Used Suzuki Kizashi review: 2010-2015
February 15, 2016
- Better than average legroom
- Comfortable ride
- Good noise suppresion
- Performance is adequate rather than exciting
- Sunroof means less headroom
Suzuki's strength in Australia for many decades was in clever small cars and excellent 4WDs. Then in January 2010, it made the interesting move into medium-size cars with a new model called Kizashi.
Aimed at a huge number of competitors - including the Ford Mondeo, Honda Accord Euro, Mazda6 and Subaru Liberty - in a market segment that wasn't particularly strong, Kizashi was less successful than the importer hoped.
It's a good-looker with a powerful appearance that gives a fair touch of sportiness.
In August 2010 the Suzuki Kizashi Sport arrived. It surprised all by taking the European route of being offered with all-wheel drive for better traction on slippery surfaces. Ice, snow or just plain rain - not 4WD as in Suzuki SUVs.
As befits its title, this Kizashi has a full-on sports body kit, 18-inch alloys and lowered ride height that further enhanced it's already strong appearance.
However, the so-called Sport is heavier than the standard front-wheel-drive, but has no more power so is slower in a straight line.
The 2.4L engine petrol four produces 131kW and a creditable 230Nm. This is a relatively large car so performance is adequate rather than exciting.
The Suzuki Kizashi is relatively tall to provide good interior room. There's better than average legroom in the back seat and four adults can be carried in comfort. Headroom is fine in the standard models, but the sunroof in the topline Kizashis steals a fair bit of height from the back seat.
Boot space is impressive thanks to the tall tail design and the opening is reasonably wide
Interior stowage space is good, with large door pockets and several other areas to hold all the little nick-nacks that seem to travel everywhere with us.
Boot space is impressive thanks to the tall tail design and the opening is reasonably wide. However, you may find it difficult to get some really bulky items in.
On the road the Suzuki Kizashi feels almost European in the strength of the body. Ride comfort remains good even on rough roads and tyre/road noise are generally well subdued, though coarse-chip surfaces do raise noise levels significantly.
There is a fair number of Suzuki dealers Australian wide and the big success of the 4WD models mean there are more dealers in country and bush areas than for many other makers in a this market segment.
Insurance premiums for the Kizashi vary more than usual for this class, possibly because low sales mean that companies have statistically different experiences with them. Shop around for a good deal, but make sure you're doing accurate comparisons.
If you are keen to get the high build quality of a Japanese vehicle, but like the chassis dynamics of a European one then a Suzuki Kizashi should be on your short list of cars.
What to look for
Kizashi is a well-built vehicle with a solid reputation, but it still makes sense to have a professional inspection. Should you wish to do an initial inspection yourself look for the following:
Crash damage or signs of repairs, the easiest things for amateurs to spot are ripples in the body panels when viewed end on in good light; tiny paint spots on unpainted areas like glass, badges and trim.
Be sure the engine starts easily and settles into a smooth idle within a few seconds of kicking over
Uneven wear on the front tyres and/or damage to the wheel rims probably indicates poor parking, but may also have been caused by a crash.
Check the condition of the interior trim, particularly in the rear seat area where it may have been knocked about by the kids.
Be sure the engine starts easily and settles into a smooth idle within a few seconds of kicking over. Ideally, do this check with the engine stone cold after an overnight stop.
Automatic transmissions should be smooth in their operation, indeed changes should only be noticeable if accelerating hard.
Manual gearboxes that crunch on fast down-changes may be about to damage someone's bank account. Make sure it isn't yours.