SX4 a rewarding choice

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Suzuki’s SX4 keeps its light under a bushel but in range-topping 2.0 DDiS form, it’s well worth uncovering.

The little car is big enough for the family with lively supermini-style handling and few of the dynamic drawbacks that come from its raised suspension and taller shape.

A roomy interior and sturdy build quality make this an unobtrusive but likable contender.

As part of its rationalised SX4 range, Suzuki has dropped its1.6-litre DDiS diesel engine, leaving the more muscular 2.0-litre version, now Euro 5 compliant, to power the top-line SX4 which come with four-wheel drive but perhaps not the full set of rock-climbing and mud-plugging skills to strike out blithely into the great unknown.

The engine is a common-rail diesel with 135bhp to its name.

That’s a decent chunk of power but even more impressive is the 320Nm of torque produced at 1,500rpm.

It makes the SX4 a punchy little thing that seems to reach the 30-40mph cruising speeds that so often represent the best case scenario in our congested urban areas in a blink.

The 0-60mph increment takes 11.2s and there’s a 112mph top speed so the SX4 is far from out of its depth on the open road.

The SX4’s driving experience is arguably its best feature. It feels just like a conventional supermini on the road, with little of the pitching,

lurching or body roll that can become apparent in tall 4x4-style vehicles.

The steering is accurate and well weighted, turning into corners neatly where the abundant front-end grip can be made the most of.

The six-speed gearbox has a reassuringly mechanical action with only a short throw required to slot into the next ratio and it helps give the SX4 a nimble, responsive feel.

The higher ride height and beefy suspension might not serve you too well off-road without four-wheel drive but kerb stones and speed humps are dispatched with aplomb.

Visually the SX4 is nothing to write home about. It lacks the overt 4x4 styling cues that some of its contemporaries lay on so thick.

There are roof rails and plastic cladding for the sills and wheelarches but the SX4 looks more like a high riding supermini than a thoroughbred off-roader.

The interior is similarly low key but the uncluttered dash with its chunky controls works very well.

Treading the no man’s land between conventional superminis and the smallest 4x4s, Suzuki’s SX4 isn’t an obvious choice but it is a rewarding one.

The car drives very well with its 2.0-litre DDiS powerplant proving well suited to town and country duties and its raised suspension serving up a comfortable ride. And, of course, four-wheel drive comes as standard, which will please the more adventurous of spirit so long as they’re not planning to stray too far off piste.