The Suzuki Kizashi has been in the CAR fleet for a few months and has established itself as a bit of a dark horse. It’s unassuming and has taken some of the staff members by surprise.
Its styling divides opinion, but all who have driven it agree that it is a pleasant vehicle. Although not equipped with the most powerful of engines (131 kW and 230 N.m from a 2,4-litre), it has proven to be a good long-distance cruiser as we recently found out.
The first long trip it went on was when the CAR team headed across the country for our annual Performance Shootout. The Kizashi was more than up to the task and its cruise control really came into play. On this trip we also made good use of the Kizashi’s 416 dm3 of boot space. It was able to swallow a few items of luggage and some camera equipment.
With all the other performance machinery on show, the Kizashi went unnoticed by passers by during the trip, but drive it without it being flanked by super saloons and hot hatches, and you will soon notice that it garners quite a bit of attention. It is perhaps one of the more uniquely styled vehicles in its class. Also during this trip, Suzuki South Africa fixed the clicking sound between fifth and sixth gear that we previously mentioned.
This Suzuki again proved its long-distance prowess when it headed up to Mpumalanga for some quality time with lions and the like in the Kruger National Park.
Most of the time all five seats were occupied. Children should perhaps use the middle seat at the back because occupants of this seat complained that the seat belt clips of the two outer seats kept digging into their lower back and it made for an uncomfortable drive, especially on the gravel roads that were used to get access to the park.
The ride quality of the Suzuki was really put to the test during this time, as most of the roads within the Kruger Park are gravel. But despite the low-profile 18-inch wheels, all occupants found that the ride was comfortable – although we were travelling at very low speeds.
Overall, the Suzuki Kizashi has shown that it’s a capable vehicle that offers acceptable driving comfort and a vast amount of space in the cabin and in the boot. All the space, comfort, solid engine and slick gearbox make it a good option for the long trips.
Be sure to read a more extensive write-up of the Kizashi in an upcoming issue of CAR. It will include details on the 15 000 km service and how much it takes it replace one of the 18-inch tyres after it gets ripped by a small rock.
Mileage: 24 348 km
Pros: large boot, easy-to-use cruise control
Cons: narrow middle rear seat
Fuel economy: 8,8 L/100 km