The Maruti SX4 comes with a tag line “Men are back” and this in itself would mean something. The looks of this sedan suggest that bold muscular stance which usually muscled men carry around. It is actually a crossover sedan which has got an SUV stance as well as height whereas its other features suggest that it is a sedan. Influences of the Maruti Swift can be seen in this sedan and its styling actually follows the lines of the Swift. A new multi spoke design with 16 inch alloy wheels for company is what describe the rubber boots of this car. There are side skirts provided for enhancing that extra masculine appeal of this car. The tail pipe has been hidden from vision’s sight. All these combined make for one butch looking sedan which not only combines aggression but also can do duty as practical usability.
For the interiors, they are similar to what the Maruti Swift brought into the equation, albeit with a bit more upgrade to the fit and finish as also the features. The instrument panel has been carried forward from the Swift and Maruti have kitted this car with automatic climate control, as also a Kenwood audio system. The system is compatible with both AUX as also Bluetooth. The steering wheel has got audio controls on it but no Bluetooth calling is available in it. The driver’s seat adjusts for both height as also lumbar. Quality of plastics is a bit of suspect and so is the build quality. Though the car looks sturdy from outside, inside the story seems a bit different. At the rear, seating is better than in the front but then you sit a bit upright rather than be in a relaxed position with the transmission hump posing a problem for the middle passenger, but not overtly so.
There are plenty of usable features in the cabin and the diesel version of this car has an OBD (a first in India) or On Board Display system which tells the owner that the car has now started polluting more than what it was initially designed for and he has to take the car immediately to the nearest service station. Boot space of 504 liters is also usable plus the rear seats are of the 60:40 split types. Having a factory CNG tank in the boot reduces the boot capacity to a great extent. There are no suspension intrusions in the boot and also the loading bay is flat.
Due to its SUV like look, the Maruti SX4 has got 190 mm of ground clearance, which is the biggest in sedans. Due to this enormous ground clearance, speed breakers don’t pose a problem to this sedan. One can actually drive over speed breakers without having to pause and brake. The SX4 has got a stiff suspension in both its diesel and petrol variants. Ride quality at low speeds is a bit of bother since the SX4 transmits all the bumps to the cabin without much of the damping obstructing it. Once speeds rise, the ride quality improves to a tremendous extent. The steering feel is very good and infact better than some of the hatchbacks lower down. As for the handling, it is also notches above that of many others in its class. The tall tyres of the SX4 ensure that it is eager to turn into corners without losing its composure.
NVH is something which Maruti need to work on in the petrol SX4. The car feels a bit raucous while on full song and this loud nature is more on the unrefined side. The engines in the Maruti SX4 run on diesel, petrol and also CNG. The 1.6L petrol engine has a peak output of 103 Bhp while the torque figure reads as 145 Nm. A 5 speed manual transmission does the cog shifting job. Maruti have also given this variant a 4 speed automatic unit. Gear shifting jobs are handled well by both the units, with the manual feeling a bit unrefined than its competition. The petrol engine has got the famed VVT technology going for it. The CNG engine turns out a bit lower power than the petrol one though. As for the diesel, it uses Fiat’s 1.3 liter multijet engine, but with a variable turbocharger.
This world acclaimed multijet unit makes 90 PS of peak power @ 4000 rpm whereas its torque figure reads a good 200 Nm as low as 1750 rpm. The transmission is the same one doing duties in the petrol variant of the SX4 but then, it has been given some smoothening treatment via a detent pin attached to the transmission. This detent pin actually removes the rubbery feel of the SX4 petrol’s transmission. Brakes are however units which fade after repeated high speed attempts. The SX4 gets ABS and EBD for its brake setup. There are twin airbags, 3 point seatbelts and a collapsible steering column which add upto the safety part of this car. Overall fuel efficiency for the petrol is a claimed 15 kmpl while for the diesel, it is 21 kmpl. The SX4 is available in a total of 8 variants. The price of the SX4 starts from Rs 6.8 lakhs and goes all the way up to the Rs 8.5 lakhs mark. This ensures that this car is fantastic value for money coupled with Maruti’s widespread dealer network.