Despite the need to downshift for snappy pick-up, the Suzuki SX4 returned an overall test fuel consumption of 34.6mpg and scored 44.2mpg on our touring route.

These are distinctly un-SUV-like figures and commendable even for a roomy, lively supermini, both of which bases the SX4 has covered. And as the model tested was the previous-generation petrol engine, the new one should perform even more admirably.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The SX4 represents very good value

Of course, the diesel represents improved running costs with a combined consumption figure of 53.3mpg (vs 45.6mpg for a two-wheel drive manual petrol model) and CO2 emissions of 139g/km (141g/km for the petrol).

The diesel has an exhaust gas recirculation system which switches off during warm-up and a diesel particulate filter, both helping to reduce emissions.

It's worth bearing in mind that the automatic gearbox saps more fuel, as does specifying four-wheel drive. Both variants increase emissions too.

You can have a front-wheel drive version for around £12,000, which is little more than Swift money, while the top diesel – available in four-wheel drive only – hovers just under £17,000.

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You'd have to do quite a lot of miles to justify the extra cost, and the cheaper, petrol-fuelled 1.6 is by no means the poor relation as far as driving enjoyment is concerned.

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