The results are in for my first annual Car of the Year Award! The inaugural honor goes to…
Oh sure, I could’ve bestowed this award upon the Cadillac CTS or Chevy Corvette or Nissan GT-R, but I consider factors way beyond simple horsepower. Things like sure-footedness in all weather conditions, comfortable seats, handling a Costco run, and being able to climb the dirt road that leads away from my friend’s lake cabin are all factors that weighed heavily on my decision.
Oh yeah, and it has to do all that while delivering 30 miles per gallon on the way to the lake and have the ability to bring along a wakeboard, a packed cooler, and 4 other people.
A standard navigation system is a must, as is the ability to plug in my iPod and control it through the steering wheel-mounted controls. Add in 4-wheel disc brakes, alloy wheels and 16-inch tires and you’ve got the icing on the post-award party cake, baby.
OK. Now it’s time to admit that I own an SX4, but don’t let that make you think I’m biased. I wouldn’t have bought one if it didn’t kick the pants off the competition. I owned a Jaguar before making the switch to Suzuki and I get more comments, questions and compliments on the SX4 than I did the Jag. I get stopped in grocery store parking lots by bewildered gawkers who act like I’m pulling up in a Bugatti and can only muster a captivated “What… is that!?”
Only after I’m finished telling them about its 100,000-mile warranty, 54 cubic feet of cargo space and how I can drive in front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or lock it into permanent four-wheel drive do I drop the price bomb on them: It can all be had for around $16K.
The 143 ponies delivered by the SX4’s 2.0-liter 4 banger won’t leave those gawkers coughing inside a cloud of burnt rubber, but they’re perfectly adequate for launching the car onto a freeway from any on-ramp you can throw at it.
Since my Car of the Year Award weighs overall value, dependability and functionality over pure horsepower, the 2008 Suzuki SX4 Crossover is the easy winner.
What other cars from 2008 do you think can compete with the SX4?