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Hey there! As someone who is looking at getting am SX as well, I too am curious of a few of the things you touched base on in your initial post... Im curious about the aspect of a tune, cold air intake and minor things like that for these to increase the power a tad. But at the same time, I know this is a complete opposite of what I'm driving now - a '12 Buick Regal GS Stage 1 with 295HP and 335lbs/ft of torque (basically, as close to a new Grand National as your gonna get...). But after having test driven the SX Saturday, I'm impressed with it and would be happy with it as a new daily driver.

To answer some of your questions in a more general sense:
*Fuel: It will always help running a higher grade fuel... the higher octane fuel will burn a lot cleaner, keeping things like the valves cleaner (if it's not a direct injected motor...) as well as keep emissions cleaner. (I have run super in everything I've owned. And in the case of the '98 S10 pickup I had, it passed 2 different state emissions testing 3x, with what I didn't know at the time was a hollowed out catalytic converter!!!) It should definitely get you better mileage as a result of a cleaner and more efficient burn, any added power as a result is usually doubtful...

*Overheating issue(s): Not with the engine, but there's numerous posts in this forum about the transmission overheating. And the overheating issue is mainly in stop and go, bumper-to-bumper traffic. Apparently the dual clutch setup will wind up overheating in those conditions because the clutches are still always engaged. I would check out some of the posts in the "Complaints, issues & problems" thread on here for more info... And the other issue with the transmission tends to be that it will wind up selecting even gears and not odd (or vise versa...), which apparently there's a transmission control module programming update that's supposed to solve that issue...

Suspension: I don't know if there's any kind of upgrades like your thinking of to beef up the stock setup, but someone did mention that there is a lift kit for these trucks... Im doubting that your looking for something that extreme though...

Hope this helps even a little bit... I wish I could comment more, but the truck I am seriously considering is an SX in Mars Orange and with a black interior... Good luck!!
 
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