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:

General Information
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Roof Rails or Roof Rack Anchors (if equipped)
Roof rails Roof rack anchors You can use the roof rails or the roof rack anchors to attach the optional roof rack which is available at your SUZUKI dealer. If you use a roof rack, observe the ...

Engine Block Heater (if equipped)
Engine Block Heater (if equipped) The engine block heater will help you start the engine more easily in very cold weather (–18°C (0°F) or below). To use the engine block heater: 1) Turn off ...

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