The Kizashi is Suzuki’s “most serious attempt yet to muscle into the automotive mainstream.” Meant to be a more stylish alternative to the midsize Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, it more or less succeeds. Thanks to a “stubby trunk,” there’s enough back-seat room for a 6-foot-tall passenger to slide in behind a 6-foot-tall driver “without feeling like a conscripted member of the U.S. bobsled team.”
Car and Driver
Suzuki calls its newest model a “sports sedan,” but this four-door-with-pretensions doesn’t quite earn the name. Though “far from a wallflower,” the car has a bouncy suspension and sluggish acceleration that make it a midrange performer, “particularly with the added weight of all-wheel drive.” Opt for a more basic setup, however, and “the pace picks up.” With a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive, the Kizashi goes from 0 to 60 in 7.2 seconds—faster than a Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, or Mazda 6.
“Kizashi” means “something great is coming” in Japanese. Not quite. Striking stylistic elements include a “VW Jetta–ish” nose and metallic accents on the dash. But “behind the wheel, things begin to fall apart.” The 185-hp I-4 engine is simply too powerful for this “sloppy” transmission, and at high speeds handling begins to behave oddly.
“Not yet ready to seriously challenge the big boys,” the Kizashi is best considered “well-appointed basic transportation.”