2010 Suzuki SX4 JLX hatchback
2010 Suzuki SX4 JLX hatchback. Click image to enlarge

Related articles on Autos
Test Drive: 2009 Suzuki SX4 Sedan Sport
Test Drive: 2009 Suzuki SX4 JX hatchback
Test Drive: 2008 Suzuki SX4 Sedan Sport
Test Drive: 2008 Suzuki SX4 Sedan Sport(2)
Test Drive: 2008 Suzuki SX4 Sedan base
First Drive: 2008 Suzuki SX4 sedan
Inside Story: 2008 Suzuki SX4
DBDR: 2008 Suzuki SX4 sedan
Test Drive: 2007 Suzuki SX4 AWD
Test Drive: 2007 Suzuki SX4 FWD
CTC Review: 2007 Suzuki SX4
Test Drive: 2007 Suzuki SX4 JLX AWD
First Drive: 2007 Suzuki SX4

Manufacturer’s web site
Suzuki Canada

Join Autos’s Facebook group
Follow Autos on Twitter

Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

Photo Gallery:
2010 Suzuki SX4

In winter, many a car shopper’s thoughts turn to all-wheel-drive. And for some, the question will be, “How little do I have to spend?”

Suzuki’s funky little five-door SX4 Hatchback offers AWD at relative bargain basement prices, the least expensive all-wheel-drive model being the JX AWD with standard six-speed manual at $21,595. I drove the top line 2010 JXL version, which at $24,695 is the most one can spend on an SX4 Hatchback. All-wheel-drive is not offered in the SX4 Sedan.

For 2010, the SX4 gets a new four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. Capacity remains at 2.0 litres, but the block, crank, pistons, cylinder head and intake are all new to this engine. Horsepower jumps from 143 to 150 and the torque curve fattens up, gaining four lb-ft for a peak of 140. The previous five-speed manual makes way for a six-speed, and the old four-speed slush-box is turfed for a more efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT).

2010 Suzuki SX4 JLX hatchback
2010 Suzuki SX4 JLX hatchback
2010 Suzuki SX4 JLX hatchback
2010 Suzuki SX4 JLX hatchback. Click image to enlarge

Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is now optional on the JX trim level ($550) and standard on the JXL.

At just over four metres, the compact SX4 hatch is short – the same length as the Honda Fit – but it doesn’t enjoy that car’s capacious storage capacity. Behind the 60/40 rear seat you’ll find only 203 litres of luggage space compared to 585 litres in the Fit, although there is a good sized covered compartment under the floor. The seats fold flat but the load floor is high – typical of most SUV/CUVs that pack all-wheel-drive.

Suzuki has designed this hatch to feel like a mini-CUV. With the doors opening at almost 90 degrees, ingress is a breeze. You’re perched high on the comfortable fabric seats (no leather is available) and the view out front is panoramic thanks to the low belt-line and high ceiling. Hoss could take Marge Simpson on a date, and neither of their cranial accoutrements would graze the headliner.

A cool little quarter window mitigates some of the visual obstruction of the large A-pillars. Big heated side mirrors too. No sunroof is offered.

The simple yet functional interior, dressed up with some tasteful metallic accents, has a high quality look, although the soft-look grained plastic isn’t – it’s rock hard to the touch. The fabric covered central and door armrests are nicely padded.

2010 Suzuki SX4 JLX hatchback
2010 Suzuki SX4 JLX hatchback. Click image to enlarge

New for 2010 is a revised instrument cluster with driver information display, illuminated steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls, auxiliary input jack, and height adjustable driver’s seat. This JXL model gets a new auto climate control panel, proximity key, heated seats, upgraded audio with a centre dashboard speaker and some extra chrome accents. Bluetooth connectivity is not available.

Unfortunately, heated seats only come in this top-line model, although it must be said my derriere found the single “Chino-searing” setting a tad too toasty. Back seat legroom is just adequate.

Exterior tweaks for 2010 include new 16-inch alloys and a freshened front grille.

The SX4 Hatchback impresses with its surprising structural solidity. The doors close with a reassuring Germanic thunk. It’s a zippy handler too, with good steering and taught body control. Suspension tuning is satisfyingly firm but never ‘crashy’.

Connect with Autos.ca