2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE Review - VIDEO ENHANCED
SEE ALSO: SUZUKI BUYERS GUIDE
THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG
SPECIFICATIONS: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE
Model: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE
Engine: 2.4-liter I4
Horsepower/Torque: 180 hp/170 lb.ft. torque
Transmission: CVT automatic
Wheelbase: 106.3 in.
Length/Width/Height: 183.1 x 71.7 x 58.3 in.
Tires: P215/55R17 - space saver spare
Cargo volume: 13.3 cubic feet
Fuel economy: 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26.6 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 16.6 gal.
Curb weight: 3,329 lbs.
Sticker: $21,754 ($0 destination and handling plus $255 in options (premium floor mats and metallic paint)
The Bottom Line: Suzuki has redeemed its reputation with the Kisashi, although pronouncing it may be a challenge. Here is a decent mid-size car with adequate performance that is thousands of dollars less than the competition.
Just as I was ready to write off Suzuki, thanks to a less-than-inspiring ride in the SX4 small crossover, along comes the Kizashi. Here is a nice mid-size sedan that is unlike almost anything else Suzuki has built, growing from the Forenza sedan and wagon.
Noted primarily as a builder of small SUVs and CUVs and sedans, Suzuki is branching out with the Kizashi. And even though it shares many physical attributes with the Nissan Maxima, it's still a Suzuki.
For example, the powerplant is a 2.4-liter inline four that develops 180 horsepower and drives the front wheels through a CVT transmission. The 180 horses are adequate for a vehicle that weighs 3,329 pounds. We never had problems pulling out onto Interstates, for example.
In fact, Interstates are the big surprise with the Kizashi; the car is an excellent Interstate cruiser, with decent power and the added advantage of more than 32 highway miles per gallon. Our overall test mileage of 26.6 mpg includes some local driving as well.
An Interstate cruiser requires good seats, and the front seats of the Kizashi are comfortable and power assisted. They offer decent side support and there's a console/arm rest in just the right place.
Heating and cooling are well accounted for. The Kizashi has dual zone heating and cooling that was excellent in temperatures that exceeded 100 for part of our drive. The HVAC cooled the rear seats as well.
Handling off the Interstates is very good. The Kizashi has four-wheel independent suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, so it stops as well as it goes.
The rear seats are comfortable and offer decent side support to go with decent knee and leg room. All four doors have water bottle holders. Also in the rear is a fold-down arm rest with a pair of cup holders and a flat surface that can be used for writing. As is common with most cars these days, the rear seat backs fold to increase trunk capacity.
All four doors have assist handles, although entry and egress are easy, even for senior citizens.
While we liked the audio system, there were some problems we encountered that were annoying more than anything else. We used the iPod for our longer trip, yet every time we turned the Kizashi off we had to re-set the iPod to shuffle again, otherwise we would hear the same performer for several consecutive songs. This isn't a major problem, but if you're going for pure shuffle, it is. Also, the display type was so large, only part of the song title showed up. Suzuki has a nice smaller nav/audio readout screen that it uses in the SX4 that would be perfect in the Kizashi.
Following the Interstate cruiser theme, the sun visors have extensions, making them "larger" when you need them.
One slightly disturbing feature is that the left side exterior mirror is slightly distorted, so that ever vehicle you see coming at you appears lower and wider than it really is.
Overall, the Suzuki Kizashi is a very nice car that can compete on even terms with the big boys from Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford and Chevrolet. But unlike most of its competitors the Suzuki Kizashi comes in a very cool AWD version. I think that a V6 engine option could make it even more awesome, but isn't really necessary.
Click PLAY to watch the Kazashi introduction video
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