By on June 8, 2010

Why eat the poor when you can sell them cheap car that’s fun to drive? The current Suzuki Swift is widely considered a poor man’s MINI, delivering funky front-drive fun for much less cash than it’s Bavarian-British reference point. And with the next-generation (shown here testing at the ‘ring) said to be headed stateside, Suzuki’s probably hoping it will be the ticket to less-lilliputian sales numbers. Unfortunately the brand’s latest offering, the Kizashi, is averaging a mere 338 sales per month this year… so don’t hold your breath for a swift Suzuki revival just yet.

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12 Comments on “Suzuki’s Modest Proposal...”

  • avatar

    By the time a new Swift makes a return to English speaking N. America, how many Suzuki dealers will be left to sell them?

  • avatar

    Suzuki’s main market seams to be in Asia. Why the have never tried to offer the current Swift in the US I do not understand. In Europe, they restrict the very nice Suzuki 125 hp engine to a “sporty” two-door hatch. They simply do not care for these saturated markets, as long as they making money in India.

  • avatar

    My mother actually just bought a SX-4 hatch and I have to say I’m impressed as hell with the new Suzuki. It feels far more European than Japanese with respect to the steering feel and manual trans. (not saying that is better mind you…just different), and I say this as someone who whips a Fit sport everyday and drives lots of VW’s. Also, switching to AWD (locked dist. only lasts to 35mph) produces an immediate and drastic change in how the car delivers power…and leaves me wondering why every fwd based all wheeler doesn’t give you that option. This car blows the usual suspects (Chevy, Toyota, Nissan) clear out of the water, although I guess that would be unintentionally faint praise.

    As far as Kizashi sales go…where’s the marketing? I see ads in magazines and good reviews, but I don’t think fwd sedan buyers generally take shopping advice in those venues. I think it would take one hell of a TV marketing push (ex. Scion) to bring awareness to the point where people even bother to visit a dealership. I literally know no one who isn’t a car geek who even knows this car exists.

    • 0 avatar

      ” I have to say I’m impressed as hell with the new Suzuki. It feels far more European than Japanese with respect to the steering feel and manual trans.”

      That’s cause its really a Fiat Sedici,Made in Hungary, and was designed for the european market.

      Which brings up the question>>> what can possibly be the future of this vehicle ? Is Fiat/Chrysler going to be suppling a now ex-GM division with cars ? And now That Suzuki has a “partnership” W/ VW … who is it going to tap for its future Platform sharing ? Fiat / GM / VW / Proton ?
      As for the 338 a mth … why would anyone buy a car from a maker W/such a murky future?

  • avatar

    I bought one of the first new Swifts in this country in june 2005.
    I had it until dec 2009.
    70 000 miles and no problems.
    Fun to drive, dependable and frugal.
    It showed me that you don´t have to buy an expensive Mini to have fun.

    I would certainly consider buying a Swift again.

  • avatar

    I look forward to the Swift. I test drove a Kizashi recently and was thoroughly impressed. It’s fun to drive and handles better than the Mazda6 I tested. Could use a turbo 4, though, to get more out of the chassis. If Swift can deliver that kind of driving experience relative to other subcompacts, they’ll have a winner.

    I also agree with tedward that they need to get the word out. I never see Suzuki ads. I guess if you buy one, it might be one of those “wave-to-the other Kizashi driver” type of communities.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    I have always liked the Suzukis I have been exposed to. My brother had a Metro 3 banger and my BIL had a Tracker. Last summer I rented an SX-4 for an afternoon drive through the Berkshires. All were fun to drive. The SX-4 was AWD and quite tossable in the twisties. I have been seeing dealerships around MA and NY selling them.

  • avatar

    I wish Suzuki well. With all the cars that are leaving the US market, I welcome newcomers that can bring some diversity.

    The other day I was out for a drive, and saw a really sharp 4-door go by. At first, I couldn’t determine what it was. But when I pulled behind I saw it was the new Kizashi. It’s a nice looking car. Faced with a bunch of bland choices, I can see why someone might choose it over say…a Jetta. Especially if that same person was planning on keeping the car for a long time. I’m not sure what Suzuki depreciation is like.

    The only suggestion I could give Suzuki, beyond “keep it coming” and “keep the warranty long,” is make the logo on the grille smaller or different or something. That “S” is too big and cheesey looking.

  • avatar
    Oregon Sage

    Nice touch with the Jonathan Swift reference Edward.

    Real Suzukis have 2 wheels by the way.

  • avatar

    I would buy a swift. I liked the original version.

  • avatar

    Is that graffiti I see at the ‘ring? (at 1:06 in the video)

  • avatar

    Suzuki needs to increase their dealer saturation in the US. The nearest dealer to where I live (Little Rock, AR) is in Memphis, TN. That’s too damned far to drive unless you want an exotic.

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