I bought the Maruti Suzuki SX4 in August 2007. It was for the first time that Maruti had offered a mid-size sedan to compete with the likes of the Verna and the City. For a starting price of Rs 7 lakhs it was a pretty solid package with pleasant interiors, big storage space, muscular exterior and a big size in general. In addition to all this, it came with the standard Maruti positives like cheap maintenance, solid build quality, practicality, and peppy drive. In fact, the 1.6 litre petrol engine for this car is a real pleasure to rev and go for long drives. However, the same engine was not very efficient (~12 kmpl mileage) and that's why Maruti Suzuki did an engine change and also introduced a diesel engine to increase sales. In my opinion, it is still a great car to have as even after almost 10 years, it still runs like a new car, and has all the modern features new cars boast of, like steering mounted audio controls, reverse parking sensors, auto climate control, to name a few. In addition to this it was one of the first Maruti cars to offer pleasant two-tone beige and black interiors with improved plastic quality. The car was a hit in the corporate and institutional sector, and also found quite a few customers. The original SX4 S Cross is still sold abroad as a hatchback, and in its latest avatar has also made its way into India as the S-Cross sold through the Nexa chain of showrooms. However, the SX4 in India was sold only as a 3-box sedan, which also had a rear fog lamp as a standard feature, which was usually offered only by European automakers and was a distinctive feature of the car that was widely talked about. Many people used a CNG kit for the SX4 and got the required mileage output for it and that is still a good option if the mileage is really a concern. Another big positive about the car is its ample ground clearance. Even with 5 people on board, the car would not even scratch the biggest of bumps, unlike some of its contemporary rivals like the Honda City and Civic, especially the Civic, which was so low-slung for the sporty image that the car would almost always scratch big bumps, giving its owners heartache. The big dimensions of the SX4 also gave it a street presence and it used to turn heads wherever it went. It was praised by critics and customers alike, though many found the mileage a turn-off as the SX4 thus lacked a standard Maruti feature. Presence of safety features like driver and passenger airbags and ABS marked a new first for the market leader. The SX4 also paved the way for other premium sedans like the Kizashi which was imported as a CBU from Japan and consequently lost out on price, but the market leader learned really quick and unleashed the Ciaz to wreak havoc on the mid-size sedan segment. On the whole, the Maruti Suzuki SX4 was a power-packed package which can still be seen on the road today and still possesses good resale value and can be used as a distance runner with a CNG kit which will still give you ample space for luggage.
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