By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.3
*Important Note: Please be aware that Suzuki has filed for bankruptcy protection and is shutting down its car business in the U.S.
The 2013 Kizashi is modern and distinctive, and it is the top offering in a model lineup that is otherwise rather lean and aging. Introduced as a 2010 model, the Kizashi was meant to rejuvenate Suzuki's U.S. auto division. With Suzuki's recent bankruptcy filing and its decision to stop sell cars in America, that rejuvenation turned out to be a dream. Nevertheless, the Kizashi represents a genuine bright spot for the automaker. Available in front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), 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.
Between its expressive styling and relative scarcity, the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi stands out from the mid-size economy-sedan crowd. Available all-wheel drive is a smart option for those who live or travel in the snow states.
Suzuki is pulling out of the U.S. Regardless of how good a car or its warranty may be, without a dealership network behind it, the customer can end up losing out when it comes to service and repairs.
The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi gets a new optional navigation and infotainment system, and the included equipment and driveline choices on the four trim levels are shuffled to rationalize the number of combinations on offer.
Driving Impressions On the road, the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi feels solid, comfortable and relatively refined for a car of this price. Despite what those big tailpipes might promise, the Kizashi is not...especially quick, posting 0-60-mph times of around eight or nine seconds depending on the transmission – about average among 4-cylinder mid-size sedans. Though very slightly slower, the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) actually works quite well in the Kizashi, which is a good thing since it's now the only transmission available in all trim levels above the base model. Suzuki's available "intelligent all-wheel-drive" lets a driver easily switch between front-drive and an AWD mode that can split the driving torque 50/50 between the front and rear wheels for superior traction. The Kizashi provides commendable driving dynamics while also offering pleasant around-town comfort and decent operating efficiency.
SIZE AND CARGO CAPACITY
At 183.1 inches in length, the 2013 Kizashi is larger than most compact sedans but smaller than those in the mid-size category. This in-between size pays off with increased rear-seat legroom and generous cargo capacity in an easy-to-park package.
Rare among cars of this price and size, the AWD option adds an extra measure of driving confidence by giving additional grip on any road surface. For those living where it snows, it's another reason to put the Kizashi on your consideration list.
The Kizashi's interior is a bit conservative, but the cabin is still inviting, nicely finished and cleanly laid out. The front seats are supportive and comfortable, and rear legroom is reasonable for a car of this size. Among the highlights is the nice tactile feel of the Suzuki's controls, such as the steering-wheel-mounted audio functions. The trunk is spacious for this class, and the split rear seatback folds for added capacity and flexibility.Exterior
One of the finer aspects of the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi is its styling. An aggressive look sets it apart from the popular yet more sedate sedans it competes with. A forward-leaning stance, large honeycomb grille, short rear overhang, and a pair of large trapezoidal tailpipes give the Kizashi a sporty appearance. Sport GTS and Sport SLS versions sit slightly lower to the ground, ride on 18-inch alloy wheels (17s are standard on base and SE), and have an even sleeker profile.
Even the base 2013 Suzuki Kizashi comes comfortably equipped now (it didn't even have a radio last year) with dual-zone automatic climate control, rear-seat vents, keyless entry with pushbutton start, power windows and locks, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, and eight air bags, all for right around $20,000.
All-wheel drive can be added to the SE and Sport GTS (it's standard on the Sport SLS and no longer offered on the base model). Other ways to spruce up the Kizashi include a 10-speaker, 425-watt Rockford Fosgate AM/FM/CD audio system with subwoofer, navigation system, Bluetooth streaming audio, leather seating, redwood dash trim, rear sonar-based parking assist, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Skiers will appreciate not only the rear-seat pass-through, but the optional ski bag to keep the interior clean and dry.
All Kizashi models are powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that runs on regular unleaded gasoline. Both 6-speed manual and CVT automatic transmissions are available, as well as both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, but the choices have been limited this year: Only the base Kizashi offers the manual gearbox, and only with FWD. All other Kizashi trim levels are automatic-only now, with the SE and Sport GTS offering a choice of FWD and AWD. The top-line Sport SLS is AWD only. In any of these configurations, the 2.4 provides decent thrust for getting up to speed and for passing, but it's not exactly a tarmac burner. Overall performance is about average among sedans of similar size and price.
