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2013 Suzuki Kizashi

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2013 Suzuki Kizashi Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2013

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 the Kizashi
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.

ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
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.

2013 Suzuki Kizashi Details
2013 Suzuki Kizashi photo Interior

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
2013 Suzuki Kizashi photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

2.4-liter inline-4
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)

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