The Suzuki Kizashi is competitive with the other mid-size sedans in terms of performance, but no one is going to buy one unless it's competitive on price. At $18,999 for a well-equipped base model it could be a Sonata-killer.
To be fair, both the Hyundai Sonata and Suzuki Kizashi start at under the $19K mark, with the Hyundai coming in at $18,700. And both offer warranties they can claim to be superlative in some way. The difference? We'd actually be okay driving a Suzuki Kizashi.
For your $18,999 you'll get a well-equipped car (power windows/doors, eight airbags, dual-zone climate control, stability control) that's not un-stylish, handles above-par for the class, and returns good mileage and performance. But what you'll really want is the Kizashi GTS, which for $22,499 equipped with a six-speed manual offers the rocking 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system (with Bluetooth streaming you probably will never use), foglights, adjustable seats and a few other touches that elevate the car into competition with the more expensive Mazda6.
If you want leather seats (they're nothing to write home about), AWD and a CVT automatic you'll have to pay $26,749 for it, which is still competitive with the other AWD offerings price-wise but doesn't offer a V6 or more powerful fourbanger to go with it. Having driven both we're not convinced it's worth it for most buyers south of the Mason-Dixon line.
The only thing missing? A good nav system. Suzuki has a great Nav system in their SYNC-like TRIP setup, but they weren't able to get it developed for the Kizashi in time for the release. It's coming in a refresh and will surely be advertised as the only car under $XX,XXX with navigation.
BREA, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2009) – Tapping in to its heritage of building high performance outboard motors and motorcycles, American Suzuki Motor Corp. today announces pricing for the all-new 2010 Kizashi sedan (pronounced "Kee-Zah-Shee") which will debut in dealer showrooms in December 2009.
The Kizashi offers a unique blend of dynamic performance attributes, premium design aesthetics and craftsmanship yet to be experienced in this category. Suzuki expands on its best-in-class platform while offering features more appropriate to the near-luxury segment. In short, Kizashi delivers a premium package and experience without the premium price tag.
With the well-equipped entry-level Kizashi S priced between $18,999 and $21,749 (plus $735 for destination and handling), a prospective customer enjoys an energetic platform, comfortable accommodation and expressive design for prices appropriate to a modestly equipped compact. This base price includes many standard features usually found in vehicles costing thousands more or as options in the competitive class. Standard features of the Kizashi S include:
• 8 airbags (front/rear side and curtain)
• Pushbutton keyless start
• Dual-zone climate control
• 9-speaker audio with steering controls
• EPS Stability Control and ABS
• Projector beam headlamps
• Power windows, doors and mirrors
• Ambient and footwell lighting
The FWD Kizashi SE will cost a mere $2,500 more and will allow customers the benefit of the efficient and responsive continuously variable transmission (CVT), P215/55R17 tires on alloy wheels, power driver's seat with 10-way adjustment (including power lumbar), 3-position memory driver's seat, and leather wrapped parking break handle and steering wheel with cruise control. The Kizashi SE, with prices ranging from $21,499 to $22,749 (plus $735 for destination and handling), will be Suzuki's volume model.
The sporty GTS model, available in six-speed manual or performance tuned CVT with steering wheel paddle shifters, starts at just $22,499 (plus $735 for destination and handling) and includes multiple upgrades from the SE model, including 425 watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with 10 speakers, Bluetooth®1 streaming audio capability (with compatible MP3 and iPod®2 connectivity) and hands-free calling with voice command, P235/45R18 tires, fog lights and power moon roof. GTS pricing will top out at $24,849 (plus $735 for destination and handling).
The luxuriously appointed SLS model builds on the GTS and includes leather seats, power passenger seat, heated front seats, auto dimming rear view mirror with Homelink®3 Universal garage door opener, heated outside mirrors, automatic rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamps and rear proximity sensors with audible warning and graphic display. Prices for the lavish SLS range from $24,399 to $26,749 (plus $735 for destination and handling).