The 2012 Suzuki Kizashi: a good car you’re not buying

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Suzuki Kizashi sales are okay; but they should be better. 

Nearly every person I talk to who has purchased or sampled a Suzuki Kizashi lavishes it with modest praise. They all comment on the interior, quality, ride and performance. Many seem to think it’s a swell car.  

I disagreed with them; I felt it was better than that.

Sure, the continuously variable transmission (CVT) kind’a blows – but; then again, ALL current versions of the CVTs blow. The 185 horsepower 2.4-liter engine puts out a decent 170 lbs-feet of torque. Not too shabby, but I know it can handle a lot more. Oh, and you get a reduced 180 hp when you opt for the CVT. AND you get nifty paddle shifters to pretend you actually have gears with the CVT. 

Everything about the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi is “not-too-bad” when I know that it’s better than that.

Here are five reasons why:

The chassis is very tight and I know that it is easily as good as anything Volkswagen builds in this bracket. How do I know? Suzuki brought an experimental turbocharged Kizashi to a driving event I attended a few years back. It packed more than 290 hp and it had NO problem with the extra ponies. All the girlies say it’s pretty fly – for a Suzuki.

Even on the base model, the interior is easily best in class. Blindfold yourself and try a competitor vs. the Kizashi’s interior and you will be impressed. I would be impressed to see you wearing blindfolds finding your way in both vehicles. I especially like the front seats and soft-touch dashboard. The rear seats are tight for big people, but they work beautifully for rug-rats.

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The steering feel is pretty good and I like the feel of the steering wheel. The grip is great from the optional all-wheel drive (AWD) but it’s remarkably good in the front-wheel drive (FWD) too. In fact, when a friend was asking about a good FWD with a smooth 6-speed manual to compare – I added the Kizashi S to his list. Unfortunately, you can only get the CVT with the AWD system, but it works well. I would go so far as to say it’s one of the best AWD cars in its bracket.

It looks like what the Volkswagen Jetta could have looked like if it kept the rounded body theme – and I like it. So do you. Yep, I am arrogant enough to say that if you’re reading this, you already dig the soft curves and slick looking wheels. I especially like the whole look in silver. Look at how the wheels fill up the entire wheel-arch and how the sides bulge slightly. It’s a great look. I kind’a wanna’ rub its rump with a light slap… uh, maybe that’s too much information for you.

Prices start at about $19,000 and a well equipped Suzuki Kizashi Spot GTS runs $22,249. Opt for AWD with the CVT and add $3,000. If you add navigation, leather and check just about every box, you’ll still be paying less than $30,000.

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Suzuki has a real good car in the Kizashi. It’s a pity it’s not a game-changer for Suzuki’s sales. It’s a pity there is no turbo. And, it’s a pity that most Americans still cannot pronounce the name. 

Here’s another good little Suzuki – the SX4! 


NathanAutomotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his page HERE.


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