New Car Reviews

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD – Four Seasons Update – June 2010

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

Months in Fleet: Four
Mileage to Date: 19,976

Exhaustive journeys often bring expensive bills, but that wasn’t the case for our Four Seasons 2010 Suzuki Kizashi. After returning from a month-long cross-country trip, we sent it straight to the dealership for a regular checkup. Technicians prescribed only an oil change and tire rotation, topped off a few fluids here and there, and billed us roughly $43.

Our Suzuki is hardly a shop queen, but after four months in our fleet, it is starting to show its age. Some controls don’t feel quite as sharp as they once did, and rough roads occasionally elicit a mild squeak from the sunroof’s shade. Copy editor Rusty Blackwell swears the Kizashi is a little slower off the line than it once was, but as deputy editor Joe DeMatio notes, there’s still plenty of power on tap — especially if you adapt to the continuously-variable transmission’s mannerisms.

“The CVT doesn’t exactly say ‘sporty’ in the way that the available manual gearbox does,” DeMatio writes, “but it works pretty well. As I merged onto I-94 into heavy traffic on a long, straight entrance ramp, I buried the throttle and there was just a steady, satisfying climb in revs and speed, and I burst out into traffic easily at 80 mph as the engine revs fell and the car settled into cruising mode.”

Of course, skipping the CVT option (and, subsequently, all-wheel drive) leaves buyers with a slick-shifting six-speed manual — and, as senior Web editor Phil Floraday observes, a well-equipped car for $23,500.

“The Kizashi is a great mix of performance, price, and looks,” he writes. “I prefer this 2.4-liter four-cylinder to the Volkswagen Jetta’s base I-5 engine in terms of refinement and power, but a comparison of the VW and the Kizashi is a little premature, since the arrival of an all-new, 2011 Jetta is only months away.”

That comparison makes us wonder how Volkswagen — which now holds a stake in Suzuki — views the coexistence of both the Kizashi and the Jetta in the same market class. Only time will tell, but Suzuki would do well to continue offering superb chassis tuning, refined comfort, and affordable pricing, regardless of what the engineers in Wolfsburg envision for future Jettas.

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