Car Manufacturer: Suzuki
Model: 2012 Suzuki Kizashi
Starting Price: $18,999

Looks can be deceiving and the Suzuki Kizashi may appear like a standard mid-size car on the outside, but boy is it so much more.

Here is a car that is more than transportation – it’s something you just love to drive. My preferred mode of transportation are trucks, so I do lean toward stick shifts when it comes to my vehicles. And the Kizashi comes with a stick, which gives it so much more power and fluidity than regular vehicles.

We put the Kizashi to the test on a trip from Southern California to Northern California, so we experienced long stretches of highway, heavy traffic in Oakland and San Francisco areas and rural areas as well.

With comfortable seats, and super smooth ride, it handled all those terrains with ease. It’s the kind of car where you think about driving it, when you’re not driving it.

The test car came in a nice ruby red, so the vehicle looks great too – and there were many strangers who commented on what a nice looking car the Kizashi was.

THE OUTSIDE

You get a standard four-door here, but it’s the little details that make the car stand out. The Suzuki “S” logo on the grill has a lot of sass, while the front grill adds the car’s sporty design.

THE INTERIOR

So many great things here. The seats are about as comfortable as you get in a car of this size – especially on long trips. Suzuki describes the seats as “sports seats with bio-fit ergonomic design” which explains the high comfort factor.

The other surprise is that despite having a stick shift, there is cruise control as well. Yes, it takes getting use to maneuvering between the two, but it’s still a nice bonus.

The car has a push button ignition and tons of space. The back seat even has a small little area in the center that pops out so you can stick oversized objects from the trunk into the back seat.

Storage space is ample with tons of compartments throughout the car.

I wasn’t a fan of the stereo though. You can hook up your iPod to it, but controlling it is not as fluid as I’ve seen in other vehicles with the same capabilities. One of the very few clunky parts of a near perfect car.

DRIVING PERFORMANCE

I think what sells me the most on this car is just how well the car drove on Highway 5 at night. With occasional rocky roads and driving through the mountainous grapevine, there is potential for a vehicle this size not to be handle it with ease – yet the car is a spitfire handling whatever is thrown at it.

When it was time to deal with rush hour traffic, the car was comfortable while idling, yet when it was time to make moves through traffic, it was easy to manage without feeling like larger cars were going to overpower you on the road.

And again, the ease of the stick shift, really gives you a sense of super power – being able to change the speed with a fluidity I have never felt even in my own truck.

While there is some fuel efficiency with the vehicle, the fuel gauge is a bit misleading and not very clear as to how much gas is left when it gets close to empty. With cars getting smarter and the ability to count down to how many gallons are left, it would have been nice if this feature was a little clearer.

OVERVIEW

I can’t glow any more than I have about this car. I loved it. The vehicle took me surprise both with its striking, color, cool design and just the sheer pleasure of driving many hours on long stretches of highway. Those are usually the worst times to be stuck in a car, but I loved every minute of it.

The Suzuki Kizashi is worth a look. It’s a totally one-of-a-kind experience – and one of the rare instances where I would say get the “red” one. You won’t be disappointed.

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Article: Car Review: 2012 Suzuki Kizashi

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