regularly need to carry adults, consider a competitor like the Kia Forte. Cargo space in back is 15.5 cubic feet, according to Suzuki, but that's a figure I have a hard time reconciling: The trunk is large for this class, but 15.5 cubic feet is more space than many midsize cars offer. The original '08 SX4 sedan listed 14.3 cubic feet of cargo room, which is a far more believable figure — and there haven't been any changes, other than the addition of a folding backseat, to explain the increase. We're still waiting for word from Suzuki.

See also:

Theft Deterrent Light
Theft Deterrent Light This light will blink with the ignition switch in the “OFF” or “ACC” position. The blinking light is intended to deter theft by leading others to believe that the v ...

Door Locks
WARNING: Always lock all doors when driving. Locking the doors helps to prevent occupants from being thrown from the vehicle in the event of an accident. It also helps prevent unintended op ...

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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