This is the last new Suzuki new car review you will see on CarBuzzard.com. At least it’s the last one of a Suzuki for the U.S. market. The day after we returned our test 2013 Suzuki Kizashi AWD, news hit of Suzuki’s withdrawal from this country. All scheduled loans of press fleet test cars were cancelled, and for better or worse, we were the last in.
Former Suzuki of America insider and CarBuzzard writer Dave Boldt gave his take on Suzuki’s departure, so we thought we’d take one last look at the car Suzuki hoped to be its salvation in America, the aforementioned Kizashi.
The Suzuki Kizashi is—was—available in several trim levels, starting with the $19,999 base model (the only available with a manual transmission) up through the Kizashi Sport SLS AWD at $28,999. Suzuki promoted the all-wheel drive (AWD)version, notably in the Super Bowl ad featuring the Eskimo who returns home in a red Kizashi AWD, along with his former sled dogs listening to rapper 50 Cent on the car’s audio system.
Our tester could have been that car, less dogs and rapper. Our test 2013 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD (Navi) in Solid Red carried a list price of $27,199, with a couple of options and a lot of standard equipment (see window sticker on page 3) had a bottom line of $27,604.
And although the Suzuki Kizashi, introduced in the 2010 model year, hardly broke new ground in styling, and although our red tester, set off by a black imitation wire mesh grille, received a surprising number of wows just based on its appearance, it could still swim through the daily grind largely unnoticed.
The interior of our test Kizashi was well trimmed out, with an abundance of soft touch surfaces, including the dash top and window sills, and the door panels have stitched leatherette covering. The center armrest is deeply padded and covers a two-layer storage bin, with a shallow upper tray that hinges upward under the armrest top, and a larger bin below that has a 12-volt power plug inside it.
The instruments were finely calibrated, the speedometer, for example, with a mark for every mile per hour. It gave the dash a look of precision, though we doubt the speedometer is that precise. The center stack, which looked like the mask of the character Han Solo shot in the bar, was topped by a plug-in multi-function display that worked well enough, though the navigation system gave us some peculiar routing, and had voice control that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. We never did figure out why. The rearview camera also had one of the grainier images we’ve seen in a while.
We liked the seats, which were softly padded but supportive, and the back seat felt roomy, at least for two, for a car in this class. The rear seatback folded for a large passthrough, though like most vehicles in this class, the seatback didn’t fold to make a flat floor with the trunk.