Published on April 3rd, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Suzuki Kizashi Surprises Us On Our Test Drive
After test driving this Suzuki Kizashi for 4 days I have only one question……how low is the profit margin on each Suzuki car? Why I say this? Well after test driving the Kizashi and enjoying its build, features and drive dynamics I was surprised that Suzuki could sell this fully imported 2.4-liter, 6-speed CVT equipped sports executive sedan for less than RM150,000. The segment competitors who have either a 2.4-liter or a 2.5-liter model all price their cars from RM170,000 upwards. So why the additional RM20k plus on the competitors? Let me explain further.
The Kizashi comes with keyless go, which something I got quite used to over the course of a couple of hours of getting in and out. You simply touch the button on the front door handles to unlock the car, touch a button again to lock, and touch the boot lid to open it, A ‘Start Stop’ ignition button by the steering wheel ignites and stops the engine. With the door open you are greeted by a cabin that serves up more in a luxury car costing more than RM200,000 (here we compare the Kizashi to the Lexus IS250). The white-lit instrument binnacle with clear meters sits alongside a central multi info display. The center console is surrounded in a brushed metal like cocoon that houses the climate control and the in car entertainment.
All this blends really well in a cabin that is superbly finished in a combination of fine leather, high grade plastic and metals Suzuki product managers manage to source from the best providers from around the globe. The Kizashi cabin feels roomier than a Lexus IS250 or the Toyota Mark ‘X’ (parallel imported car) with its well-defined seats, coordinated interior materials and lower shoulders at all doors.
There is adequate elbow and headroom in the rear for a two tired executives to stretch out and if a third needs to squeeze in then the other two will not lose much room. After some hours with the car you realize that the cabin is actually not bigger than its rivals but it more the presentation of materials and style that gives this impression.
It is also a nice place to be in if you are being driven, but still, we feel that this is more of a driver’s car than a chauffeured driven car. In the boot there is space for the family holiday luggage but if you intend to do a golfing tour then only one partner can join you on the drive up to the golf course.
It is here where the Nissan Teana, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry lead the Kizashi.
If you decide to drive the Kizashi instead of being a perpetual passenger you will sit in a figure hugging leather seat that has a 10-way electrical adjustment to get the best driving position and 3 position memory. Depress the ‘Ignition’ button on the right of the steering wheel and a low muted rumble enters the serene cabin. In seconds it settles to a mild hum. Tap the accelerator pedal and the engine sings a tune of excitement but with some controlled tones. Suzuki claims the Kizashi will rush to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds though it feels faster, a claim that’s easy to believe given how smoothly and quickly the 6-speed semi automatic transmission swaps gears and how eager the engine is to rev up the range to produce a very impressive 230Nm of torque. Even at low speeds, our passenger commented on how powerful the car felt and how impressively flexible the engine was; a mere tickle of the accelerator pedal was enough to have the Kizashi surging forward to a 205km/h top speed which we managed to reach on our constant rainy weekend with the car.
On the highway the Kizashi glides along serenely. To say that acceleration is effortless understates the experience. When you want to pass someone, acceleration is more a mental process than a mechanical one. Basically, you think you want to go faster, and you are. Cornering is precise and flat. At 1445 kg this car is no lightweight, but its handling is nimble and truly sporty. The suspension contributes to its surefootedness with sticky 235/45/18 low profile tires. The Kizashi’s suspension is set up for performance. Around on-ramps and off-ramps, my test car generated incredible levels of grip guided by a steering that was weighty but accurate enough to place the front wheels right where I wanted them. The brakes generated impressive stopping power with a steady, progressive pedal feel. There was never a moment when my co-driver and I felt that the car was lacking in its ability to tackle a corner or slice an apex as we got more and more confident in time behind the thick leather finished steering wheel.
The purchase decision for a Kizashi comes from the understanding of the makers philosophy in not just providing a rewarding driving experience but also an in-cabin experience that makes for a comfortable familiar surrounding. Suzuki enters the executive sports sedan segment with its 1st ever product that shows years of maturity and engineering excellence that commands respect from us.
Suzuki Kizashi Specifications Engine: 4-cylinder 16V VVT
Gearbox: 6-speed CVT Semi-Auto Horsepower: 185bhp @ 6500 rpm Torque: 230Nm @ 4000 rpm 0-100km/h: 8.8 seconds
Top speed: 205km/h
Price: 147,888.00(SDLX) and RM158,188.00(Sport)