All photos by Suzuki
After a great time behind the wheel in a 2011 Kizashi Sport SLS last year, we were more than pleased to test a 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD to see how much we still liked the Kizashi. There is something endearing about the Kizashi and the way it presents itself to drivers and passengers.
The midsize Kizashi looked great in premium platinum silver metallic with front fog lights, a more muscular front fascia with chrome accents and lower grille, body side sill extensions, lower body side molding with chrome accents, a trunk mounted spoiler, custom lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels and a 10mm lower ride height that provides a combination of improved aerodynamics and a lower center of gravity for enhanced performance and sharper handling. Together with the sleek design of the Kizashi, these options make this midsize sedan a real head-turner on the road.
But for as good as the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD exterior might be, the deal-closer could be the upscale interior. I totally agree that Suzuki has taken advantage of its expertise in the compact car segment to efficiently execute spacious interior proportions that afford comfort and practicality while minimizing wasted space. Along with cabin proportions that reward Kizashi drivers and passengers with comfort and roominess, Suzuki provides a contemporary, upscale interior feel (including standard sport seats) in line with the vehicle's on-road performance characteristics. Our test model boasted a sport design steering wheel, dual-zone auto climate control, sport seats with premium cloth, 10-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, moonroof and hands free Bluetooth calling with wireless audio streaming and 425Watt Rockford Fosgate CD audio 10 speakers, and iPod & mp3 USB Port.
There is one engine option that delivers on both power and fuel economy as our test model was equipped with the automatic CVT transmission powered with a 2.4 liter DOHC 16 valve I-4 Engine rated at 180 horsepower, 170 lbs-FT torque. Also in the Sport GTS was advanced AWD, KYB shock absorbers, 4-wheel independent sport-tuned suspension, and 4-wheel disc brakes with Akebono components. The paddle shifters on the steering wheel worked like a charm and gave me the choice of easy riding or getting a bit more sporty and fun while cruising. Handling and safety were obviously priority with Suzuki as offered in combination with Kizashi's i-AWD, an advanced electronic stability control system that adds an additional layer of driver safety. In the event of vehicle oversteer (when the rear wheels lose traction while cornering), the synergetic vehicle dynamics control activates the AWD system to transfer driving force from the rear wheels to the front and helps inhibit rear wheel skid. This is a bug plus when pricing car insurance. At the same time, the system provides additional steering assist, making it easier for the driver to countersteer. Fuel economy measured at 22 mpg city and 29 mpg on the highway, which is solid for the type of performance that comes with the Kizashi Sport GTS AWD. One could compare it to a sporty Astra.
The Kizashi has so many positive points along with the fact that, as with all retail 2012 Suzuki automobiles and light trucks, the Kizashi and Kizashi Sport are backed by what Suzuki claims is America's #1 Warranty: a 100,000-mile/seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty. And with a starting price under $20,000 for the Kizashi, you have a winner. Our test model stickered out at $26,404 with options listed above, and regardless of the trim package you select, the sleek body design, more than capable engine and superior interior deliver great value for car shoppers. Stepping up to the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD is a “bargain with benefits”!
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