A car like the Suzuki SX4 is never intended to be a serious mud-plugger. It's a ‘soft-roader’ – a cute urban chariot with a grafted-on 4x4 design personality but no more than ‘occasional’ off-road ability. That said, the SX4’s electric 4WD is quite sophisticated.

Engine choices are limited to a 1.6-litre petrol unit and a 2.0-litre diesel. The 1.6 replaced an engine of the same capacity in 2010 and is now Euro V-compliant. Suzuki has integrated a similar variable valve timing unit as it uses in the KiZashi and Grand Vitara, helping with efficiency.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The engine feels smooth and willing but gets rowdy and boomy when revved hard

It offers 118bhp and 115lb ft, which endows the SX4 with far more refinement than before, if not the inclination for high-speed overtakes on the motorway without dropping a few gears. Luckily swapping cogs is no chore, as the shift has a short, positive, beautifully engineered action.

The 2.0-litre DDiS engine is also Euro V-compliant and serves up 133bhp and an impressive 236lb ft of torque. Despite the generous slug of torque, the 0-62mph fails to impress.

It will take 11.2secs to reach 62mph from rest; the petrol registers a 10.7sec time to the same benchmark, while the four-wheel drive-equipped version of the 1.6 takes 11.5secs.

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