A conclusion of our long-term test The Kizashi seems to be known throughout the continent as the one car that every auto writer seems to adore, but still for some odd reason, nobody seems to buy.
Praise. It’s all that the automotive industry (along with my very own colleagues) seems to have given the Suzuki Kizashi. It seems to be known throughout the continent as the one car that every auto writer seems to adore, but still for some odd reason, nobody seems to buy. The Kizashi Sport was my first official test car, and while I’d definitely argue that a bit of it was the initial test car appeal, it was a great vehicle. We decided to conduct a long-term test of the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi Sport to find out if it was our minds playing tricks on us or whether it was actually that good.
First off, the car looks great. Its styling is modern and doesn’t seem to have aged even after being on the market for a few years already. Then again, nobody really buys them, so it definitely always looks fresh. I did see a few other Kizashis while out in ours, and established that it looks great in Sport trim; the chrome accents and bigger wheels certainly make a huge difference. Definitely a good looking car.
The interior of the Suzuki is pleasing too. Not only are all of the controls easily found, but the materials are top notch. It took more than a few days into having the car for me to find the nice leather-esque padded panels on the doors. The heated seats are nice and toasty, and the steering wheel is beefy yet nimble enough to comfortably handle hard cornering. One thing I definitely miss is the Rockford Fosgate sound system in the 2012 model. Yes, having navigation is great, and last year I said that the Kizashi really did need it, but at the expense of one of the best mainstream sound systems out there? I’m not so sure anymore…
As I began to spend more and more time with the Kizashi, I began to notice a few more flaws. I know it’s been said over and over that the 2.4L 4-cylinder in the car needs more horsepower, but sometimes it’s just downright unbearable. It just doesn’t go anywhere. In Sport mode, shifting the CVT with the paddles seems to bring a bit more pep out of the car, but more often than not I found myself thinking that I could probably walk faster. I feel that with the 6-speed manual transmission the Kizashi offers in other parts of the world, we in Canada (as usual) are getting stiffed.
Another thing that began to bother me is the fuel consumption, especially relative to the amount of power the car had. While I love having the option to keep the Suzuki in 2WD mode, I couldn’t average any better than 9.7L/100km. For a 2.4L car with a continuously-variable transmission in FWD-mode, that’s dreadful. I had a pretty abused Altima as a rental recently with the dreaded 2.5L and I managed to get a combined 7L/100km. In AWD mode though, the Kizashi’s performance is breathtaking. I had the opportunity to pilot it through a few inches of snow in one of the biggest storms of the year, and the car seriously impressed me.
On an offramp exiting off Highway 401, there was a line of cars that weren’t moving because they thought there was too much snow. I shot around them and decided to hop out of the car to help push a stranded car out of the way, and a Civic driver asked if I was seriously going to try to drive the Suzuki through the patch where a 4×4 Nissan Xterra was stuck. With a smirk on my face, I said “watch me”, and the Kizashi subsequently tore through it without any hesitation whatsoever.
The Kizashi is no Camry; the overall package is more fun in the snow, more unique, and definitely more appealing. The one fact remains though; for $33,495 (the MSRP on my tester Kizashi Sport), I can buy a lot of Camry. An SE V6 with nearly 100 more horsepower, nearly the same fuel economy, and a conventional 6-speed automatic would run me back $1,000 less than a Kizashi. Then again, when was the last time someone paid MSRP on a Suzuki? Plus, do you really want to have the same car as, well, everybody else on the road?
2013 Suzuki Kizashi Sport Gallery
2013 Suzuki Kizashi Sport iAWD – by Robert Maduri
2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport – by Adi Desai
The New Family Man – Comparison of the Kizashi vs. the Toyota Camry – by Robert Maduri2 comments