Kizashi is Japanese for “something good is coming” and the Suzuki Kizashi may well be something good for Suzuki for this is their first entry into the mid-sized car market.
The Kizashi has been a while coming for the first concept was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show almost three years ago after work began way back in 2004. Back then the designers wanted to “stimulate customers emotionally” so I guess the best way to see if they’ve succeeded or not is to look at the images and see if they get you excited.
According to the hype that appears in the press release this is a car that “shines in terms of the excitement that it delivers” … “it transcends absolute performance figures” … “… takes the driver into a realm where design, performance and driving dynamics come together seamlessly to start your senses.”
Hmmm … you’ve got to love hyperbole.
Engine and transmission
Behind all those words what you basically have is a four-door sedan powered by a 2.4-litre double overhead cam in-line four-cylinder engine that’s based on the engine that first appeared in the 2008 Grand Vitara. The Kizashi version develops 131kW of power at 6,500rpm and 230Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm.
Suzuki says that it will return around 7.9L/100km.
The standard transmission is a six-speed manual gearbox while a CVT automatic box that allows for an infinite number of gear settings is an option across the range. The automatic box also allows drivers to exercise some manual control too and once manual control is selected the transmission can be shifted through six pre-set ratios.
The Suzuki Kizashi comes with pretensioners and force limiting on the front seatbelts, ABS, electronic brake force distribution, stability and traction control and six airbags including side curtain airbags.
The Kizashi also includes exterior design features that will “maximize pedestrian safety in case of an accident”.
The boot space on the Kizashi looks quite spacious for the vehicle’s size and the rear seats can be folded down to increase the luggage space. With the rear seats in the upright position there’s 461 litres of space.
The Suzuki Kizashi comes in two equipment levels.
The entry level Kizashi XL features:
- 17 inch alloy wheels
- Dual zone climate control with pollen filter
- Cruise control for the optional automatic transmission
- Audio controls on the steering wheel
- Keyless entry and start
- Seven-speaker audio system with USB port for an iPod.
The top-of-the-range Kizashi XLS features:
- 18 inch alloy wheels
- Front fog lamps
- 10-way power driver’s seat with memory
- 4-way power passenger seat
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Automatic headlights
- 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system
- Photochromatic rear vision mirror
- Leather seats
- Self-leveling High Intensity Discharge headlamps
- Front and rear parking assist.
Automatic headlights really don’t impress me much … at least not the ones that will turn on when you’re driving in the shaded area under a narrow bridge. However the automatic headlights fitted to the XLS version of the Kizashi are fitted with an optical sensor that leaves the headlights off when you’re driving under a bridge.
So does the design of the Suzuki Kizashi excite me? Well actually it does. The Kizashi is rather sleek looking sedan and even the base model comes with a high equipment level and that certainly does arouse my interest.