So why do we remember Suzuki? Aside from dirt bikes and recreational water vehicles, what else is out there? The Sidekick and the Esteem are the only models that come to memory, but what about the mid-size sedan category? Up until now Suzuki did not have a strong presence when it came to offering a product for this class, but times have changed and fortunately so has Suzuki’s prospect toward the mid-size sedan class. Enter the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS , a very competitive mid-size sedan with the proper styling outside and comfort inside. This, much to our delight, is accompanied by a large array of features. At first glance the Kizashi appears more like a European sedan and is a bit smaller than most of the current competition, however, once you get past that you will note that the Kizashi is not only a suitable alternative for most European styled mid-sized sedans, but a great value as well.
Check out the full review on the Kizashi after the jump.
For a brand that never really focused much on the mid-size class, it’s obvious that Suzuki put plenty of thought into the Kizashi. From the materials used to make the interior to the layout and comfort accessories, this sedan has all the tools to compete with the rest of the vehicles in its class. Despite being smaller on the outside than its competitors, the Kizashi’s interior is actually similar in space. There is plenty of headroom all around the cabin and it offers noticeably better rear legroom. The Kizashi’s front seats are well contoured and can accommodate drivers of most heights well. One flaw which I found quite odd was the front seat adjustment was manual, at least that was the case with the model I test drove. For all of the thought that went into the seating, like adding seat warmers, it would have been great if the Kizashi was equipped with power seats. The rear seats were very comfortable, had plenty of headroom and legroom, and are able to accommodate 3 passengers well.
Some noteworthy features include a Rockford Fosgate 10-speaker stereo, Bluetooth phone connectivity/audio system with CD player, USB port/iPod interface, and satellite radio which I found quite useful. The Suzuki Kizashi is offered in various trim packages. The SE adds cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels. The GTS upgrades the wheels to 18-inches, adds a set of foglights, a sunroof, steering wheel shift paddles (CVT), and the Rockford Fosgate 10-speaker stereo and Bluetooth phone connectivity/audio streaming. The top-shelf Kizashi SLS adds automatic headlamps and a rear parking sensor.
Introducing the Kizashi as four-cylinder model was a great way to break the ice with consumers while remaining competitive with other brands. Currently, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 185 horsepower and 170lbs of torque can be found under the hood of the Kizashi, however, plans for a V6 model are in the works and are due to arrive next year. The car I had was all-wheel drive with a six-speed manual which provided great response when it came to maneuvering in and out of turns. A front-wheel drive 5speed is also available as well as an automatic transmission. Both are equipped with Suzuki’s continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The Kizashi is on par for the class when it comes to acceleration doing 0-60 in 9.1 seconds. I also found that the 2.4 liter was very good on fuel at 23mpg city and 30mpg highway with a combined of 26mpg. The ride itself is very balanced. Even when accelerating on the highway the Kizashi maintains a firm and smooth grip on the road. All 2010 Suzuki Kizashis come standard with stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags and side curtain airbags, and antilock disc brakes with a superb response. The Kizashi will stop with a single tap if needed and at 0-60mph it will come to a halt in 114feet placing well within its competition.
Overall the Kizashi is very well styled and offers plenty of standard options at a very affordable price. Some features to note are the attention to detail in interior layout as well as the quality of the materials used in the cabin. This car is so much more than I was expecting for the price. I liked the sunroof, heated power seats, dual climate control, and the convenience of having a USB port. I also enjoyed the 6 speed transmission. The acceleration for this 2.4 engine is great on gas and has amazing performance on 3rd & 4th gears. Even 5th is great for onramps and passing and 6th is great as it easily takes it into overdrive. The 18inch wheels are also a nice touch which brings out the line of the Kizashi by giving it a very nice stance and smooth appearance. Suzuki has definitely entered the mid-size class giving the rest of the competition something to be on the lookout for and giving the consumer a huge bonus for the money.