Is it just me, or does this powertrain completely change the character of the Suzuki Kizashi? Our Four Seasons Kizashi, with its CVT and all-wheel drive, is a perfectly fine car, but I much prefer the front-wheel-drive, manual-transmission spec of this test car. I simply find it much more fun to drive. The Kizashi still isn't blisteringly fast, but the six-speed helps make the 2.4-liter engine much more tractable, and the gearbox's smooth action makes it quite a joy to stir. According to Suzuki's figures, the FWD stick-shift car is 0.9 second quicker to 60 mph (in 7.4 seconds total) and weighs less than the AWD CVT version.
I've said it before, but if my family were in the market for a new car, the Kizashi would be right up there at the top of the list, along with cars like the Ford Fusion SE and the Hyundai Elantra Touring.
- Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor