Suzuki Death Watch 15: Kizashi Bests Camry In A Bittersweet Final Victory

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
suzuki death watch 15 kizashi bests camry in a bittersweet final victory

Kizashi Beats Camry! No, it’s not a reprise of Dewey Beats Truman, but the Suzuki Kizashi landed a parting shot against mid-size kingpin the Toyota Camry, soundly beating it in the latest round of IIHS crash testing.

The Kizashi, along with the Honda Accord, were the only two cars to receive a “Good” rating in the 40 mph front offset crash test. The Toyota Camry, along with the Prius V receieved a “Poor” rating, with Automotive News reporting

In both of Toyota’s vehicles, the crash caused significant intrusion into the occupant compartment — in the case of the Camry, the front wheel was forced sharply backward toward the driver’s feet. The driver-side airbags also failed to fully prevent a blow to the test dummy’s head in both crashes.

Too little, too late for Suzuki. But it must be nice to know that it beat the Camry at least once.

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Dec 20, 2012

    What shocks me is that the Camry and Prius v did so poorly. What's up with that?

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    • CJinSD CJinSD on Dec 20, 2012

      The spokesman added that Toyota leads all automakers in the number of models named "Top Safety Picks" for 2012 by IIHS. Those 19 models from Toyota, Lexus and Scion include the Camry and Prius v. Read more: This is a new test. Cars are built to perform in expected tests. Toyota is as good at it as anyone, so expect their new models to perform well on the narrow offset, 40mph test. Were the same cars safer last year, when this test didn't exist?

  • Thornmark Thornmark on Dec 20, 2012

    >>5. My little econobox came from the factory stiff enough to not need a shock tower brace. Why can’t Honda figure that one out?

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Dec 20, 2012

    I'm a bit surprised by the Camry performance in these tests. Back in 2009 the IIHS did this crash test but instead of with a solid barrier, with a Toyota Yaris. They did similar crashes with a Honda Accord and Honda Fit, and a Mercedes E-Class and a smartfortwo. Despite the thin skinned who will now scream, APaGttH is BIASED and won't talk about American cars. The IIHS did not do a similar crash test with a Ford, GM or Chrysler corp product. Only GM had a B-segment offering in the Aveo at the time. There was no Ford Fiesta there was no Fiat 500. Why the IIHS did not slam an Aveo into a Malibu or Impala I cannot answer. I guess they are biased too! So after that disclaimer...the purpose of these tests was to show the differentiation between vehicles even from the same manufacturer. In all three cases, even though the Yaris, smartfortwo, and Fit had done well in being crashed into an offset wall by the IIHS by themselves. All three of them would result in severe to fatal injuries when crashed into a car from the same manufacturer of larger size in a real world offset crash. The Toyota video I find very interesting and this is why I'm surprised the Camry got a "poor" rating in the 2012 crash testing. Of the larger cars in these test, only the Camry did not get a "good" rating (the Mercedes did as did the Accord) Let me add some Euro bashing here. The 2009 Mercedes E-class was a steaming pile. The E-class continues to be a steaming pile. Euro "quality" is defined as signing a four year lease with 12K miles a year and turning it back in just before the 4 year / 50K mile warranty expires and you're left holding the bag on endless repairs. Watch the Toyota video: On the Camry it's a bit harder to tell because the attention of the test was on the Yaris - but you can see the safety cage has reached its limit. It's not fully compromised, it doesn't collapse, but you can see the dashboard shift inward on the impact clearly - showing the Camry is right at the point of failure. This isn't to declare the Camry UNSAFE (will you thin skinned people get over it). I didn't give the Camry the "Acceptable" rating after the test, the IIHS did. And "acceptable" isn't bad, but it isn't good. And the Honda and the Mercedes got good. Also lets remember, that was an impact with a Yaris - that the Camry cut through like hot butter. Notice in the slow motion the driver's head in the Yaris slams onto the hood of the Camry and from another angle you can actually see the instrument cluster go flying out of the cabin and skitter across the floor (toward the end of the video) as the safety cage of the Yaris has completely failed. Now the Yaris is no death trap Chevy Tahoe. It's a small light car. Toyota KNEW in 2009 that the safety cage on the Camry could use some improving. They had "free" data from the IIHS to show it. I would have ASS-U-ME(D) that Toyota, would have taken that data and made improvements to do better in that kind of crash. The evidence of these crash test results doesn't bear it out. Don't shoot the observer - further complaints can be submitted to the IIHS for their biased testing. Oh ya, and the 2009 Aveo - steaming pile of crap.

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    • Wirey1 Wirey1 on Dec 21, 2012

      "...and from another angle you can actually see the instrument cluster go flying out of the cabin and skitter across the floor (toward the end of the video)..." Looks that way at first if you don't pay close attention, but you're actually seeing the backside of the Camry's front, right headlamp unit. Most of what comes out of the Yaris are white chunks that are probably foam blocks from somewhere inside the IP.

  • 210delray 210delray on Dec 20, 2012

    The headline is correct, but the photo is misleading. The recent test is a new one, in which only 25% of the front end, outside the main frame rails, makes contact with a rigid 5-foot tall barrier. It simulates a near-sideswipe with an opposing vehicle or a stationary object like a pole or a tree. The crash forces bypass the main structural members of the crush zone and are directed into the front wheel, suspension, shock tower, and ultimately, the firewall and door hinge pillar. Both Toyotas tested did badly, a pity in my view. The Prius v, not the "regular" Prius, was chosen because only the former is large and heavy enough to be classified by the IIHS as a midsize car, like all the other ones tested this time around. The 2013 Honda Accord was designed to do well in this test, and the sedan earned a good rating, the coupe acceptable. The Kizashi was designed for the 2010 model year and hasn't changed since then, so Suzuki earns credit for engineering a car that structurally performed as well as the Volvo S60 in the previous round of tests. For now, cars scoring well in the IIHS's four older test modes can still earn Top Safety Pick. But to earn the new Top Safety Pick PLUS award, the car must score a good or acceptable rating in this new test.