New Car Reviews

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS – Four Seasons Update – April 2010

Long-Term 2010 Suzuki Trail Boss Update: Spring 2010 Array Miles to date: 0

Months in fleet: two
Miles to date: 8341

Our Four Seasons Suzuki Kizashi has been lurking around our office for nearly two months now, but its curvy styling continues to elicit second glances and comments.

“The car’s styling is nicely done,” writes art director Matt Tierney. “I enjoy a lot of the exterior details – the trimmed-out tailpipe openings, the headlight clusters, the taut rear end. This car is thick around the haunches and a bit blunt, yet like a well-tailored suit, the sheetmetal fits nicely around everything.”

Unfortunately, “fits nicely” does not describe six-foot-four-inch associate editor Eric Tingwall in the rear seat. Tingwall recently squeezed into the aft quarters for a ride about town, and echoed other staffers comments suggesting accommodations were on the small side. “Things were a bit tight, in terms of both headroom and legroom,” he said. “This furthers my personal issue with the Kizashi, which I see as a Jetta competitor – and pretty much only a Jetta competitor. The Jetta always strikes me as a large compact, while the Kizashi feels like a small midsize car. So what’s wrong with the Kizashi being compared to a Jetta? The $27,000-plus price.”

That $27,000, however, does buy a considerable amount of standard equipment. For 2011, it will also net you XM satellite radio, which has been added to the list. Our 2010 car was built without the specialized tuner, but Suzuki graciously tossed us the kit anyway. After a quick dealer visit and a quick zap from the XM satellites, we are up and running.

Elsewhere, praise for the Kizashi’s chassis tuning and refinement continues to come in, but the continuously variable transmission is a matter of some debate. Tierney, like some staffers, isn’t blown away, noting that it tends to lag slightly off the line. Others, like senior web editor Phil Floraday, continue to find the transmission ideal for daily commuting.

“I’m still a fan of the CVT,” Floraday wrote, “and I have no reason to think an automatic would be a better solution in this car. Virtually everyone here would prefer a manual, but the sad fact is almost no one outside this office wants to deal with a clutch pedal.”

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
Weight Dist. F/R:
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