Opti
Opti Dork
1/22/21 11:14 a.m.

Are there any redeeming qualities to a suzuki SX4? I may know of a broken one, which I think it may be fun to lift and make a baja style beater out of it. I literally have no info on these besides the fact that there is a 284 dollar lift kit.

GRM hidden gem or huge pile of garbage?

No Time
No Time SuperDork
1/22/21 11:53 a.m.

We picked up one last spring for my son as a first car.

It's fun to drive with the 5 speed and if you lock the AWD it does some nice 4 wheel drifts in snowy parking lots. 

I've been chasing some issues with o2 sensors causing a CEL, but its been reliable. It's currently parked due to minor accident damage, but it should be back together this weekend. 

Parts are relatively cheap, and plenty of used stuff out there. I picked up the bumper reinforcement, bumper cover, radiator, and both fans for $300 from the salvage yard to repair the accident damage. The condenser ended up coming from rock auto, but was only $50. 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
1/22/21 11:59 a.m.

I've seen several threads about the SX4s- the only problems I've heard is the placement of the oil filter, which apparently is the worst known that requires some contorting around the A-arms.

Vajingo
Vajingo Reader
1/22/21 12:03 p.m.

In reply to GIRTHQUAKE :

And a relocation kit could be the best solution there. 

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
1/22/21 1:05 p.m.

My brother ran one in the winter as his C2500 sucked a bunch of gas commuting.  Snows all around, stick, good heat, what's not to like?

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
1/22/21 1:06 p.m.

I've had a 2011 SX4 Sportback for about seven years and 110k miles.  6 speed FWD car.  It's okay but some suspension parts seem kind of substandard with squeeky bushings on the front and rear shocks that are overly soft (a common swap is to Toyota Echo spec Monroe's, which I've done, and one of them is noisy now on my car).  Drive by wire throttle is not the smoothest thing and I still stall the car once every six months or so from a stop which is annoying as berk.

Car does handle well with average all-seasons on the factory 17" wheels.  Trans is not smooth shifting into 1st, especially when cold, and that was a complaint reviewers and owners had since new (Redline MTL helps a little, I should change the fluid in mine again).  Ride is okay but I wouldn't brag about it.  Same with road & wind noise.  I get about 30mpg in mixed commuting if I keep the A/C turned off; when it's cold out, even without the A/C used for defrost, it's closer to 27 or so.  I don't find this impressive at all. 

I'd like to get a few more years out of mine and think it needs a bunch of suspension and brake parts to get it back up to 100%. 

Oh, and the oil filter location is extremely stupid, that is accurate.  It's made a little easier by hand-bending some A/C hard lines away from the filter a bit.  Spinning a full used filter off the block results in oil running onto a lower "frame brace" that runs up to the rad core support as well as the exhaust downpipe from the manifold.  A relocation kit would be nice but I'm not sure where I'd locate the remote filter mount.  Something to think about for the summer perhaps.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/22/21 1:38 p.m.

All I know is that I've been tempted many many times. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
1/22/21 1:45 p.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

All I know is that I've been tempted many many times. 

I think the styling is polarizing based on comments I've read online; I still really like how the car looks and how it doesn't feel small inside.  Not tons of rear leg room but otherwise it's pretty great in that regard. 

I would look pretty hard at a Honda Fit if I were to do it over again, though, as I think Honda just does a bit better at "the whole enchelada" of car development.  The Ford Focus wagons were also appealing but hard to find in a 2nd gen with a manual trans here in the US. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
1/22/21 2:05 p.m.

In reply to pres589 (djronnebaum) :

OIl filter location on Suzukis. The V6 Grand Vitara oil filter caused such a mess.

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
1/22/21 3:53 p.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

All I know is that I've been tempted many many times. 

Same here.  But every time I go searching it seems a lot of them aren't running.  So I move on to other distractions.  Also, bastard car isn't a positive.  

wae
wae UberDork
1/22/21 4:02 p.m.

There's a couple who rallycross one with OVR/WOR.  It keeps coming back for more abuse and they seem to have a pretty good time with it.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
1/22/21 4:23 p.m.
spitfirebill said:
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

All I know is that I've been tempted many many times. 

Same here.  But every time I go searching it seems a lot of them aren't running.  So I move on to other distractions.  Also, bastard car isn't a positive.  

