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2012 Suzuki Kizashi

Overview
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2012 Suzuki Kizashi Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.4

The 2012 Kizashi is arguably the most important car in Suzuki's meager and aging automotive lineup, which includes three of its own models and a Nissan-supplied pickup. The Kizashi sedan was introduced as a 2010 model and represents the newest vehicle for the Japanese automaker. Its name translates loosely to "something great is coming," and was meant to rejuvenate Suzuki's U.S. auto division. While the success of the car's long-term mission is still to be determined, in the here and now the Kizashi represents one of the few bright spots for the automaker. Available in front or all-wheel drive, the 5-passenger Kizashi has a budget-friendly price and offers solid handling, power and fuel economy in a package that looks good on the inside and great on the outside.

You'll Like This Car If...

Standing out from the crowd is a strong suit for the Kizashi, which, in addition to being relatively new, doesn't sell in the big numbers of most of its competitors. All-wheel drive is a smart option for those who travel in inclement weather and, because the Kizashi was targeted at premium, slightly larger cars, such as the Acura TSX, instead of compacts such as the Toyota Corolla, this underdog was built to do more for less.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Regardless of how good a car or its warranty may be, without a strong dealer network behind it the customer can end up losing out when it comes to service and repairs. Suzuki franchise dealers have been dwindling for years now, and its vehicle lineup in general continues to fly under the radar. Also, the Kizashi may require some explaining from its owner, not the least of which is how to pronounce its name: "kee-zah-shee."

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Kizashi carries over mostly unchanged from 2011, in which the Sport version, that included lighter alloy wheels and aerodynamic modifications, became available with the GTS and SLS upper trim levels. The base S continues as is, while leather seating is now an option for the mid-level SE version.

Driving the Kizashi

Driving Impressions On the road, the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi feels solid and relatively comfortable. Despite what those big tailpipes might suggest, the Kizashi is not fast, but posts decent 0-60-mph times around...

the 8-second range, depending upon the transmission. Speaking of which, in the Kizashi we actually prefer the CVT automatic (with available paddle shifters) over the 6-speed manual. For models equipped with Suzuki's "intelligent all-wheel-drive" (i-AWD), a driver can easily switch between front-drive and an AWD mode that can split the torque 50/50 between the front and rear wheels for superior traction. In everyday driving, the Kizashi provides commendable driving dynamics while also offering pleasant around-town comfort.
Favorite Features

SIZE AND CARGO CAPACITY
At 183.1 inches in length, the 2012 Kizashi is larger than most compact sedans but smaller than those in the midsize category. This in-between sizing pays off with increased rear-seat legroom and generous cargo capacity in an easy-to-park package.

ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
Rare among cars of this price and size, this option adds an extra measure of driving confidence by giving the Kizashi additional grip on any road surface. For those living where it snows, it's another reason to put the Kizashi on your consideration list.

2012 Suzuki Kizashi Details
Interior

While the interior is more conservative than the exterior might suggest, the Kizashi's cabin is inviting and laid out well. Front seats are supportive and comfortable, and rear legroom is roomy but still not greater than the space found in the Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic sedans. Among the highlights is the tactile feel of the Suzuki's controls, such as the steering-wheel-mounted audio functions. The trunk is spacious for this class, and the rear seats split and fold for added capacity.

Exterior

One of the best aspects of the 2012 Kizashi is the aggressive look that sets it apart from popular compacts such as the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and even the relatively fresh Kia Forte. A forward stance, large honeycombed grille, short rear end and a pair of large trapezoidal tailpipes give the Kizashi a sporty appearance. Sport GTS and Sport SLS versions have a slightly lower ground clearance and an even sleeker profile. Move up from the 16-inch steel wheels on the base version to the 18-inch alloys, and you'll be rewarded with a truly premium look.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Except for the glaring omission of a radio as standard, even the basest of 2012 Suzuki Kizashi models comes comfortably equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, rear-seat vents, keyless entry with push-button start, tilt/telescoping steering wheel and eight air bags, all at a price under $20,000. Laudably, all Kizashi models use a timing chain instead of a belt to drive the camshafts in the engine, meaning less worry and maintenance down the road.

Optional Equipment

All-wheel drive can be added to any trim level of the Kizashi, meaning you can get an AWD automatic S model for just over $23,000. Other ways to spruce up the sedan include a 10-speaker, 425-watt Rockford Fosgate AM/FM/CD audio system with subwoofer, navigation unit, Bluetooth streaming audio, leather seating, redwood dash trim and rear sonar-based parking assist. Skiers will appreciate not only the rear-seat pass-through, but the optional ski bag to keep the interior clean and dry.

