<strong>Months in service: nine
Miles to date: 25,936
At 71 inches wide and 15 feet long, our Four Seasons Suzuki Kizashi barely ekes its way into the midsize sedan category, but that isn't to say there's not a lot of room inside. In fact, the packaging and ergonomics of the cabin have even caught the attention of several passengers.
"My friend Charley was in the front passenger seat," writes deputy editor Joe DeMatio, "when he suddenly said, 'This is a nice car.'
"'What makes you say that?' I asked.
"'Because the seats are great,'" he replied. 'I got in this seat, and it just felt good. I weigh 270 pounds, but I am a jock gone to seed and a college coach, so I'm very aware of alignment [of the body]. There is room for my broad shoulders, and both elbow rests are at the same height. Most carmakers mess up this design detail.'"
Although we appreciate the space within, we continue to wonder if we opted for the best powertrain. A brief stint in a front-wheel-drive Kizashi Sport with a manual transmission seems to have split our staff into two camps: those okay with our car's continuously variable transaxle, and those who long for the three-pedal setup.
"Although the CVT has the Kizashi moaning and sluggish during acceleration," writes associate editor Eric Tingwall, "it's an asset for highway cruising. The wide ratio spread allows for leisurely rpm at high speeds; at 90 mph the four-cylinder still spins below 3000 rpm. Impressive!"
"I'm not a CVT hater," says senior online editor Phil Floraday, "but I can't say this CVT is endearing for any reason. And I have yet to encounter a situation where I needed to engage the Kizashi's all-wheel-drive [a feature only available with the CVT]. Even in heavy rain, the little sedan did just fine in front-wheel-drive."
But as winter approaches, we'll see if the Kizashi's all-wheel-drive system proves its value, or if fitting winter tires are more than sufficient for dashing through the snow.
2010 Suzuki Kizashi SLS AWD
Base Price (with destination): $26, 749
Price as tested: $27,129
Body Style: 4-door sedan
Construction: Steel unibody
Size: DOHC inline four-cylinder
Displacement: 2.4 liters
Power: 180 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 170 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
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
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