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  • 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE

    Posted on June 1st, 2010 ninarussin

    Midsized sport sedan moves Suzuki into the mainstream

    By Nina Russin

    2010 Suzuki Kizashi

    2010 Suzuki Kizashi

    The midsized Kizashi is the keystone of a product offensive that Suzuki hopes will make it a major player in North America. While Suzuki is well known in the US for its motorcycles, marine products and ATVs, automotive sales lag behind Asian competitors such as Toyota and Honda.

    Midsize sedans are the biggest segment of the passenger car market. Suzuki’s strategy is to build on its reputation for value pricing, adding performance rivaling European competitors..

    All four Kizashi grades come with a 2.4-liter, 180-horsepower engine and choice of a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on all but the base model. Standard safety features include four-wheel disc brakes with four channel antilock braking, electronic stability program and traction control.

    The test car is the front-wheel drive SE, with keyless entry and start, dual-zone climate control, a ten-way power driver’s seat, and a seven-speaker audio system with MP3 and iPod compatibility. Base price is $21,499 including destination and handling. Floor mats and special paint bring the MSRP to $21,754.

    Test drive in Northern Arizona

    2010 Suzuki Kizashi

    2010 Suzuki Kizashi

    My first experience driving the Kizashi was at the media launch last fall, on a route that included the city of Portland and the mountain roads around Mt. St. Helens.

    The first drive left me with a favorable impression of Suzuki’s sport sedan, though I wasn’t sure it matched the power and performance of some European competitors. This week, I got to take a second look, on a 200-mile road trip from Phoenix to Flagstaff, Arizona.

    As the architect Mies van der Rohe said: “God is in the details.” The details are what make the Suzuki Kizashi a great car. Over the week-long test drive, I came to appreciate the Kizashi’s refined ergonomic interior, user-friendly driver interface, responsive steering and well-balanced suspension.

    By containing the Kizashi’s curb weight through the use of lightweight materials, engineers were able to maximize performance from the 2.4-liter engine. The engine reaches peak torque at 4000 rpm, giving it good low-end acceleration and plenty of power to pass slower cars on the highway.

     The 2.4-liter block is remarkably smooth for a large four-cylinder. Balance shafts prevent vibration and harshness when the engine is under load.

    The continuously variable automatic transmission eliminates the annoying hunting and shift shock that can be the bane of small engine cars. The Kizashi easily powered through the wide sweeping curves on the 3000-foot climb between Sedona and Flagstaff.

    A front MacPherson and multi-link rear independent suspension are compliant enough to keep passengers comfortable through a few frost heaves. Extensive use of aluminum in the suspension and wheels minimizes unsprung weight for nimble performance.

    The electric power rack-and-pinion steering system has plenty of assist to maneuver through a parking lot, while maintaining positive on-center response on the highway.

    Visibility is excellent all the way around the car. The side mirrors do a good job of minimizing blind spots to the rear, without blocking the driver’s sight-line when cornering to the right or left. I applaud the design team for keeping the car’s rear pillars relatively small, to enhance visibility in the back corners.

    Over-the-shoulder visibility is excellent to the right and left. I had no problems monitoring several lanes of highway traffic from the entrance ramp.

    Braking is precise and linear, without being grabby.

    Urban commuters will appreciate the Kizashi’s 30 mile-per-gallon highway fuel economy. Average fuel economy decreases slightly at altitudes over 7000 feet. But the naturally-aspirated engine does an excellent job of compensating for the lack of oxygen. The engine’s relatively high compression ratio and high redline make it easy to stay within the power curve.

    Upscale interior

    2010 Suzuki Kizashi Interior

    2010 Suzuki Kizashi Interior

    The Kizashi’s spacious, upscale interior gives the car a premium feel. Standard cloth sport seats are comfortable and attractive for drives several hours in duration. A dead pedal reduces leg fatigue on long drives.

    A tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel has redundant audio controls to minimize driver distraction. I found the gauges and digital display in the center stack easy to read in bright sunlight. A digital display in the gauge cluster shows real-time fuel economy and odometer readings.

    Controls in the center stack are easy to reach from either front seating position. Both rows of passengers have ample access to cup and bottle holders, in the doors, the center console and a fold-down armrest in back.

    The USB port at the base of the center stack is in a covered bin, to conceal MP3 players and iPods when the car is parked. The standard audio system produces good sound quality. The Kizashi’s quiet interior makes it easy for passengers in both rows to converse.

    A large locking glovebox and center console bin provide additional storage.

    Passengers in the rear outboard positions have ample head, hip and legroom. A tall floor tunnel minimizes legroom in the center seating position. Vents behind the center console circulate air through the back of the cabin.

    The rear seats fold flat to create a pass-through that extends the cargo floor. The Kizashi’s spacious trunk has plenty of room for a week’s worth of groceries or a weekend’s worth of luggage. Buyers who carry their bicycles on a regular basis would be better served with the Vitara sport-utility vehicle or SX4 crossover.

    Standard safety

    All models come with eight standard airbags, daytime running lamps, antilock brakes, electronic stability and traction control. Keyless entry and start allows the driver to enter and start the car without removing the key fob from his pocket.

    Suzuki’s seven-year/100,000 mile warranty has no deductible and is fully transferable.

    The Kizashi sport sedan is on display at Suzuki dealerships nationwide.

    Likes: An affordable midsized sport sedan with excellent fuel economy, good power and performance. Suzuki simplifies the buying process by including most of the comfort and convenience features its buyers look for, as well as the destination charge, in the base price.

    Dislikes: Bluetooth interface is not standard equipment.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Suzuki
    Model: Kizashi SE
    Year: 2010
    Base price: $21,499
    As tested: $21,754
    Horsepower: 180 Hp @ 6500 rpm
    Torque: 170 lbs.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: No
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 23/30 mpg city/highway

     

    35 responses to “2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE”

    1. I enjoyed your personal, yet very detailed review of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE. I realize the review is almost a year old, but I am interested in a slightly used vehicle anyway and the car deserves a test drive.
      Raymond
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    2. Good Review. I always compare euro and asian car maker. and this post helped me in choosing my car.

      Greg of Brisbane
      Visit Us Hypnosis

    3. The Suzuki looks great. I’ve been looking for a Suzuki car to replace my old Nissan. this one’s a great choice.

    4. I’ve bought this new Suzuki for my husband and he is loving it! Thanks for sharing this review.

      Lea Myers
      My last blog post: Alfani Shoes for men

    5. what a nice car, i loved it too too much ; hats off to maruti

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    6. what a nice car, i loved it.
      Regards, Lee
      Iraq Dinar

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