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Maruti's Best Bet Yet...The Maruti Suzuki SX4 Petrol 2011

By Nikhil Melwani on 03 September 2013

Car's Age: 1-3 years

Summary

Overall Rating 4
Exterior 4
Interior 3
Ride Quality 4
Maintenance 1500/ month
Mileage (city) 10 KMPL
Mileage (highway) 14 KMPL

Detailed Maruti Suzuki SX4 Review

What's Good?

1. Interior quality is good. A big step ahead from Maruti. 2. Ground clearance is high , i.e. 170mm. So you can slam your cars on the speed breakers without damaging the base. 3. Driving positioning is comfortable (since you can adjust the steering wheel as well as the seats).

What can improve?

1. For car with a wheel base of 2500mm and length of nearly 4450mm , interior space is very less. That must be paid attention to in future models. 2. Rear seats are not comfortable and the arm rest is way too big, not being comfortable enough for 3 passengers to fit in. The arm rest must be made small so that the small seats can accomodate people properly providing them enough comfort. 3. One can actually hear the engine and valve noise inside the cabin which was not there to be found in Honda City and also Volkswagon Vento if taken into consideration for being in the same segment. Some kind of sound insulation technology should be implemented to keep outdoor noise strictly outdoors. 4. Fuel efficiency will not be very good because it weighs about 1200 kgs. 5. The 2-Din factory default Nippon Audio System doesn't have a bluetooth module as compared to Hyundai's hatchbacks which have the same in a much lesser variant. So a better audio system must be implemented in the car alongwith bluetooth and ipod connectivity facilities. Having just an AUX-IN facility is just too old. 6. Has no rear vents compared to Honda City's variants. This is a must for now-a-day cars in the same segment as SX4s.

Exteriors (4/5)

4

Interiors (3/5)

3

Ride Quality (4/5)

4

Overall Comments

Despite being around for the longest time, the SX4 remains the most radical. A lot of crossover is visible in the SX4’s styling. The massive wheel wells built to accommodate 16 wheels with high-profile tires, tall upright windscreen, massive widescreen mirrors and the upright seating position of the passengers. For a design that started life as a crossover, the SX4 doesn't do too badly as far as looks are concerned. Apart from the oversized wheels which look out of proportion, the design is well balanced and the sloping nose and beltline give it a jacked-up-from-the-rear dragster look. The headlights wrap around onto the fenders, there are big front wheel arches and the integration of the rear of the car is well executed and in line with the design of the nose as well. A stylistic touch is the way the front quarter glass dips down into the beltline. With the capacity of 504 liters, the Maruti SX4 offers great boot space.

Step into the SX4 you’ll feel like you are sitting one floor higher than in most other saloons. This is not a bad thing as it makes getting in and out really easy, thanks to the high seats. Visibility from this lofty perch is good too but the thick A-pillar does mar vision around corners. If you have upgraded from a Swift to an SX4, you will find yourself in familiar surroundings. The steering wheel, power window buttons, air con vents, some switchgear and the gear stick are carried over. The SX4 also inherits the Swift's flimsy build. A nice touch, however, is the fact that there is space to store a bottle in all four door pockets. Rear seat comfort in the SX4 is definitely could have been better. The seating position is nice and high but limited legroom and limited space for the third passenger (due to the high floor tunnel and armrest that protrudes when folded up) mark the Suzuki saloon down.

Performance The SX4’s engine has twin cams and four valves per cylinder. Apart from the strong midrange where a thick slug of torque makes overtaking effortless, the lack of low-end grunt and a reluctance to rev eagerly limits this engine’s appeal. The SX4’s engine feels best on a part-throttle and is essentially best for sedate motoring. When driven flat-out against the clock, the SX4 takes a modest 12.1 seconds to 100kph. SX4's M16A motor doesn't exactly leap up to the red line, labouring up after around 5000rpm, the motor getting coarse and strained. The in-gear acceleration from 20-80 in third gear takes 13.75 seconds, while 40-100 in fourth gear comes in 20.92 seconds. The SX4’s fuel economy is not poor but it’s nothing to write home about either. 9.3kpl in the city and 14.5kpl on the highway is nothing exceptional. Braking & Handling Maruti Suzuki SX4 sedan is a wonderful car to drive in that it handles beautiful despite its long wheelbase and high ground clearance it doesn’t show any weakness or body roll while negotiating bends and turns at speed. It has a mature handling and a very well tuned suspension which offers a well cushioned ride at all times and the high ground clearance ensures that you don’t scrape the underbody while going over a sharp speed breaker. The SX4 has a transversely-mounted motor and an independent MacPherson strut at the front and non-independent torsion beam at the rear.It offers a comfortable cabin where the NVH levels are minimized and the car comes shod with grippy tyres and an excellent brake which is further enhanced by ABS + EBD and that lets you slow down the car from any speed, safely with full control over it. Stability The SX4’s setup on the other hand is too stiff to be comfortable at low and medium speeds. It gets skittish over mildly rutted roads and every small bump puts you offline and causes a tiny tilt steering effect. In addition you feel the additional unsprung mass of those large wheels . But apart from this, SX4's set-up for Indian roads is pretty good. It has the ability to ride over some of our worst roads without giving its occupants a pogo ride. Poor section of the roads are no longer intimidating and you can drive over them, confident in the knowledge that the suspension is up to the job. There’s massive torque steer and the inconsistent steering feedback forces you to constantly make corrections under hard acceleration. It’s not all that bad though. The SX4 has the best ground clearance, so you can confidently sail over bad patches. The tall dimensions means there is a considerable amount of body roll but there’s plenty of grip from the very wide 205/60 R16 tires. For everyday driving, the SX4 proves to be one of the most practical options, not giving a second glance to speed breakers or potholes. In traffic as well, the SX4’s height is a huge advantage and gives you a psychological edge in the cut and thrust of urban driving.

The Final Verdict If it’s value you are looking for, then it’s the SX4 that is the car to beat. It’s got the best equipment levels and comes with Maruti’s low cost of ownership promise. It is pretty good to drive too and the huge ground clearance gives it a unique advantage. I've been using it since 3 years and believe me, I'm quite satisfied with it till now.

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