2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD : Review

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We recently had the chance to check out the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport AWD. While we didn’t get to try it in the snow (like in their Super Bowl commercial, below) we did have the vehicle for a full week in order to put it to the test.

The car we drove had a price tag of $26,404 and comes with a 100,000 Mile / 7 Year Powertrain Limited Warranty. We’ll get into some of the other features and our experiences below.


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Honestly in photos this vehicle looks a bit more boring than our tastes prefer, and could stand to be more aggressive and sporty. In person though we found it to be more impressive. The Premium Metallic Paint (Platinum Silver) was stunning, and the Sport Aero Body Kit and Chrome accents really made an impact. It's not a bad-looking car, but I wouldn't really call it a head-turner either. Nothing felt overly flimsy to us, however the exhaust styling was a bit odd looking with its regular tailpipe surrounded by chromed out sportyness. Our recommendation would be to check it out in person if you find the styling to be underwhelming in photographs.


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The interior of the vehicle seems solid, spacious, and polished. The model we tested contained some high-end features such as push button start, bluetooth phone/audio, steering wheel controls and dual climate zones. The radio was fairly basic looking, but actually impressed us. The bluetooth capabilities were simple, but did exactly what we wanted, and were easy to operate. The full sound from the Rockford Fosgate 425W audio system came from 10 different speakers which we found to be creatively placed around the cabin. A navigation system is available for $1200, but was not included in our test vehicle, which made the dash look a bit out-dated. The layout of the steering wheel controls were some of the best we've seen and felt very natural to use.


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The Kizashi Sport comes with an automatic CVT transmission powered with a 2.4 liter DOHC 16 valve I-4 Engine rated at 180 horsepower, 170 lbs-FT torque. The gas mileage is rated at 22 city / 29 highway. While neither the power nor gas mileage blew us away, both seemed adequate and certainly not a detriment. The car was fun to drive, with its advanced AWD, KYB shock absorbers, 4-wheel independent sport-tuned suspension, and 4-wheel disc brakes with Akebono components. The Kizashi was also equipped with paddle shifters (a feature that we're seeing more and more of) for those that really want to feel like they're driving a rally car. Despite our best efforts, and to the dismay of Consumer Reports, we weren't able to roll it, but I suppose that's a good thing. Sadly we didn't have any snow to play in either, but this video does a nice job of showing off the AWD capabilities :


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The Kizashi Sport was fun to drive, contained some advanced features, and comes with a great warranty for piece of mind. Overall we found the car to be solid and capable, with no glaring defects, and it compares favorably to similarly priced vehicles. We recommend you add it to your list for consideration, as the capabilities, warranty and price point may make it more attractive than the usual suspects when shopping for a sporty new vehicle.