High gas prices equal higher sales

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It's no wonder Suzuki sales are on fire this year , what with high gas prices most of the year and a number of interesting models to offer buyers .

Sales through June were up 36 percent, and Suzuki hopes to keep them coming with two new models, the SX4 and the all-new Suzuki XL-7, later this year. And good news, Aerio fans -- strong sales have apparently convinced Suzuki officials that there's still lots of life in the Aerio, which was going to be dropped but now will be repositioned as the company's top-of-the-line passenger car model .

The SX4 is a five-door hatchback that has a station wagon-like style with a waistline that starts low and gets higher as it continues down the side of the car. There's a fashionable wedge design to it. The front end of the car has a resemblance to other members of the Suzuki family.

The 2007 Suzuki SX4.
Click image for larger version.

With prices starting at $14,999 for the SX4 and $16,399 for the SX4 Sport, the SX4 priced right at the heart of the action in its segment,. Another advantage, from my viewpoint, is that it has a look that's different from some of the other cars with which it competes .

But an even bigger drawing card, especially for the Pittsburgh region, is that the SX4 comes equipped with standard all-wheel drive. Not a single one of the other competitors in this segment can make that statement, and for Northeasterners, that may be all they need to know about the car.

The "intelligent all-wheel drive" system can be operated in three settings, using a console-mounted switch, depending on road conditions. The SX4 is powered by a 143 horsepower, 2.0 liter four cylinder engine backed by either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Fuel economy estimates are 24 city and 30 highway.

Standard safety features include an electronic stability program that includes traction control, anti-lock brakes, side curtain air bags, side impact air bags, driver and front passenger side impact air bags and front seat air bags.

The XL-7, an all new mid-sized crossover, can be equipped with that all important third seat and it serves as the flagship of the Suzuki line.

Power comes from a 3.6 liter V-6 with 252 horsepower that gets 18/24 mpg for front-wheel drive versions and 17 city/23 highway for the all-wheel drive version.

You can get yours in three trims -- XL-7, Luxury and Limited -- and the top two models can be had in both five- and seven-passenger configuration.

The XL-7 has a long list of standard features including the five-speed automatic, four air bags, tire pressure monitoring system, antilock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, traction control and electronic stability program. Cruise control, air, tilt wheel, power windows and door locks and mirrors also are standard.

The XL-7 prices start at $22,899 for the XL-7 two-wheel drive base model, $24,599 for the Luxury model and $27,949 for the Limited model.

All Suzuki models come with the 100,000 mile/7-year, fully transferable powertrain limited warranty.



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