What is it?
This is one of those oddities usually confined to hire car compounds at Eastern European airports: a small saloon.
Based on the pseudo-SUV SX4, Suzuki’s new three-box has that car’s 1.6-litre petrol engine and a reasonably comprehensive kit list that includes six airbags, four electric windows, an MP3-compatible CD player, air-con and keyless entry (and all for a smidgen under 12 grand).
Unlike the hatchback, though, there’s no four-wheel drive option; the SX4 sedan is strictly a front-drive option.
What’s it like?
Competent, without ever coming close to offering entertainment. The 106bhp engine revs freely, but there’s not much torque and it’s thrashy higher up its range.
The five-speed gearbox is a little notchy but it’s slick enough providing you’re positive with it; no sixth means a motorway cruise of around 3750rpm, though, and the SX4’s just not refined enough to cope with those revs. You’ll soon find yourself raising your voice to maintain conversation above the motor’s tinny thrum.
Handling dynamics are pretty well resolved, if uninspiring. The power steering is nicely weighted, but it feels vague around the straight ahead. The SX4 is good enough at turning into corners, but any degree of real commitment thereafter will be greeted by wash-out understeer.