The Kizashi, or as people like to pronounce it "Kizatchi" for who knows what reason, is definitely an underrated car in the mid-sized sedan segment. Buy a Camry they say, It will last longer; buy a Mondeo they say, it's fancy and European; buy a i45 they say, it's great value for money & class leading. No, no, and no.
You see, I'm not saying the above are bad cars, I'm just a car owner that prefers something that is different to the rest. Sure you can buy a Camry and be apart of the taxi-cab ownership, you could purchase a Mondeo and join a large fleet of corporate run-around vehicles that have never been washed, or perhaps even purchase a Hyundai i45 that truly allows you to experience a daily drive with the build quality in comparison with a Tupperware container, and handling that could only compare to a kitchen sponge.
To be fair, I've had the privilege to either own or drive the above vehicles, so I understand what it feels like.
The Kizashi on the other hand is well underrated in terms of all aspects of the car. Being an owner of a 2011 Kizashi Prestige for two years now, I've driven the car daily and know the car at the back of my hand.
Well equipped and very well priced, the Kizashi comes with a 2.4L VVT inline four cylinder paired to the oh-so-delightful constantly variable transmission (CVT), producing a very decent 131 kilowatts and 230nm of torque. The Kizashi's power train is fairly standard for cars across the mid-size sedan segment, and has absolutely no problems hauling the car around, whether it be in the city or on the highway the engine is powerful and very efficient, returning an amazing 6.2L/100km on the highway and 10.9L/100km around the city. Although the petrol engine is the only option in the range and is sufficient for the car, a diesel option would have been a clever move for Suzuki, and would no doubt have increased sales. The petrol engine is by far one of the most efficient engines I have ever had the pleasure of driving considering most of the driving I do is on the highway.
When it comes to features, the Kizashi is very well equipped. All models coming standard with keyless-entry (proximity key), push button start, power windows and dual zone climate control. Move up to the Prestige model and you get the above plus Leather heated seats with driver & passenger electric seats and powered lumbar, automatic lights, automatic wipers, 10 speaker Rockford fosgate stereo system including a subwoofer. On top of these features, you get a sunroof standard, cruise control, Bluetooth, fog lights, 18" alloy wheels, parking sensors all around, map lights, foot-well ambient lighting, TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system), heated side mirrors, Xenon headlamps with washer jets, and paddle shifters to move through the CVT's not-so-real gears.
Upgrade to the Sport model and you will also get white stitching with your leather and an AWD system, as well as a sporty bodykit, better grill, different alloys, and chrome accents to add to the class of the car.
In addition to all of the above, there are not so many on the road, and you definitely turn heads driving in this beast of a machine.
The Kizashi is nothing short of reliable, never misses a beat, extremely durable, even when you take your 2WD off road!
Servicing is pretty standard for this kind of car, I have found the usual service costs roughly $400.
Even if you are all for the occasional race off at the lights, the car is somewhat powerful enough.....to catch up to a Corolla....once you've revved past the ECU 'transmission saving' lag!
So if you are different from the rest, you aren't an angry taxi driver, you're not a Mondeo LX fleet driver with a life of thrill, or a budget-minded Tupperware container enthusiast....
Then the Kizashi is for you!