What's wrong with them?  For my complaints, there's nothing that is broken enough to stop me from getting where ever I need to go. 

Probably the biggest issue at this point is that they're at a price point where most people consider them disposable.  I think mine would sell for maybe $4k, private party?  I think that's where maitenance starts to be considered optional by a lot of people.

NickD
NickD UltimaDork
1/22/21 4:35 p.m.

We had a guy who used to autocross one that had been badly wrecked. He bubblegummed it back together and ran the daylights out of it autocrosses. That thing was like the communal bicycle too. If your car broke he would gladly let you hop in the Zuki. It was hilarious.

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) Reader
1/22/21 5:00 p.m.

We had a 2012 6 speed sportback in the family after I rented a Swift to drive around the Nurburgring and was pretty impressed with it.  Seemed like at least a cousin, right?  Didn't have any real problems in nearly 100K of driving until some guy in a Camry had the misfortune of stopping in front of my daughter to turn left...

I was really unimpressed.  It was gutless and slow, didn't handle particularly well, and didn't seem to have much upgrade potential.  As a cheap commuter it's probably fine, but it's not something I would want to drive. 

Peabody
Peabody UltimaDork
1/22/21 5:08 p.m.

That's almost word for word what I would have said.

When my Son was looking for a car these were on his radar. Until we test drove one.

Good motors, decent platform, should be reliable, seriously underwhelming. And I was very much pro Suzuki at the time.

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) MegaDork
1/22/21 5:08 p.m.

I see two of them every morning when I walk the dog, and I really like the way they look. If a For Sale sign ever pops up on one (especially the white one) I will at least take a closer look.

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) Reader
1/22/21 5:22 p.m.

@Woody - drive it before you buy it.

No Time
No Time SuperDork
1/22/21 6:54 p.m.

Here's the oil filter location, note, the lower radiator hose isn't installed, and it appears ours have a missing bracket for the exhaust.  
 

Oh yeah, this is the view looking through where the radiator would be. 
 

seadoorider
seadoorider New Reader
1/22/21 7:03 p.m.

I can't recommend it.  Bought a loaded low miles SX4 for a 50 mile commute which occasionally included winter weather. Car was a 2008, this was 2010.  The car was solid I guess but had a lot of little annoying issues you wouldn't expect in a Japanese car. Worse part was gas mileage - my road was 70mph limit (in Kansas so light traffic outside of the city) and flow was 75ish. Car barely managed 22-23 mpg at that speed. The 5 speed OBS v6 Chevy truck I had been driving did nearly that good. That and the TC decided to stay on permanently and the formerly unstoppable awd car got stuck in my drive way one day - my FWD Ford Flex had no issues. Changed jobs and traded the car (at a huge loss) on a 2012 Mustang which I still have in my fleet. 

kazoospec
kazoospec UberDork
1/22/21 10:03 p.m.

We bought one for Kazoospec Jr. after an uninsured moron totaled out his Protege5 a year and a half ago.  Truthfully, he like the Mazda better (although it had started to rust and would have no doubt returned to the earth by now).  Another forum member had picked it up stupid cheap because it needed a clutch.  We ended up getting it back on the road for a total (including purchase) of $2000.  Another few hundred in brakes and rear shocks and it's been a pretty decent car for him.  I've driven it a few times and it's fine.  Not great, not terrible, pretty much perfectly average.  The AWD is nice (his is a 5 speed AWD), but honestly the Protege5 with snow tires did at least as well in the snow.  It seems to have held up pretty well as far as rust goes.  It's had more than it's share of electrical gremlins (headlights and tail lights go out with amazing regularity, CEL that comes and goes, but doesn't seem to affect anything else, that kind of stuff), but mechanically it has been reliable so far.  Parts have required  a bit of searching, but we haven't bumped up against anything we can't get yet.  (Although the auto glass guy that filled a rock chip for us said DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BREAK THE FRONT WINDOW)  My overall verdict is it's a decent, capable car for a decent price point.  I suppose it could be fun if we used it off road, but we really don't. 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
1/23/21 12:08 a.m.

They look really good with a lift kit. That is all.

Crxpilot
Crxpilot Reader
1/23/21 1:21 a.m.

There are some more sympathetic threads on Expedition Portal but those guys, well...

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