2011 Suzuki SX-4 X-EC Special Edition introduced in the UK

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 7, 2011

Suzuki GB PLC will start selling the X-EC, its latest Special Edition SX4 model, later this month at a competitive price of £13,430. It will be available in three metallic colors: Cool White Pearl, Cosmic Black Pearl and Galactic Grey. This new model is based on the popular SZ4 grade, and is available only in two-wheel drive format with 120PS 1.6-litre petrol engine and manual transmission.

This model provides a comprehensive list of standard equipment such as color satellite navigation system with Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, electric folding door mirrors with built-in turn signal lamps, unique design alloy wheels, a new design seat fabric and rear privacy glass.

The SX4 is a distinctive five-door hatchback that combines the characteristics of sporty compacts and the lightweight SUVs in order to build an exciting compact vehicle alternative.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine with Euro 5 emissions features variable valve timing with variable intake system for enhanced response and drivability, and propels the SX4 2WD within 10.7 seconds from zero to 62 mph. In combined cycle driving, the 2WD manual models return 45.6mpg with emissions of 141g/km.

By itself, the Suzuki Swift has the qualities of a sporty compact and this same quality is in the Suzuki SX4 as well. This unique five-door hatchback though manages to combine that particular characteristic with that of lightweight SUVs like the Grand Vitara. The result is a small car that serves as an exciting alternative. The SX4 is in fact the third strategic model after the Swift and the Grand Vitara. This same model also served as the inspiration for the World Rally Championship challenger during the 2007-08 season.

It not only has responsive driving dynamics but manages to combine this with the capability of a 4x4. Not only is it highly practical, it boasts a style that evokes a more freestyle approach. The SX4 is a product of the joint development agreement entered into by Suzuki with Fiat Auto wherein the former is in-charge of the project management starting from creating the concept and all the way to the mass production. For models that will be sold in the Europe market, they will all be manufactured at Magyar Suzuki Corporation’s facility located in Hungary.

Specifically for the line-up that will be sold in the U.K., Suzuki will be offering two choices for the engine. The first is the improved VVT 1.6-liter 120PS petrol engine that comes with the option of the SZ3 2WD or the SZ4 2WD, both front-wheel drives configurations. It will also be offered under the SZ5 4x4 model with the automatic/selectable 4-wheel drive. The other engine is a diesel engine or the DDiS 1.6-liter engine. This will be made available for the SZ4 trim, in conjunction with the SZ5 petrol 4x4, beginning April 2010.

In terms of trim, the 4x4 petrol version will have three available choices which are the SZ3, SZ4, and the SZ5. All of them though will have that strong SUV look especially considering the skid plates on the front and rear and the extensions of the wheel arch. It will also have the side under protection mouldings and the side protection mouldings. The latter though is not offered under the SZ3. Exterior-wise, the design is placed to ensure that the SX4 can look good no matter what the situation is.

While it does have a compact size, the SX4 has a presence and poise that goes beyond it considering that it has the grace of a passenger car but mixed with energy of a SUV. For the 2010 version, both the grille and the front bumper have been redesigned with the SZ4 and SZ5 variants fitted with the alloy 16-inch wheels. With the wheel arches being more prominent, as well as the track in the front and rear, this exhibits good traction and stability.

It also displays dynamic performance given the athletic and strong wedge shape due to the front doors and its forward triangular glazing and the rising low waistline. What makes the design unique is that hints at the capacity of the SX4 not found in standard hatchbacks. Suzuki’s version is multi-dimensional, visually attractive, and exciting. The same approach to the exterior design is also present in the interior.

This is seen in the wraparound curving shapes and the use of trim materials, and even fabrics, that have high tactile and visual quality. Much like other Suzuki products, it has a flowing circular panel and a circular motif which adds to the active lifestyle appeal and the dynamic performance. The interior follows a two-tone theme with majority being in black with metallic-colored accents. It also has a wedge-shape that when combined gives a refined and strong appearance.

The instrument panel has an ergonomic design to make sure that the controls and key meters are not only easy to use but intuitive as well. The style is in fact new as the three-dial cluster is backlit with LED. This cluster not only allows for important data to be seen at a glance but also reflects the circular and metallic theme of the other controls and side air outlets. Above the dashboard is where the important information needed by the driver is placed. Examples of these include fuel consumption, both instantaneous and average, outside temperature, and driving fuel range.

The dashboard’s lower center meanwhile has been enhanced as well and now has the controls for the air conditioning, audio, and other features. It will also have a new display. For the SZ4 and the SZ5 variants, the dials of the fully-automatic air conditioning are large and have a ring light. This allows them to be seen and used easily. It also helps with the overall quality. For extra convenience, the audio controls in the steering wheel have now been illuminated.

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