A Swift Sidekick by a Samurai: New Suzuki Kizashi (Gesundheit!)

Paul Grusche
by Paul Grusche
a swift sidekick by a samurai new suzuki kizashi gesundheit

Suzuki has been slapped around in the U.S. market for years. I mean, how long did it take for them to settle the Samurai rollover suit with Consumer Reports? Eight years. Damn that moose test. Yet seppuku has never been an option for Suzuki. To the contrary, they have decided to move the vehicle line upscale. Introducing the all-new Kashi bar. I mean the all-new Kizashi car. At least it’s all new for this market. The Kizashi has been the number one selling car for five years in a row in Japan, according to their microsite.

Suzuki cars or, rather, their small SUVs never caught on here for whatever reason. Bad marketing, sure. Rollover scandals didn’t help. Unappealing and small 4x4s, bingo. But that’s all in the past. These are Japanese vehicles, how bad could they be? Heck the company is the only car manufacturer to remain profitable every year since 1951. Someone is buying their cars.

J.D. Power states “. . . quality has dramatically improved in recent years, and that its residual values are rising to parity.” So with this in mind, should it be hard to believe that something great is coming from Suzuki? Hopefully not, because that’s what Kizashi means in Japanese: “Something Great is Coming.” Given the economic times and their latest sales figures, I can’t blame them for “projecting.” It clearly took more thought than naming your car Nova then sending it down to Mexico.

It’s just too bad their marketing doesn’t give things more thought. Their ads are all over the place from Mini comparos, cool hip club scenes, Jeep wannabe 4x4s to leaning on its motorcycle line. All in the hopes that hanging out with the cool kid will make them cool. If Suzuki is going to make it with their new car, and the rest of their lineup, they are going to need to send in a Samurai.

[Click here for motorcarmarket.com]

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  • Roadrabbit Roadrabbit on Aug 07, 2009

    @ kbohip While more HP is always fun, that gen Maxima has torque steer out the wazoo. A refined ride it is not. And the Maxima is more of a class above standard midsize cars anyway. This car seems likely to be priced about $5-10k below a current Maxima. To me, this seems like it combines a Passat-like driving experience (tight handling, good maneuverability, decent though not class-fastest acceleration) with Sonata value. Gotta wait until I drive it to be sure, but I'm definitely interested.

  • Ohsnapback Ohsnapback on Aug 07, 2009

    I'm not trying to be an ass (honestly), but people here actually think the front end and read end of this car are aesthetically pleasing? Really?

  • Theflyersfan One positive: doesn't appear to have a sunroof. So you won't need to keep paper towels in the car.But there's a serious question to ask this seller - he has less than 40,000 miles on some major engine work, and the transmission and clutch work and mods are less than 2 months old...why are you selling? That's some serious money in upgrades and repairs, knowing that the odds of getting it back at the time of sale is going to be close to nil. This applies to most cars and it needs to be broadcasted - these kinds of upgrades and mods are really just for the current owner. At the time of sale, a lot of buyers will hit pause or just won't pay for the work you've done. Something just doesn't sit well with me and this car. It could be a snowbelt beast and help save the manuals and all that, but a six year old VW with over 100,000 miles normally equals gremlins and electrical issues too numerous to list. Plus rust in New England. I like it, but I'd have to look for a crack pipe somewhere if the seller thinks he's selling at that price.
  • 2ACL I can't help feeling that baby is a gross misnomer for a vehicle which the owner's use necessitated a (manual!) transmission rebuild at 80,000 miles. An expensive lesson in diminishing returns I wouldn't recommend to anyone I know.
  • El scotto Rumbling through my pantry and looking for the box of sheets of aluminum foil. More alt right comments than actual comments on international trade policy. Also a great deal of ignorance about the global oil industry. I'm a geophysicist and I pay attention such things. Best of all we got to watch Tassos go FULL BOT on us.
  • El scotto No one and I mean no one on here is a UAW member or a salaried employee of the Big 3. Then again if someone identified themselves on here they would pilloried every time they posted.The comments on here are like listening to the overgrown children who call into sports radio shows.
  • Statikboy Those tires are the Wrong Size.