Suzuki Kizashi Midsize | Compact

Suzuki Kizashi Midsize | Compact 


All new for 2010, the Kizashi is a 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan, available in 8 trims, ranging from the S FWD to the SLS AWD.

The S FWD is equipped with a standard 2.4-liter, I4, 185-horsepower engine that achieves 21-mpg in the city and 31-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard. The SLS AWD is equipped with a standard 2.4-liter, I4, 180-horsepower engine that achieves 22-mpg in the city and 29-mpg on the highway. A variable speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.


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[Nov 07, 2010]
Model Reviewed: Suzuki Kizashi


Upscale design, features and materials


Trunk space eaten up by hinges.
Price of upgrade packages.
Limited exterior color choices, although they are nice.
Only two interior color choices, and each interior color is only available with certain exterior colors.

The Suzuki Kizashi is a really well done vehicle, especially in its price point. If you opt for the GTS package like I did, you get 6 way adjustable power seats, with 3 memory settings for 3 different drivers. The smooth CVT transmission comes with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. You'll probably only use these when driving in the mountains, as manually shifting a CVT doesn't increase performance. You get AWD, traction control, ABS and stability control. You can turn off all but the ABS, even the AWD can be shut off to save wear and gas. The Rockford Fosgate stereo is great, the interior materials and appearance is easily the nicest in this class of mid-size family cars. Performance wise, it handles and brakes better than anything in its class, and even compares well to my modified 240Z. Acceleration is comparable to other cars, though maybe not as quick. The CVT makes it hard to judge acceleration by the seat of your pants, because you don't feel any shifts. It seems to be slower from 0-20, and then quicker than other cars from 20 and up. This is because the CVT's initial gear ratio is kinda high, but once you get going, the CVT holds the RPMs in the peak HP range much better than other transmissions can do.

Style wise, while it is attractive, it isn't a head turner, except for those heads that notice different cars. Folks who notice cars will wonder what it is, because there aren't very many on the road. The car looks more Euro than Japanese, and even has a front end that is borrowed right from Audi. I like the exhaust outlets built into the rear bumper, and the wheels are nice.

Note that to get leather seats, you need to go with the 2000 more expensive SLS package. For about half that, the dealer can put in leather seats of your choice, not limited to the factory colors. You'll also get seat heaters for that price.

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I compared this to a Camry, Altima, Jetta, Mazda 6 and Accord. The interior of the Jetta was the only one that comes close this in quality and style. None of those other cars offered AWD. Even without AWD, you couldn't get the other features of the Kizashi on them for the same or less money. Went with the Kizashi because of AWD, its interior, its handling, and the rarity of it on the road.

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