Digestible Collectible: 2009 Suzuki SX4

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 2009 suzuki sx4

At least in the U.S., Suzuki always operated on the fringes of the auto industry. Save for those vehicles it rebadged for General Motors, Suzuki never seemed to match up well against the competition. The cars were either a half-size smaller than the competition — see Kizashi — or had no discernable competition whatsoever, like the inexplicable X-90.

Likewise, the dealers never had the best real estate, at least from my experience. Here in Columbus, for example, the local Suzuki dealers were set up in corners of Budget Car Rental locations. Hardly a recipe for success.

Shame, really, because Suzuki built some wonderfully interesting cars.

I mentioned the Kizashi, which I found to be a fun — if a slightly small — family car. I’d love to find an old Swift GTi as a cheap hot hatch, and the current Swift sold overseas is said to be spectacular. But today, we look at a model sold here recently, the 2009 Suzuki SX4. With some wrench time, this could be a fascinating alternative to other all-wheel-drive sports sedans.

Bear with me. The funky, high-top sneaker styling of the SX4 is cool and functional, with plenty of cargo room. But despite the departure of Suzuki from our market, there remains a tuner culture around this car, ready to take the SX4 to street machine or off-road adventurer. Road Race Motorsports, best known for Mitsubishi tuning, offers plenty of options, including a turbo kit that should produce around 220 horsepower.

Realistically, this is folly. It would likely take $8,000 in parts to make this aging hatch perform similarly to a Subaru WRX, which still has factory support, a huge aftermarket, and a massive online community of enthusiasts. But the appeal of standing out from the pack is ever present.

For those who choose to venture down the rocky path without thousands of forum fanboys to assist, I salute you.

Chris Tonn is a broke classic car enthusiast that writes about old cars, since he can’t afford to buy them. Commiserate with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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  • Rod Panhard Rod Panhard on Feb 18, 2016

    This car was jointly developed by Suzuki and Fiat, and sold as a Fiat in Italy. It really is a good car. However, it's exactly why I said, many moons ago, why Fiats would not sell in the US. It doesn't matter how good it is.

    • Pecci Pecci on Feb 18, 2016

      It was designed by Fiat and funded by General Motors for Suzuki to build it.

  • Jdmcomp Jdmcomp on Feb 18, 2016

    Drove one thinking it looked good but it turned out to be a 4 wheel motorcycle with all the drawbacks one could think of. Still looks good but driving would have been horrible except in slow city traffic.

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossover_(automobile)]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeep_Cherokee_(XJ)]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile)]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_utility_vehicleWith the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid https://www.tyreextinguishers.com/how-to-spot-an-suvLike, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?