I lusted after a Kizashi ever since seeing photos of the concept model and thinking what an aggressive (for conservative Suzuki) design it was! Finally, the Kizashi was released in Australia, but I was put off by the watered-down design, high initial purchase price and limited model range, so I bought a 'Korean Holden' instead.
This Kizashi came to me in June 2017 when I spotted it in a dealer's yard with a 'special' sticker price and only 19,000km on the clock. I was smitten after a test drive, and after all these months I'm still in love. My previous car was a front-wheel-drive turbo diesel with a normal six-speed automatic, so it took a little time to adjust to the different driving dynamics of the Kizashi.
And what dynamics they are!
The Kizashi drives quietly with plenty of pep from the 2.4-litre free-revving engine, which has proven to be economical, sipping standard ULP at an average of 7.4L/100km around town. It's very comfortable with supportive seats, adjustable driving position and, surprisingly to me, feels quite spacious. I had expected to feel cramped after 'downsizing' from my larger family-sized sedan, but don't feel I've lost any usable space, such is the well-designed layout of the cabin. The chunky steering wheel is adjustable for height and reach, the controls feel substantial with no flimsy plastics, and all the buttons and dials are within easy reach.
The Kizashi design is sporty with the integrated spoiler, the beautifully designed dual exhausts, side skirts, chrome highlights and big wheels. It feels very solid to drive, like it's carved out of a solid chunk of metal, the doors close with a reassuring 'thunk', and the fit and finish are superb.
The car rides smoothly on the 18-inch alloys (with a full-size alloy spare in the spacious boot!), and the steering and suspension are an absolute revelation after my previous car. The CVT (not my favourite choice of transmission) works very well with little droning and feels like a normal auto with the programmed six steps (congrats to Suzuki for sorting that out) and the brakes (discs all round) are excellent.
While mine is the base model in the line-up, I don't feel any sense of missing out on too many important features (except for a reversing camera and sensors – the latter I've had installed). All-round vision is very good and the compact dimensions make parking easy.
It has been totally reliable and I'm confident of a long-term relationship with this car.
My only criticisms are of the old-fashioned bonnet prop-rod and the gooseneck hinges in the boot (my previous older-model sedan had gas struts at both ends).
The Kizashi was discontinued, which is a real pity because it is a superbly executed sedan. It could have been an entirely different buying proposition with the 1.4-litre turbo.