Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4





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  1. #1
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    Default Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Hi everyone, I am new to the forum, but have been lurking here for a few months now. Good to finally post!

    I am looking to buy a used compact SUV with fairly low mileage and AWD for between R120k and R180k, and seem to have found my match in the Suzuki SX4. Specifically, I am looking for something more powerful than a hatchback on the open road, that also has enough off-road capability to handle rough dirt or gravel roads and light off-roading, although I am by no means a serious 4x4 man. The car will also need to be my daily commute in and around Sandton, and so the compact size and decent fuel consumption also appeals to me.

    I have found a 2011 SX4 (MT AWD) with only 40,000 kms on the clock for around R160k at a reliable dealership, which seems like a good deal to me. Before jumping into anything, though, I would very much appreciate any advice that any of may have regarding the SX4. Specifically:


    1. Is there any other vehicle I should be considering in the same price range and class that is a serious alternative to the SX4, in light of my specific needs? I have been looking at the likes of the Mitsubishi ASX, Renault Duster and Ford Ecosport, but seem to find that all of these alternatives are generally more pricey and not necessarily as reliable or powerful (as far as I know) as the SX4.
    2. How is the SX4's fuel economy, both in the city and on the highway?
    3. Are there any common issues that I need to check specifically before buying, or that I may have to deal with around this mileage?
    4. In your experience, is the SX4 a reliable, fairly cheap to maintain car that will last me at least 5 years?
    5. What is the maximum or most extreme off-roading that I can expect to tackle with the AWD SX4?


    Aside from the above, I would also really appreciate any general views or opinions you may have on the SX4. Thanks in advance!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Hi Crawling,

    Welcome to the forum and I am sure the Pro's will be along soon. I am a bit concerned about a 2011 AWD, not sure if they were available then in SA?
    My Mother has a 2009 SX4 Automatic, which was launched as a 2l, when Suzuki SA came back branded the same? ( she has 52k on the clock and has never had a problem), i take it on long runs every now and then to help the engine a bit.

    I think the "All Grip" came out in 2013/14? in a 1.6 motor?(may be getting old and out of touch)

    All that i know is that her SX4 likes to be worked but then the fuel consumption goes up a LOT?

    Like I said the pros will be out?

    Regards
    Charles

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Thanks for our thoughts, Charles. What you say about the fuel consumption seems to be in line with what I've heard so far

    As to your point on the 2011 AWD version, I found this article on wheels24 from 2010 speaking about the introduction of the AWD version to the South African market that year, so hopefully should be all above board: https://www.wheels24.co.za/NewModels...o-SX4-20100217

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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    1. The Duster is probably the most capable off road of the ones you listed. I can't see why a low kilometre Duster won't last at least 5 years.
    2. The 2.0 SX4 isn't very fuel efficient, which is the only thing a friend of mine that owned one complained about. The Fuelly average however is 11.4 km/L which is not that bad.
    3. I do not know of any common issues on them.
    4. The last time I asked the services were around R2300 for a oil and filter service at the agents.
    5. Light off road work should be fine. I had a look at a couple of YouTube videos and it looks capable in snow, sand and muddy tracks. It is hampered a bit by its lowish ground clearance though.
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Is it the MitMak one you are looking at? With such low mileage it should have gone for annual services rather than the normal kilometer based services. The car looks good in the pictures!
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    What ground clearance do they have?

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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    175mm
    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    What ground clearance do they have?
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    I’ve just bought a new Duster and I am VERY impressed! I believe the older ones have the same engine and drivetrain. I like the simple nature of it, and the fuel consumption is excellent. The 1.5 dci motor is tried and tested in many Nissan and Renault products also used in the Mercedes A and B class. Ground clearance is good, obviously not the same as a SUV or double cab though. I also needed a good gravel road car. Not that there is anything wrong with the SX4 but you should not dismiss a good Duster 4x4 if you come across one.
    Duster 4wd (Jeep lite)
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    The wife and I very nearly bought an SX4 of similar vintage before we had kids.

    We absolutely loved the car, the 2.0 engine with manual gearbox is willing, cruises nicely.

    The only thing that put us off in the end was the boot space, which is severely lacking.
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom13 View Post
    Is it the MitMak one you are looking at? With such low mileage it should have gone for annual services rather than the normal kilometer based services. The car looks good in the pictures!
    Yup, it's the one at MitMak motors! I have also test driven it and thought the condition was excellent. I am thinking of insisting on a Dekra multi-point check before buying though. Any thoughts?

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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooly View Post
    I’ve just bought a new Duster and I am VERY impressed! I believe the older ones have the same engine and drivetrain. I like the simple nature of it, and the fuel consumption is excellent. The 1.5 dci motor is tried and tested in many Nissan and Renault products also used in the Mercedes A and B class. Ground clearance is good, obviously not the same as a SUV or double cab though. I also needed a good gravel road car. Not that there is anything wrong with the SX4 but you should not dismiss a good Duster 4x4 if you come across one.
    Thanks Hooly, that's also useful to keep in mind. I will keep an eye out for a Duster with low mileage in my price range as well. Never thought that I would seriously consider a Renault though

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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Quote Originally Posted by crawling_king_snake View Post
    Thanks Hooly, that's also useful to keep in mind. I will keep an eye out for a Duster with low mileage in my price range as well. Never thought that I would seriously consider a Renault though
    Me neither, but when the time came I thought to myself I had been living with two Navara’s already both of them had Renault/ Nissan diesels. The 4x4 system is straight from the XTrail, the 1.5 dci is in every second NP200 bakkie which also happens to be one of the top selling vehicles in the country.

