There's no place like home.I know the world can be a cruel place and success isn’t always guaranteed when you have a great product. There was no halo on the Kizashi.
There’s an old adage that it is a lot more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. People will try to argue until they are blue in the face but it all boils down to personal preference. Enter the Suzuki Kizashi Sport iAWD.
I’ve never hidden the fact that I love the car through and through and it’s a shame that Suzuki has yet to enjoy the success that such a car should springboard into. I even named the Suzuki Kizashi Sport iAWD my personal pick of the year in the sub-$30,000 category.
There was the thought in my mind that the Suzuki Kizashi might have enjoyed a certain halo effect of being our first “official” press car. You always remember your first more fondly than your second. It’s just natural.
I was called out. Drive the 2013 model to see if my opinion remained the same. Thanks to Suzuki, I did just that.
One gripe was my breakdown of the CVT transmission. The natural thought was that I wasn’t clear; a CVT couldn’t bog at all. The whole point is to maintain consistent RPMs, thereby saving fuel.
Guess what? Still there and it isn’t a misrepresentation. At times the “2nd gear” just bogs to a lower RPM and climbs back up. It has to do with throttle control. When setting off, you tend to apply gas a little more generously to pick up momentum. If you lift ever so slightly the RPMs drop too low resulting in a noticeable bog.
Using the manual mode prevents that from happening and I highly recommend doing so. The entire car livens up when you take control on your own accord. It is utterly fantastic. The Suzuki Kizashi Sport is one of those cars that you can easily push to the limits without fear of it killing you.
But be careful of what you wish for.
The 2012 Kizashi Sport came with the Rockford Fosgate sound system. It was amazing. The acoustics of the car were dynamic, crisp and lively. I only wished it had navigation. For the 2013 model year Suzuki added a 6.1” Garmin touch unit. I rejoiced until I sat in it. The Rockford system is gone. I can’t understand it. It was easily best in class and it’s gone; a real head scratcher. It’s better and worse at the same time.
Everything else is still there though. I love the styling, the comfort, and the enjoyment. There’s no better feeling in this world than one where you feel like the car is an extension of you. Sure it can be vastly improved with that turbo charger and HID headlights like I mentioned previously but there’s nothing stopping one from doing that with aftermarket support.
When you sit behind that wheel, you can just tell that attention was given to the drivetrain, the suspension and the overall feel of the car. It has nice trim, and doesn’t feel cheap.
I don’t know what the future may hold for Suzuki, I thought the Kizashi would be discontinued with the 2012 model after the announcement that they were pulling out of the United States market. If we don’t see a 2014 model in Canada, a part of me will be extremely disappointed.
It’s nearly there, so close to that utter perfection. I’ve met people over the years that love their Suzuki bikes. Hearing a discussion about someone’s GSX-R is commonplace. They are spoken about with admiration, passion and love. That’s how I feel about the Kizashi.
I love it. It’s the proverbial underdog you always cheer for. Despite missing that shot at the buzzer, you just feel proud of the effort, hustle and putting everything on the line. A moral victory perhaps.
I know the world can be a cruel place and success isn’t always guaranteed when you have a great product. There was no halo on the Kizashi. I loved it then and I love it now.
Perhaps I always will.