What Changed for 2008:
- New sedan model (SX4 Sport) joins the hatchback (SX4 Crossover)
- X4 Sport replaces Aerio sedan
- 2.0-liter, 143-hp engine
- Sport model features lowered suspension, \"aero\" body kit
- Automatic climate control and heated mirrors now optional
- Revised transmission gearing for improved fuel economy
The SX4 Crossover made its debut in 2007 as a replacement for Suzuki's subcompact Aerio. A small 5-door hatchback, the SX4 Crossover had (and still has) the distinction of being the least-expensive car on the U.S. market with all-wheel drive (AWD), according to Suzuki. For 2008, a sedan version, called the SX4 Sport, replaces the Aerio sedan. The SX4 Sport features a lowered suspension, \"aero\" body kit, and front-wheel drive (FWD), and shares the SX4 Crossover's 143-hp, 2.0-liter engine.
The 2008 Suzuki SX4 is sold in two models: Sport 4-door sedan and Crossover 5-door hatchback. Standard equipment for both is nearly identical: power windows, mirrors and locks; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; CD/MP3 player; alloy wheels (17-inch wheels for the Sport, 16-inch wheels for the Crossover); six air bags; and anti-lock brakes. A Convenience package adds cruise control, automatic climate control, heated outside mirrors, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls. The Touring package adds a 9-speaker stereo (including subwoofer) with 6-disc CD changer, keyless ignition, fog lights, and electronic stability control.
The 2008 Suzuki SX4 is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that puts out 143 hp at 6000 rpm and 136 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm. Transmission choices are a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. The SX4 Sport sedan employs FWD, while the SX4 Crossover comes exclusively with AWD. For 2008, the manual transmission has been modified with a higher ratio for fifth gear. This lowers engine speed at cruising to reduce noise and increase fuel economy. EPA fuel economy estimates for the SX4 Sport are 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway with the manual transmission, 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the automatic; for the SX4 Crossover, the figures are 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway for both manual and automatic versions.
The 2008 Suzuki SX4 comes standard with front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, and two-row side curtain air bags as well as 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock control. Electronic stability control is optional. At the time of writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had crash-tested the SX4.
Despite its price, the 2008 Suzuki SX4 offers high-tech features such as the SmartPass keyless entry and ignition system, available as an option on both Sport and Crossover models. This system uses a proximity key: actually a tiny transmitter. The key remains in the driver's pocket or purse; the SmartPass system detects the presence of the key and allows the car to be unlocked and started.