Review: The new Suzuki Kizashi, yes, Kizashi, is at least as
good as the all-star Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics it competes with,
so let's get that out of the way right now. It's a true, world-class
But what makes the
Kizashi so great, and how did Suzuki manage to make it feel so different
from its previous lineup, of built-for-a-price commuter cars?
The answer lies in the
cars Suzuki's engineers tried to emulate. Instead of trying to mimic the
Corolla and Civic, they leapfrogged all the way to European sports
compacts like the Audi A3, giving the Kizashi a thoroughly European look
In fact, once you've
driven the Kizashi, with its silent ride, perfect suspension and meaty
acceleration, you could easily mistake it for an Audi. It's just a step
above more mundane cars.
The heart of the
Kizashi, like all great cars, lies under the hood. It has a 2.4-liter
four-cylinder engine that makes 185 horsepower, which is more than most
mid-size cars offer in base trim. And the Kizashi is a compact car, so
the power is really noticeable when you step on the gas.
Not only does it have a
lot of speed, but it also has plenty of panache. There's smoothness to
this car, a sense of sophistication and precision, that's a total
surprise for something with a Suzuki badge. It feels luxurious without
being too gimmicky.
That premium feel comes
from a combination of a lot of little things, like ambient lighting in
the footwells, a soft woven headliner, and soft-touch materials all over
Another surprise is
that the Kizashi offers all-wheel drive, something exceptionally rare in
this class. Normally, if you want a small car with all-wheel drive,
you'd either have to pick a Subaru or something expensive from Europe.
This car's European
feel is echoed in its body, which is more expressive and original than
anything else in Suzuki's stable. It looks lean and athletic, and two
stylish exhaust pipes exit the rear end to emphasize its performance
Pricing is still a
strong point on this car. The base model starts under $19,000, while the
top-of-the-line SLS with an automatic transmission and all-wheel drive
There's really not much
to dislike about the Kizashi. Compared to most of its competition it
performs better, it’s quieter, looks better and is more refined. And if
you're concerned about the quality of a Suzuki, it comes with a great
The Suzuki Kizashi
looks and feels very European. It's a truly world-class compact car from
Suzuki, a brand previously known more for its low prices than anything
else. Plus the Kizashi exudes a premium feel thanks to the quality
construction and upscale materials in its cabin. It offers more space
than most of its compact competitors, feeling almost like a mid-size
What was tested?
The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Automatic with a base price of $26,749.
Options on the test car: None. Price as tested including a $735
destination charge: $27,484.
Why avoid it?
You'll constantly be answering the question, "You drive a Suzuki what?"
Why buy it? It's
among the world's best compact cars, with European-inspired performance,
style and sophistication.
Oh yeah, and about that
name? In Japanese it means: "something great is coming." It's a funny
word, but it couldn't be more appropriate.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
This Japanese brand dramatically raises the bar with Kizashi. Let's face
it. People don't buy a Suzuki because they're looking for the very best
car. They buy a Suzuki because of the price. The company's lineup has
long reflected this, with cars and SUVs that were a good value, but
didn't quite match the quality and refinement of other Japanese brands
like Honda and Toyota. Now Suzuki is trying to change that by building a
great little car with a funny name.
Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy”
is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay
Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
And remember: “ You Are
what you Drive ”
Suzuki Home Page
Column Name: Something
great is coming from Suzuki
Topic: The 2010 Suzuki
Word Count: 754
Photo Caption: The 2010
Photo Credits: Suzuki
Kizashi Internet Media
Series #: 2010 - 15
the Microsoft Word version here:
2010 Suzuki Kizashi
Download the Original Image File here:
2010 Suzuki Kizashi