I also have a 2008 4-door. It's the first car that I'm supporting by myself. I test-drove the SX4 and the 2.5i, and coming from a long history of driving underpowered vans, I was impressed at how well the 2.5i handled around the nearby cloverleaf. Plus, I wanted a CAR, you know, with an honest-to-goodness trunk.
I haven't given much thought to the car's aesthetics... From the A-pillar back, it looks to me like major money. When I look at the front, it reminds me of those scowling evil demons on Japanese woodcuts.