This week we’re looking at the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS FWD sedan. Now in its second model year it is Suzuki’s most expensive vehicle in the crowded mid-sized segment. Its name in Japanese means “something great is coming.” They claim it is an alternative to the Audi A4 and arguably the best deal in this class.
It is offered in four trim levels: S, SE, GTS and SLS. All trims are powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that produces 185 horsepower when mated with the 6-speed manual transmission and 180 horsepower when equipped with the available CVT.
Standard equipment includes automatic climate control; power windows, locks and mirrors; push-button starting; and AM/FM/CD audio system with USB port. The SE adds a 10-way power driver’s seat with memory, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels. The GTS comes with fog lights, a sunroof, a 425-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with Bluetooth audio streaming and cell phone connectivity, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The SLS adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, power front passenger seat and rear park assist. Options include a navigation system with a rearview camera and an all-wheel-drive system with heated outside mirrors.
• Washington Post – “The Kizashi is the best car yet to come to the United States wearing a Suzuki badge. The exterior is round and solid in homage to European small-car design.”
• Consumer Guide – “Suzuki positions Kizashi as a penny pincher’s premium sport sedan. The car is aimed at shoppers who aspire to upscale sporty sedans such as the Acura TSX or Audi A4, but may not have the budget. In terms of engine performance and overall refinement, Kizashi comes up a bit short of its goal. However, it delivers nimble, sports-sedan-worthy handling while maintaining a composed and relatively pleasant ride.”.
• I’ve read that others feel that a name change would do wonders, and I agree and perhaps something great IS coming in a new name for this serious contender for top billing along with the established badges on the road.
Handling & Performance:
The 185 horsepower engine and 6-speed manual transmission is a top performer and of course fun to drive. It will do 0-60 in 8 seconds relative to say a 6 liter corvette that will do it in half that time to put it into perspective. But this is a great all around car to own because it also carries 4 large adults and will carry a load of groceries and other things the Vette won’t.
Clean and simple and indeed a contender for other more expensive badges. Unchanged from its introduction in 2010.
Fit and Finish:
Typical close attention to detail the Japanese have come to be known for.
Mid-range in a crowd of very nice cars and unchanged from the 2010 edition.
Conveniences and comfort:
Competitive with the best of them.
Suzuki Kizashi $19-27,000, Acura TSX $29-38,000, Audi A4 $32-36,000, Buick LaCrosse $26-33,000, Chevrolet Malibu $22-27,000 Chrysler Sebring $20-33,000, Dodge Avenger $20-22,000, Ford Fusion $20-29,000, Honda Accord $21-32,000, Hyundai Sonata $19-25,000, Infiniti G Sedan $33-37,000, Kia Optima $18-23,000, Lexus ES 350 $35,175, Lincoln MKZ $34-36,000, Mazda 6 $19-29,000, Mercury Milan $22-28,000, Mitsubishi Galant $22-24,000, Nissan Altima $20-30,000, Subaru Legacy $20-31,000, Toyota Camry $20-29,000, Volkswagen Jetta $15-24,000, Volvo S40 $26-31,000.
Nice handling, keyless ignition, quiet, agile and all around good commuter and family sedan.
Nothing worth mentioning.
2.4 liter 185 hp 4-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual transmission, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, variable assist power steering, Electronic Stability Program, Traction control system, 8 standard air bags front, side and side curtain, tire pressure monitoring, fog lights, security system with smartpass keyless entry and start, power sunroof, dual zone climate control, Rockford Fosgate audio with MP3 and USB input, Bluetooth system, leather, rain sensing wipers, reverse parking sensors, cruise control, tilt and telescoping leather wheel, 10-way power driver and passenger heated seats, power heated mirrors, sport tuned suspension, light weight sport wheels and sport designed steering wheel.
$3.07/ Gal avg. November 27, 2010
for more information.
20 City and 29 Highway MPG
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