New Car Reviews

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD – Four Seasons Update – February 2011

Long-Term Update: Winter 2011 Miles to date: 0

Months In Fleet: 12
Miles to date: 32,328

We’ve put over 32,000 miles on our Four Seasons Suzuki Kizashi SLS over the past year, but apart from some minor nicks and dirty floor mats, it’s none the worse for wear.

In fact, the $27,129 Kizashi withstood our use and abuse as well as — if not better than — vehicles costing twice as much. The Kizashi feels as crisp and solid as it did on day one, and its interior is as handsome and rattle-free as it was when new. Perhaps even more impressive is its service record: apart from regular oil changes and scheduled check-ups, we’ve had to perform no major repairs.

We did, however, have to change where those scheduled services took place. After months of taking the Kizashi to a local Suzuki retailer, we were forced to travel to a dealership 35 miles away after our original dealer surrendered its Suzuki franchise. Suzuki’s meager U.S. sales and service network (roughly 300 dealers in total) could be a key reason Kizashi sales have totaled just under 8000 units to date.

“I’ve shown the car to a number of people both in and outside of the industry,” senior online editor Phil Floraday writes, “and the have all been impressed — but not one knew the location of a nearby Suzuki dealership. It’s a shame such a competent car fails to rack up respectable sales because nobody can find a place to buy one. Until Suzuki decides to import at least a few other quality cars (Swift, please!), there’s really no reason to gamble and open up a new dealership. One car, no matter how good, cannot carry a franchise. Look at how Mitsubishi struggles, despite the Evo being one of the most fun cars on the road.

“Putting more than 1100 miles on the Kizashi over the past two weeks has convinced me that this car would be a perfectly reasonable vehicle to purchase. It’s comfortable on long trips, easy to maneuver around town, satisfying enough when you want to drive quickly, and the controls for the HVAC and stereo systems are intuitive and easy to use. In addition, the Kizashi stands out from the crowd because so few of them are on the streets.

“Nobody in my family needs a new car right now, but if they did, I’d certainly recommend trying a Kizashi. It’s as inoffensive as midsize sedans get, but it offers solid chassis and suspension tuning below the surface, and all-wheel-drive is available for those who want it. The only thing I’d really want to change if I were put in charge of the Kizashi’s refresh would be a longer cruising range — the combination of fuel tank size and fuel economy doesn’t give me as much time between fill-ups as I’d like, especially when compared to its midsize competitors.”

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD

Base Price (with destination): $26, 749
Price as tested: $27,129

Body Style: 4-door sedan
Accommodation: 5-passenger
Construction: Steel unibody

Size: DOHC inline four-cylinder
Displacement: 2.4 liters
Power: 180 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 170 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: Continuously-variable
Drive: all-wheel
Fuel economy, city/highway: 22/29 mpg

Steering: Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turns lock to lock: 2.6
Turning circle: 18.0 ft
Suspension, Front: Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear: Multilink, coil springs
Brakes, F/R: Vented disc/disc, ABS
Wheels: 18-inch alloy
Tires: Dunlop SP Sport 7000 all-season tires
Tire Size: 235/45R18

Headroom, F/R: 39.3/37 in
Legroom, F/R: 41.7/35.6 in
Shoulder Room, F/R: 55.5/54.6 in
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Track, F/R: 61.6/61.6 in
L x W x H: 183.1 x 71.7 x 58.3
Cargo Capacity: 13.3 cu ft
Weight: 3483 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 16.6 gal
Est. Range: 481 miles
Fuel Grade: 87 octane

Standard Equipment
Leather seating
Heated front seats
Bluetooth phone connectivity
Rockford Fosgate audio system
Rear parking assist sensors
Rain sensing wipers
Automatic headlamp control
Homelink remote commander

Metallic paint – $130
Body side molding accents – $125
Premium floor mats – $125