    So by saying I would not trust a Duster because it is French / Romenian, I would by implication also have to say I don’t trust the 2.3 Diesel or the V9X diesel engines in the Navara because they were developed by Renault, then also I do not trust the X Trail 4x4 system and I do not trust buying a Qashqai, NP200 or a A or B class Merc with a diesel engine!

    When I started to shop for the Duster I also realized how wide spread their dealership network is.

    So in the end I thought it to be a sensible value for money buy. I think us South Africans should get away from the belief that only the brands that sold here during the apartheid years can be trusted, common its 25 years later!
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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooly View Post
    Me neither, but when the time came I thought to myself I had been living with two Navara’s already both of them had Renault/ Nissan diesels. The 4x4 system is straight from the XTrail, the 1.5 dci is in every second NP200 bakkie which also happens to be one of the top selling vehicles in the country.

    So by saying I would not trust a Duster because it is French / Romenian, I would by implication also have to say I don’t trust the 2.3 Diesel or the V9X diesel engines in the Navara because they were developed by Renault, then also I do not trust the X Trail 4x4 system and I do not trust buying a Qashqai, NP200 or a A or B class Merc with a diesel engine!

    When I started to shop for the Duster I also realized how wide spread their dealership network is.

    So in the end I thought it to be a sensible value for money buy. I think us South Africans should get away from the belief that only the brands that sold here during the apartheid years can be trusted, common its 25 years later!
    That's a great point, and in fact I have just come back from test driving a 2014 AWD Renault Duster with about 86,000km on the clock for the same price as the SX4 I am looking at.

    My initial impression is that it would most likely fare much better than the SX4 off-road, considering the higher ground clearance, better approach angles and overall bigger size. It does not seem to have the power of the SX4 though, and is not nearly as comfortable or smooth a ride as the Suzuki either. Anyway, these are my two main options at the moment and I'm feeling quite conflicted.

    Best

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  22. #14
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Maybe have a look at the Subaru Forester as well? They are also very capable and comfortable daily drivers? Not sure if you will find one in your price range, though.
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    we have had 2x SX4’s in the company fleet until recently. 150k km on the last one without missing a beat. Never drove it myself but understand the 2l engine is no fire cracker. Fuel consumption on the cars also was not anything to write home about.

    Big plus for us is that they fly under the radar and are not theft risks.
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  26. #16
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom13 View Post
    175mm
    That's not bad but around 200mm seems to be the standard for ideal minimum clearance
    Quote Originally Posted by Hooly View Post
    I’ve just bought a new Duster and I am VERY impressed! I believe the older ones have the same engine and drivetrain. I like the simple nature of it, and the fuel consumption is excellent. The 1.5 dci motor is tried and tested in many Nissan and Renault products also used in the Mercedes A and B class. Ground clearance is good, obviously not the same as a SUV or double cab though. I also needed a good gravel road car. Not that there is anything wrong with the SX4 but you should not dismiss a good Duster 4x4 if you come across one.
    That engine is super basic from what I have found, probably why its so bullet proof, single overhead cam and only 2(some 4) valves per cylinder. The Duster specc'd 1.5dci version appears to be 82Kw and 240Nm at 1750rpm, that's incredible torque for such a small engine, it must pull great.

    What fuel economy do they get?
    Last edited by Skylark; 2019/08/28 at 01:27 AM.

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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Had a look on gumtree now, plenty 1.5dci 4x4 around 4yrs old and not much more than 100k km for around R140k, that's pretty amazing value.

    How robust is the 4x4 system, is it permanently engaged?
    Does it have diff locks or an option to fit them?

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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    That's not bad but around 200mm seems to be the standard for ideal minimum clearance That engine is super basic from what I have found, probably why its so bullet proof, single overhead cam and only 2(some 4) valves per cylinder. The Duster specc'd 1.5dci version appears to be 82Kw and 240Nm at 1750rpm, that's incredible torque for such a small engine, it must pull great.

    What fuel economy do they get?
    Mine is still brand new, only on the third tank now, but my first two gave around 15km/l in mixed city and highway driving.

    Yes the torque is enough for the size of the car and the gear ratios are short, especially first gear, so its not fast but comming from a double cab it to me its fine.
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    I had a look at a Duster a while back & the impression I got was that it was very flimsy . My money would be on the Suzuki for durability
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    Default Re: Advice: Looking to buy a Suzuki SX4

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    Had a look on gumtree now, plenty 1.5dci 4x4 around 4yrs old and not much more than 100k km for around R140k, that's pretty amazing value.

    How robust is the 4x4 system, is it permanently engaged?
    Does it have diff locks or an option to fit them?
    The 4x4 system comes from the Nissan X Trail, it has a 2wd, 4wd auto and 4wd lock function. Some guys who has had theirs for a while mention that they drive them in 4wd auto permanently as the system will distribute the power to the wheels as needed. The lock mode disengages above 80km/h.

    There are no diff locks and I do not think it can be fitted but it does have traction control and hill descent control.

    I have tested it on a tweespoor padjie with some loose rocks and the traction control works pretty good, it should be able to get you out of cross axle situations.

    The only modification I might do in the future is to fit A/T type tyres for better grip. It came with H/T Conti’s
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