Suzuki to take Kizashi "to the next level"

Suzuki says it plans two global reveals for next month's New York Auto Show. One will supposedly be a redesign of the Kizashi that will take the econobox "to the next level." What the hell does that mean?



Normally I try to keep my comments brief, and I'm not sure if anyone is interested, but here is a review of this cars predecessor I wrote a while back.

The Worst Car In the World!

For the past few weeks my old Dodge has been the subject of a warranty dispute between me, the engine manufacturer and my mechanic. More about that later though.

In the meantime, I have been subjected to getting by in a rental car. The car is a Suzuki Kizashi. I'm not a stranger to small cars or foreign cars by any means. I've spent many years tooling around in the wares of various Asian countries, so when I saw the car, I thought I knew what to expect. I'd never driven one, but I've seen them around. Lots of people have written fairly positive reviews about this car, but now after my 3 weeks with this car, I feel safe in saying I'm certain those reviewers were bribed by the Suzuki executives.

Never before have I had the feeling that someone had gone so far as to manufacture a car that was designed specifically to piss me off! The first night I had it, I just let those feelings go, figuring it was just that I was unaccustomed to it and that I would learn to appreciate the difference. I was wrong.

I would like to sing the praises of the peppy little, high revving 4 cylinder engine, but I can't. When trying to pass a car on the highway, I hit the gas and turned into the passing lane. I could hear a nice sound emitting from the tiny exhaust pipe. Normally, this would mean more power to pass, but Shakespeare so eloquently said it was"..All sound and fury signifying nothing." (Who knew ol' Bill wrote for car blogs)

I would love to tell you what the 0-60 time is, except that the car is still trying to get to 60 from when I first rented it 3 weeks ago. The speedometer is also very optimistic, maybe even to the point of delusion. I am fairly sure the 1979 Ford Grenada with smoke pouring out the back and Tijuana plates in the lane next to me going down the 5 isn't going the 80mph that is indicated.

Braking didn't leave much to cheer about either.

The interior of the car is far from plush. The seats range of adjustment go from uncomfortable to completely intolerable. You would feel much better if you just took your chances and sat on top of a milk crate while driving. The steering of the car isn't bad if you don't mind the sound of what can only be described as denim rubbing against itself with a metallic undertone every single time you slightly touch it.

The trunk release is also in a great location, right beside your left knee on the door. So if you are getting a little relaxed and let your knee so much as graze the door, expect to see the rear lid come flying open. That isn't much fun to see when barreling down the highway, and I'm sure that anyone having the misfortune of being stuck behind me in the right lane on the highway were stuck with the impression that my car was falling apart before their very eyes.

The interior is noisy to the point that my two small children's normal exchanges were hardly noticeable. Anyone with kids will have an idea about how loud this can be. Even if the radio could be turned up enough to cover this cacophony, I wouldn't want to. The Spark-O-Matic sound system that obviously came with the car provides a far from pleasant listening experience.

Normally, when renting a small car you can expect it to have the redeeming quality of having decent gas mileage. Not this one. The tiny little four cylinder got approximately the same mileage as my considerably bigger and smoother 3.5 Liter 6 cylinder (though admittedly not very reliable) Dodge. About 23-26mpg, and this was primarily highway miles. This Suzuki is a newer car with only about 10,000 miles on it, it shouldn't be anywhere near the point of having a problem that would cause it to use that much gas.

You may not believe it from reading this, but I hate to be so negative about things, so I have made myself find something I like about this horrible little car. And here it is. The cup holders are phenomenal. There are only two in the front and two in back occupying the little space between the gear shift and built into the armrest of the back seat. The cup holders are adjustable and hold my Mega Size coffee mug and smaller cola cans with no problems . In the back, the kids travel cups fit just right. I sing the praises of these cup holders and only wish that the Suzuki design firm had spent as much time and consideration on the design of the elements of this car that really matter to those that must drive them.

If you are in the car market, spare yourself this experience. Do not let a low price lure you in. Driving this car is the exact opposite of what the entire auto experience is supposed to be about. To summarize, I would rather ride around with the tow truck driver and my car in tow than EVER drive another of these little monstrosities.