Monday, March 23, 2009

In the snow with the Suzuki SX4 AWD (and a Thule roof rack)

Suzuki SX4 - Subcompact Culture
We took the SX4 up to the mountain to go skiing, and this time it really got to see some snow. This is our first AWD car, and I'm really impressed. This thing went through several inches of snow without breaking a sweat. The four-wheel lock mode is really nice, too; it virtually eliminated any wheel slip in the deep stuff. I'm loving this car more and more!

FYI, I purchased the Thule roof rack (new-in-box, discontinued model 415 mounts, cross bars, pair of Flat Top 6 ski/snowboard carriers) from a great store here in Portland called ReRack ( They buy, sell, and trade Thule and Yakima roof racks, and they've got a lot of used and discontinued stuff at great prices with great service. They're located at 2034 NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland. If you need a complete roof rack you can e-mail them at with the year, make, and model of your car and they can help you out. Highly recommended!

View Larger Map


Unknown said...

It's great to see that SX4 in the snow, it's high on my list of "next cars" since we get the occasional storm here in MN. I had a 94 Impreza that would just zip around when it got slippery, I just love capable cars.

How is the highway ride in the SX4 - do you have to turn up the radio to drown out road/engine noise? I'm questing to find the most comfortable highway-cruising subcompact...

Andy Lilienthal said...

Another Minnesotan, eh? I grew up in Woodbury.

Anyway, the SX4 rides great on the highway. It's something my wife and I have remarked about several times since bringing the car home a month ago. Due to its AWD, it's a bit heavier than some other subcompacts, so the added heft might give it more of a solid feeling. Just a guess. I would say it rides the best out of any of the subcompacts (sub-100" wheelbase cars) I've driven.

Radio has automatically adjusting volume (you can turn it on or off), so the faster you go, the louder the stereo gets.

Anonymous said...

I'm from FJ, and since I've been keeping up with your SX4 my interest has grown big time. Have you found any good/active forums for these cars where I can learn more? I've seen a couple forums but they weren't particularly active.

Andy Lilienthal said...

romac: The best SX4 forum is It's the best that I've found (I'm a member there).

I've been very happy with the car thus far. The only complains are the small gas tank (11 gal), the rear seats don't fold 100% flat, and there isn't a ton of storage. However, most of these are because it has AWD, and that takes up space. These were all minor details to us, though. So far we love it.

Unknown said...

my sx4 just turned 1 year old, so i got a new yakima fatcat 6. i got the crossbars last year. i also got an aftermarket air filter system that seems to improve gas mileage as well as adding a few more horsepower. as for snow, last winter in truckee, i had the factory tires, bridegstone turanza, and they SUCK! especially in wet snow and heavy rain, which is what i get going from colfax to truckee. Next on my list is a set of michelin harmony - i had those on my old subaru impreza and they rocked! even those crappy tires still did great in the worst road conditions, i cant wait to see how much better it handles witha real set of tires.

I abandoned subaru and went with the suzuki mostly because of price, but also the impreza is getting lower and lower, and this thing has great clearance, which is good when the tahoe snow decides to solidify under the car and highcenter it, which happened to my subaru all the time living in incline village.

the funny thing is i never se others. ive had mine for a year and i can count on one hand how many other sx4's ive seen. maybe 6-8, tops. my brother has this car in park city, he was the main reason i decided to get it. the test drive consisted of trying to fit my huge folding massage table in the trunk and my 100 pound black lab in the backseat. they fit great, so i bought it!