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Safety improvements for Suzuki SX4

Safety suite: The SX4 is the latest model to benefit from Suzuki's safety push with the addition of four extra airbags to the entry-level variant.

Suzuki adds side- and curtain airbags to its entry-level SX4 small-car

11 Mar 2011

SUZUKI has made side and curtain airbags standard equipment on its entry-level SX4 two-wheel drive hatch, meaning all variants now have the full safety suite of six airbags and ESC as standard.

The addition brings no change to the $20,490 entry price of the Suzuki small car, which in February also received standard free Bluetooth connectivity.

Suzuki Australia general manager Tony Devers said this latest addition to the brand’s segment-straddler makes it better value than ever before.

“With the added safety of six airbags across the range – at no extra expense to our customers – the SX4 is also one of the safest for any adventure you throw at it,” he said.

This is the latest move by the Japanese company to increase the safety credentials of its range. Last November it added ESC to its entry-level Alto micro-car, while both the upgraded 2011 Kizashi mid-sized sedan and the all-new Swift light car recently scored five-star ANCAP safety ratings.

Sales of the SX4, including the AWD hatch variants, are down 9.3 per cent for the first two months of year compared to the same period this year.

30 center imageFrom top: Suzuki Swift, Splash, Swift S-Concept.

VFACTS reported 133 sales for the SX4 in February, a drop of 22.2 per cent compared to the same month last year. These figures put the Suzuki well behind small-car segment leaders like the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla, as well as compact crossover rivals like the Nissan Dualis and Mitsubishi ASX.

Despite this, Suzuki has performed well so far in 2011, with sales across its seven-car range up 17.3 per cent over the first two months of last year.

This growth has been led by its popular new Swift, which racked up 1001 sales in February (its first month of release) and a light-car market share of 9.5 per cent. The Alto micro-car is also up 16.1 per cent year-on-year.

The Japanese company has been attempting make a case for the introduction of the Hungarian-built Splash to its range, slotting between the Alto and Swift in what would be a light-car onslaught.

However, Suzuki Australia communications manager Andrew Ellis has indicated to GoAuto that it will likely have to wait until production of the car begins at the company’s new $251 million plant in Thailand’s Rayong province.

Meanwhile, the recent Geneva show saw the unveiling of the Swift S-Concept, a thinly disguised version of what is likely to emerge as a successor for the Swift Sport, possibly wearing GTi badges.

It is expected to be powered either by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder similar to the unit from the previous model, or a new force-fed four-cylinder from technology partner Volkswagen.

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