2010 Suzuki Kizashi (source: suzuki)
Kizashi 3 concept (source: suzuki)
Last month, Suzuki sales in the US were down a breathtaking 78 percent and its overall decline for the first half of 2009 was 60 percent: The market’s worst loss. That kind of bloodshed has led some analysts to recommend that Suzuki bail on the US auto market entirely.
Suzuki isn’t ready to give up, however, as it has just launched the 2010 Kizashi (pronounced “Kee-Zah-Shee”) sedan.
Why does the worst need another Accord, Camry, Malibu, Fusion, Mazda6, Altima , etc. competitor? Because variety is the spice of life my friends. So what is this Kizashi all about? Well its name supposedly means “Something great is coming.” That’s nice but what else is unique? Well, that is where we get into “marketing speak.” According to Suzuki, the Kizashi has a “Unique blend of dynamic performance attributes with premium design aesthetics and craftsmanship yet to be experienced in this category.”
The 2010 Kizashi is equipped with a standard 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine. The engine employs both an aluminum block and cylinder heads. The engine is connected to a six-speed manual transmission. Customers may opt for an available Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that delivers both the driving experience and fuel efficiency.
Available premium leather is supplemented by three-stage heated seats and a three-position memory program. In addition, both cloth and leather seats benefit from Suzuki’s attention to detail: French seams, hard cover rears and low fatigue foam. There is a standard keyless push start system, Kizashi also offers iPod® connectivity and optional streaming audio via Bluetooth®. For your advanced listening pleasure, Rockford Fosgate®3 provides an optional listening experience boosted by 425 watts of power.
There are eight airbags standard, Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), an anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution, projector beam headlamps and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Kizashi is offered with Suzuki’s next generation i-AWD system, a rare option in its class, as this safety and performance enhancing feature is more typically found among luxury sport sedan offerings. Engineered to provide outstanding traction in inclement weather, the sophisticated all-wheel-drive system also delivers enhanced cornering capabilities. Activated when the driver selects the “AWD” switch on the instrument panel, power to the rear wheels starts immediately upon acceleration. Torque split remains dependent on several factors, including wheel slippage and throttle input.
The 2010 Kizsashi is scheduled to arrive in North American showrooms this winter, likely priced in the high teens to mid-twenties.