185 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm (manual transmission)
180 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (CVT automatic transmission)
170 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/29 mpg (manual, FWD), 23/30 mpg (automatic, FWD), 22/29 mpg (automatic, AWD)
By Driver on Sunday, September 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality, luxury and handling at good price"
Cons: "Slow off the line, not for tall drivers"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I own a 2012 Sport SLS, loaded. Very attractive styling, I get frequent positive comments from people about it's looks. The silver metallic paint is stunning, I have not yet seen a more attractive silver. The wheels are gorgeous but very difficult to clean and super sensitive to ANY cleaner, mine still look good but are splotchy from whatever coating is coming off. Interior is understated and elegant, Audi-esque, and noticeably well assembled. No seams misaligned or out of place, it's perfect. Black leather with white stitching durable, comfortable and elegant. Very good interior room, 4 people is no problem, 5 is. Firm but compliant ride reminds me of my 2000 VW Golf, which is a compliment. Handling is superior, this chassis eats up curves. Is a dog from 0-20 or so, spools up nicely past that. I avg 26 mpg and drive relatively conservatively, have achieved 32 mpg on extended highway trips but usually 29-30. Perfect reliability so far. Steering wheel needs to telescope another two inches, I'm 6' and have difficulty achieving a truly comfortable driving position due to this. I would recommend wholeheartedly to anyone under 6' tall, this is really a very nice car that no one owns. Oh, the 450 watt Rockford Fosgate system is ridiculous - loud but very clear and crisp."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By barra on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "33-34 mpg average, ride quality, "feel""
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought the manual transmission because it gives me an extra way of slowing the car in winter driving. A good set of all-weather tires helps too. It has for-wheel disc brakes and they stop the car very well. The recommendation is to use the parking brake. Just leaving it in gear will not hold the car in place on a hill. Like most modern cars, there is no visible reference to tell me where the the front end starts and the back end stops so I had to figure that out myself. The car handles very well with a tight turning radius. The environmental control system, sound system and interior materials are very good. This is my first experience with a Key fob that opens everything. It is almost too convenient."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Jake on Thursday, August 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,400overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Beautiful Car"
Cons: "needs more tire noise dampening."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car has a beautiful interior and has exterior likes that I like very much. It is a drivers car and loves the road. Every where I go someone is asking me about the car. This car would have been a terrific seller if it had made it to the market a few years sooner. I personally find it hard to believe it is a Suzuki because they were so ugly and cheap looking in the past. A wonderful car to late. Someone should pick up this design add a V6 and enjoy mountains of sales."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Rod on Thursday, June 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handles well, CVT smooth, catches eyes"
Cons: "too few to complain"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I purchased this vehicle a year after so I got away from all of the lost cost driving off of the dealer lot. At 12000 miles new to me It was still in excellent condition and couldnt even tell it was a year old. I have the Sport SLS model and for the price the thing is loaded with options and extras. Not just fancy wood on the dash or a whatever switch that really has no use. I have two girls 5-10 so the black leather is amazing and holding up really well and even the plastic and buttons, that I have seen on other cheaper forgein models, are holding up nicely. I cant tell you how many times I have been in a parking lot and had people come up just to see exactly what it is because there arent many on the road.... Hopefully that is not an issue when it comes to repair time so I guess we will see that way. It is a little noisy with the light 4 cylinder road noise wise. and even though it looks fast and furious per say its not going to be beating too many off the light. However, it is wonderfully smooth and once you put better tires on it, it handles the road like a champs. I live in mountainous and windy area and you just feel comfortable taking any corner. I would recommend this rig for sure. Hesitant about repairs since SUZUKI is no longer going to sell in US. But I will just keep enjoying the nice ride until that time comes."
10 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By barra48 on Sunday, May 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,600overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good acceleration,gas mileage,handling, finish."
Cons: "The car is no longer being brought into the US."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought the car because it had a manual transmission and was bigger and more comfortable than the Cobalt that I had. At the time, I did not know that the American car division of Suzuki was bankrupt and that no more cars were being imported. The dealership didn't tell me at the time of purchase. The car handles well, stops well and is quite comfortable over the road. If anything, it is too convenient. The key fob allows me to open the doors and trunk and start the car without a key. This has been a complaint about other cars in the US as well. I average 33-34 mpg. I use synthetic oil and Suzuki filters to maintain warranty. The car had no spare tire just an inflation kit. I bought a spare wheel and tire after a hole in the tire could not be repaired with the kit. The only questionable aspect of the car is that the engine compression will not hold the car on a grade with the car in first gear. I have to use the parking brake ( which works very well) to keep the car from rolling backwards."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Wayne on Sunday, April 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, dependability, driveability"
Cons: "Driver's seat position, factory wheels"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought my certified pre-owned 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE almost two years ago. I spend most of my time traveling on the highway and average around 37mpg. The best I have seen is 42.9mpg over several occasions, but this is generally traveling at 53mph with less than a 1/4 tank of gas. The car is fun to drive; I love my CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), mainly for its engine braking. The CVT transmission also has a fun select shift mode, and when engaged will provide a digital read out of which speed you are in located on the instrument panel, and will automatically down shift when coming to a stop. The car has a great braking system. I hardly have to apply any force to my brakes because the CVT transmission does most of the stopping! The position of the driver’s seat is different to say the least; however I came from driving a sports sedan to this so the position is very different. At 5' 10" sitting in the driver’s seat can feel rather snug at times thanks to a tall seat height and close steering wheel. The car offers comfortable back seats, and I would rate them about average when it comes to leg room. The trunk is quite large with four tie down points and a neat cargo compartment in the spare tire area. The cars stereo is descent but not impressive. The base stereo offers AM/FM, XM, Single MP3 CD, and USB."
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful