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."