Driven: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi

Design Analysis
By Robert Cumberford

If ever there were a "nice little car," this is it. Except it's not a little car at all, falling more into the Honda Civic category with its identical 106-inch wheelbase. The Kizashi is almost six inches longer but hides that with its rounded forms. The domed hood, optimized for pedestrian safety, is flanked by quite complex headlamp units, and apart from a cheap-looking plastic grille, the Kizashi looks like an expensive midrange European car. It's not particularly beautiful or distinctive, but it presents itself well, looks substantial, and promises new gains for Suzuki in the United States. It doesn't hurt that it's very nice to drive and comfortable to be in.

  1. These are the best wheels Suzuki has ever offered, and they're far superior in concept and detailing to those on many luxury cars.
  2. The perpetual rising line keeps showing up on more and more cars. Perhaps someone will try a line parallel to the ground again one day soon.
  3. These gigantic sideview mirrors are one of the deceptive cues that make you think this is a smaller car than it really is. Best get used to it - they are legally mandated in many jurisdictions.
  4. As on most modern cars, the A-pillar is far too thick for excellent visibility, but at least it is nicely straight.
  5. Cutting the door opening into the A-pillar gives a pillarless look to the side glass, despite its being completely framed.
  6. Bereft of any stiffening ribs save at the outer edges, the domed hood provides a relatively soft landing for any struck pedestrian.
  7. The plastic grille texture is unfortunate, but by keeping it black and unobtrusive, Suzuki's designers have given a quality aspect to the front end.
  8. These outboard inlets add visual width, attract the eye downward, and make for a successful composition for the front end.
  9. The basket-shape grille outline recalls the shield front end of recent Audis and subtly conveys an impression of quality.

4 of 4
I live in a large American city with over 300k residents, yet too bad there isn't a single Suzuki Auto dealership within 100 miles.

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