I have put a few thousand miles on my Kizashi now and can say definitively that it was a great choice. I have the SLS front wheel drive CVT model. We only get a little snow in Oklahoma and it has held...
I have put a few thousand miles on my Kizashi now and can say definitively that it was a great choice. I have the SLS front wheel drive CVT model. We only get a little snow in Oklahoma and it has held up fine in the weather that we have had. The handling of the car is very nimble. I test drove lots of its competitors before buying the car and would say that it is an excellent value. In fact the car had not even made my list of cars to drive, but the dealer I bought it from carried two other lines that were on my list and recommended that I at least test drive the car- very glad he insisted. Towards the end I thought for sure it was going to be between the two other turbos on the market, but after taking a second drive of the Kizashi right after driving two other front runners a second time - the choice was very clear.
I have seen that some people feel the CVT is not as performance minded as the Manual, however if you understand how a CVT works my humble opinion is that I would prefer it from a performance perspective to a manual. The biggest advantage performance wise in a CVT is that the RPM of the motor is directly proportional to how far you push on the gas pedal, and there is no shift fade in a CVT. You can go from 5-60 mph at 4500 RPM and keep it right there at 4500 all the way if you want, uphill against the wind, no matter what. You don't experience any horsepower fade from shifting, and that is a GREAT feature for hill climbing. The CVT is used in Hybrids to give more lower end performace which is why I felt the Kizashi at least matched if not out did the Turbos I test drove. The car is very smooth and if you are not looking at the speedometer you will feel that you are going slower than you really are because of how smooth it feels.
I have had the car through some very robust curves and there is no fear, in fact the only car that I have had outperform it in that respect is my 911 Targa 4, which is pretty much engineered to drive fast in curves. This model has Bluetooth and the Rockford Fosgate audio which while may seem trivial to some, however it is the best sound system hands down compared to any other standard equipped audio system in ANY car I have driven, even the high dollar European cars.
If you are looking to impress someone by showing up with a certain car, a Suzuki may not the best to do that by name alone. The SLS trim level is very attractive and has gotten coments. Someone not impressed by simply looking at it or mentioning it will certainly be when you actually put them into the car and drive it or have them drive it. Then they will rave, especially when you tell them how much you paid.
I am 6' with long legs and with a little give on my part I can fit four good sized adults in the car, but it is a mid-sized car. If you want to seat five for dinner, this is not the car you are looking for, grab a large american SUV. I would say that it would seat two for diner though since the front seats move farther back than I need them to.
My tongue in cheek remark for this car is, if Porsche would make a car in the 18K-27K range it would be a lot like the Kizashi, however right now they haven't quite come down to that price range.
The only thing I feel is missing is a digital read out of the speedometer, there is a great place on the dash for a prominent digital read out. All of my other recent cars have it.
A turbo version of this car would be wicked cool to use some Boston lingo. For the ultimate contradiction, a turbo wagon. I would be one of the first in line for it.