Graham Smith reviews the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Suzuki Kizashi as a used buy.

Suzuki produced a mid-size sedan that keeps living up to the maker's reputation for engineering and quality.

New

Suzuki was once regarded as something of an oddball in the car world with its almost microscopic cars and four-wheel drives that had relatively limited appeal. That's changed in recent times as the company unleashed new models with much broader appeal, such as the Swift and Grand Vitara.

The Kizashi, launched in 2010 as its entry in the mid-sized market, was immediately acclaimed for its refinement and on-road manners.

There were three variants of the sedan, the front-wheel drive XL and XLS, and the all-wheel drive Sport. The XL and XLS were superseded by the Touring and Prestige a year later.

On the road the Kizashi was impressively quiet and refined.

The styling was pleasant and appealing, the lines neat and proportions well balanced.

Inside, it was quite roomy for four adults and was well appointed with ample features.

The sole engine was typically Suzuki, a jewel-like 2.4-litre four-cylinder that put out a decent 131kW/230Nm. It was smooth and delivered plenty of punch when needed.

The standard gearbox was a continuously variable transmission and there was an optional six-speed manual for the front-drivers.

The Kizashi can be bought with confidence there won't be serious problems.

On the road the Kizashi was impressively quiet and refined, with excellent road manners and well balanced handling. It was an all-round impressive car.

Now

Owners tell us they are in the main happy with their Kizashis; few report any issues at all. Typically the earliest examples will have up to 100,000km, which makes them prime prospects for used car buyers.

Given Suzuki's well-earned reputation for engineering and build quality, the Kizashi can be bought with confidence there won't be serious problems.

One issue raised relates to the paint, particularly red, which appears to be soft and chips quite easily. Check for stone chipping, and perhaps ask the seller to repair it before signing off on the deal.

Suzuki engines, though highly regarded, need good care to produce their best, particularly over the long term. Check the car you are thinking of buying has been well maintained and serviced as per Suzuki's recommendations.

As a CVT, the transmission doesn't drive like a conventional auto and its foibles can put some people off. When test-driving, make sure you are happy with the way the CVT operates and note, for example, shuddering when taking off or accelerating, hesitating etc.