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GENEVA MOTOR SHOW - Suzuki has re-invented its SX4 crossover, basing the new model on the S-Cross concept it showcased at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
Suzuki's whitecoats were originally briefed to build a successor to the current SX4, but a long, hard look at the market convinced them to “think bigger” so, although the new model inherits the SX4 designation (S for Suzuki, X for crossover and 4 for all-wheel drive), it actually moves up a notch into the C segment.
The new SX4 Crossover will be built the Magyar Suzuki plant in Hungary, and will mark the start of an of an expansion programme in which Magyar Suzuki will increase its production volume and extend its exports to more countries - including to South Africa in the first quarter of 2014.
STRENGTH AND SOLIDITY
The design is intended to create and impression of strength and solidity, with upmarket features such as chromed front trim, LED daytime running lights in the headlight, boldly contoured shoulders along the side lines; and two-part tail-light combination.
Aerodynamics are expressed by a roofline that slopes down towards the rear, smooth side contours and a modulated line from front to rear, low-drag wheels and door mirrors.
Inside, the contours of the soft-touch instrument panel overlap the doors, the seats are shaped and stitched to convey a sense of sophistication and metallic trim creates a sporty look against the black interior.
SX4 customers will have a simple choice to make: 1.6-litre petrol or 1.6-litre turbodiesel. The 1.6-litre petrol engine is based on the current M16A, with added lightness, particularly in reciprocating parts, reducing internal friction and thus fuel consumption.
Lightness and low friction also help the 1.6-litre diesel engine to return very competitive fuel-consumption readings, while a variable-geometry turbocharger ensures plenty of torque from the low end of the rev range.
A new sound-insulating engine cover helps suppress vibration and reduce the familiar diesel clatter increases passenger comfort by suppressing the vibration and noise that characterise diesel engines.
The petrol version is standard with a five-speed manual transmission, while the diesel gets six ratios.
The petrol version is, however, also available with a continuously variable transmission, including an auxiliary transmission that extends the range of gear ratios for improved acceleration, hill climbing and fuel economy.
A seven-speed manual mode allows the driver to shift up and down using paddles without letting go of the steering wheel.
The body is 4300mm long on a 2600mm wheelbase, which allows a generous 814mm between front and rear occupants, thanks to specially shaped rear seat backs, while luggage capacity is a class-leading 430 litres even with the rear seats in use.
Suzuki has also added what it claims is a world first - a double-panel glass sliding roof - as well as folding rear seats and a removable luggage board for versatility.