All photos by Suzuki
The 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS might not be as well known as some of the other nameplates in the marketplace, which for some folks is a welcome change. If you’re someone who likes to stand out and do your own thing, the Kizashi just might be the car for you.
The first thing I noticed on our 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS was how refined and upscale this Azure Gray Metallic car was. The 2011 model year is only the second copy of the Kizashi but I can tell you that Suzuki did their homework when designing the exterior of this sporty ride. The Kizashi Sport has a muscular front fascia and lower grille lower body side moldings with chrome accents, custom lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels and a trunk mounted spoiler. The overall stance of the Sport model has been lowered by 10mm which enhances the Kizashi's handling and gives it that genuine sports sedan look.
The interior of the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS felt like it belonged to a much higher priced vehicle. Our test model included push button ignition, 10-way power driver seat with memory, dual zone auto climate control, 425W Rockford Fosgate CD Audio with booming 10 speakers, iPod and MP3 USB Port. The Kizashi also had Bluetooth hands free calling, a leather steering wheel, power moon roof and heated mirrors. I also want to mention the upscale black appointed leather seats as they were some of the most comfortable and stylish seats I have seen in a vehicle with a 20k sticker price. Suzuki used the same leather to accent the door panels. That's a detail normally used in much more expensive sedans than the Kizashi Sport. The dashboard is sleek with a very clean center stack, featuring quality dials and buttons that also give that feel of "affordable luxury".
The 6-speed manual transmission in the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS was very smooth with plenty of pep. The shifting was also soft and subtle, giving a nice smooth ride. The 2.4-liter DOHC 16 valve I-4 engine delivered 185 horsepower with 170 lbs-ft of torque . The engine performed about as well as an I-4 with 185 horses could but left me with a desire for more power - the Kizashi Sport just looks and feels like it should be fast. The 4-wheel independent suspension handled some bumpy roads very well and gripped tight corners like a pro.
I knew very little about the Kizashi before I did some research for our test drive. That was part of the fun driving the Suzuki Kizashi Sport - it was really an eye opener. With a sticker price of $25,304 for our Azure Gray Metallic Kizashi Sport SLS test model and a 20mpg city and 29mpg highway rating I feel that when Suzuki gets the word out on the Kizashi, she will have plenty of interest. The overall design, which is German in origin, goes head-to-head with some luxury European and Asian brands. With a price point $10,000 below entry level luxury sedans, the Kizashi can clearly get the attention of car shoppers in North America. Add in what Suzuki describes as "America's #1 Warranty" with 100,000 miles / 7 year powertrain limited warranty with no deductible, fully transferable, the Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS could become much more familiar in the marketplace.
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