Under the Hood

All Kizashi models are powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that runs on regular unleaded gasoline. Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual or CVT automatic. Perhaps disappointing some enthusiasts, the 6-speed is available only with front drive. The engine provides enough thrust to confidently get the Kizashi up to speed and for passing purposes, but it's not exactly a tarmac burner.

2.4-liter in-line 4 cylinder
185 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm (manual transmission)
180 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (with CVT automatic transmission)
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
Kizashi S: 21/31 (manual, FWD), 23/31 mpg (CVT, FWD), 23/30 mpg (CVT, AWD)
Kizashi SE: 23/30 mpg (CVT, FWD), 22/29 mpg (CVT, AWD)
Kizashi Sport GTS: 20/29 mpg (manual, FWD), 23/30 mpg (CVT, FWD), 22/29 mpg (CVT, AWD)
Kizashi Sport SLS: 23/30 mpg (CVT, FWD), 22/29 mpg (CVT, AWD)

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2012 Suzuki Kizashi Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.6
Out of 10

Based on 49 Ratings for the 2010 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.6/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

Great value and lots of fun!

By on Monday, December 09, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,200

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Sexy and fun. Handles well. Lots of features."

Cons: "Sluggish CVT, paint chips, TPMS"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I'll say that this car is simply amazing for the price. Lot's of great features one would typically only find on a higher-end vehicle: (projector headlamps, foglights, Sat-Nav, Traction-control, push-button start, sport-shift, etc..) Sporty and solid. Very plucky once the CVT gets spooled-up. Handling is tight and agile for a rather heavy vehicle. Flappy-paddle shifters on the wheel are a fun touch. The interior is well-appointed and doesn't have a cheap feel. Cabin space is very roomy with lots of hiding places and cup-holders. Trunk is massive! The Rockford Fosgate stereo sounds pretty good for a factory unit. Seats are comfortable. Interior lighting is pretty cool too. *A few minor things that are annoying thus far: 1. Paint chips are a bit ridiculous for a car with 15K. I hear that Suzuki has had issues with that in these models, but I can live with it now. Buy a hood protector, for sure! 2. The washer sprayers. They're just not adequate in my opinion and spray a bit willy-nilly. Not a big deal, either, but it could have been better. 3. The CVT still feels pretty sloppy at low speeds. I think it gets to 6th gear way too soon and bogs down at low speeds. It goes like mad when you get the throttle down, though. 4. It's got some massive blind-spots, particularly from the A-pillar and big side-view mirrors. Seeing out the back is a bit difficult, but my model has a backup camera and that helps. All-in-all, though, I think it's really an amazing car and I'd recommend it. It has it's faults, but what car doesn't? I haven't had any reliability issues as of yet so I did not rate for it. Hopefully, they will be few and far between."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Lot of car for a little money.. ! ! ! ! !

By on Thursday, October 24, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Can't think of any cons right now... :)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought the car new and really love it. Has a really great suspension, very nimble and agile. Really great pick up and good fuel mileage. The car is fully loaded and looks really cute too. Love to drive it gets lots of looks."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Nice ride

By on Sunday, October 06, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price,fun drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Sporty good looks and comfortable ride at a great price. Guess Suzuki put the money into the vehicle and not advertising. Compares favorably with cars costing a whole lot more."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

good price, fun to drive, great handling, solid

By on Tuesday, September 03, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,990

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "good price, fun to drive, solid feel, great sporty"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I fell in love with this car immediately! It handles beautifully, has a high end feel with a quality interior. This is a fun car to drive! I use the manual option most of the time, which seems to boost the mpg. It has a sporty look and feel, a solid ride and superb handling on winding roads."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best value and look for price

By on Sunday, July 28, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Although Suzuki America filed for bankruptcy,I would buy this car again.Dealer in my city is signed on for warranty work.Choice between this,Sonata,Optima,Accord,.Camry,Altima,or any other comparable car was a no brainer."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Pleasantly surprised. Better than you'd think.

By on Thursday, May 23, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Value AWD luxury for cheap!"

Cons: "more ponies would be nice..."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned many high end cars... This feels and drives like an entry AUDI, SAAB or BMW! For the price of this thing nothing even comes close. For the price I actually paid (way below sticker) it's a G-D steal! I have a fully loaded 13 SLS. It fully rivals the last SAAB I had, only the AWD makes this one better. If this holds up and isn't problematic this will be the best purchase I have ever made. What a fantastic underrated car. Get one, you won't be disappointed. Oh, right... you can't get one anymore. I'm glad I got one of the last ones. Couldn't care less about the implied poor resale since Suzuki pulled out of the US... I'm not selling it :) Drive it... I don't know what it really is, but I can't believe it is really a Suzuki! A friend from Europe says this is a direct competitor to the entry luxury brands and costs way more there..."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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