Suzuki will attempt to cash in on Australia’s love affair with small SUVs by applying the ‘Crossover’ name to its facelifted SX4 hatchback range, which continues to be the only small car available in both front- and all-wheel drive forms.
However, it has discontinued the slow-selling sedan version from the upgraded 2013 model year SX4 line-up, which arrives with a number of cosmetic and equipment additions but the same starting price of $18,990 plus on-road costs.
Available from later this month – just weeks after Suzuki’s similarly upgraded MY13 Grand Vitara range was released – the MY13 SX4 hatch range features new front-end styling, new alloy wheels, new seat fabrics, mirror-mounted indicators and two newly available paint colours – Plasma yellow and Boost blue.
Extra standard features across the range include cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity, while top-shelf 'S' variants gain a new touch-screen satellite-navigation unit with Bluetooth, voice activation and USB connectivity, but cost $300 more than before.
Opening the revised range then is the sub-$19,000 SX4 Crossover six-speed manual, while the cheapest all-wheel drive – the SX4 Crossover AWD - costs $21,990.
A CVT automatic transmission costs an extra $2000 across the range, which brings the most affordable version of the now auto-only Crossover S variant to $24,290, while the Crossover S AWD tops the range at $26,490.
Apart from cruise control and Bluetooth connectivity, all SX4 models come standard with six airbags, electronic stability control, ABS brakes, a leather-clad steering wheel, trip computer, power windows/mirrors and an eight-speaker sound system with auxiliary input and speed-sensing volume control.
In addition to the touch-screen navigation system, S versions add 16-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry and starting, digital climate-control air-conditioning, front foglights and, for CVT vehicles, steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles.
The SX4’s 112kW/190Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine is unchanged, as is the standard six-speed manual gearbox and CVT auto, while AWD models continue to direct up to 50 per cent of engine torque to the rear wheels in both 4WD Lock and 4WD Auto modes.
Despite being more than five years old and due for renewal soon, the SX4 has attracted 10 per cent more Australian buyers to July this year than it did in the same period last year, with 1111 examples sold so far in 2012.
“SX4 set a new vision for small crossover vehicles when it launched and this update guarantees the new version continues to offer small car customers a value-packed choice combining performance, efficiency and Suzuki’s legendary reliability,” said Suzuki Australia General Manager, Tony Devers.
Suzuki MY13 SX4 pricing (plus on-road costs):
SX4 Crossover manual - $18,990
SX4 Crossover CVT - $20,990
SX4 Crossover S CVT - $24,290
SX4 Crossover AWD manual - $21,990
SX4 Crossover AWD CVT - $23,990
SX4 Crossover S AWD manual - $24,490
SX4 Crossover S AWD CVT - $26,490
Read the latest news and reviews on your mobile, iPhone or PDA at carsales' mobile site.