Step around to the side, and you'll find an awkwardly tall and round compact sedan. Viewed from this angle (and in this color), it's easy to see the SX4 Sport as cute, ignoring the 17-inch alloy wheels and four-wheel disc brakes.
Like many compact sedans tuned for economy rather than performance, the SX4 Sport suffers from a sluggish automatic transmission that never seems to be in the right gear to take advantage of the power.
The SX4 Sport may not look like it, but rally racing is in its lineage. Its fantastic suspension makes it quite the accomplished canyon carver and its handing rivals even the gold-standard Honda Civic.
The interior is a very pleasant place to be, with light, high quality plastics and comfortable fabric seats. The tall greenhouse features winglet windows in the A-pillars that create forward visibility and make the cabin feel very open.
The instrument cluster is a handsome, yet standard, affair with a matte black background and crisp white text and markings. These gauges make no pretense about the budget class of vehicle they live in.
The center stack is home to the climate controls and the standard four-speaker stereo. Sound quality is good from AM/FM radio or MP3-encoded CD. XM radio is available as an option, but was not equipped. Just above the center vents is a single-line, monochromatic display showing temperature, time, and fuel economy information.
At the top-center of the dash, we find Suzuki's rather clever solution to including GPS as a standard feature in a car that starts just below $16K: the SuzukiTRIP GPS system consists of a rebadged Garmin Nuvi 760 integrated into a hump in the dash beneath a folding door.
The unit also features Bluetooth hands-free calling when equipped with the Technology Package. Here we have our T-Mobile Shadow paired. The stereo speakers are used for calls and are very easy to hear.
Insert an SD card full of MP3s and you'll be able to play them back through the stock stereo using the SuzukiTRIP. Unfortunately, an aux-in isn't standard and iPod integration isn't either, so SD cards and MP3 CDs will be your only digital-audio options.