Suzuki Kizashi Performance
Auto critics agree that the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi has exceptional handling, but a few test drivers wish it had a more powerful engine. The Kizashi’s available all-wheel drive is liked for the added grip it provides.
- "On the road, the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi feels solid, comfortable and relatively refined for a car of this price." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "With a clever blend of smooth ride and competent handling, the Kizashi can be fun on roads that twist and turn, yet it doesn't beat up its occupants on broken surfaces. It has plenty of power and offers all-wheel drive." -- The New York Times (2010)
- "On the road, the … Suzuki Kizashi delivers a comfortable ride as well as just enough excitement to get the blood pumping." -- Edmunds (2011)
- "The Kizashi drives better than basically everything in its class." -- Autoblog (2010)
Acceleration and Power
Every 2013 Kizashi trim has the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 185 horsepower with the standard six-speed manual transmission or 180 horsepower with the optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). The base Kizashi with the CVT gets an EPA-estimated 23/30 mpg city/highway, and all-wheel drive lowers that slightly.
Test drivers think the Kizashi has sufficient power, though one says it struggles to get up to speed. Both transmissions receive positive comments from auto critics, who say the manual shifts smoothly and easily and is fun to drive. They also like the CVT, saying it is responsive.
- "In any of these configurations, the 2.4 provides decent thrust for getting up to speed and for passing, but it's not exactly a tarmac burner." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Kizashi takes a bit to get going. Above 3,500 rpm, power is decently strong, with passing punch on-par with other 4-cylinder sedans of similar horsepower. The manual transmission is a bit quicker overall, on account of the fact that it has 5 more horsepower than models with the CVT." -- Consumer Guide
- "Output from the four-cylinder is adequate. The six-speed manual transmission's shifter can seem slightly vague for first-time drivers, but it becomes more intuitive with use. Unlike some other CVTs, the Kizashi's does an admirable job of keeping power on tap without much hesitation or the typical engine drone. The paddle shifters are an added plus for more sporting drivers who demand more control." -- Edmunds (2011)
- "The Kizashi's six-speed manual transmission, which we highly recommend, shifts lightly and smoothly and is enjoyable to operate. The other transmission option is a paddleshifted continuously variable automatic, which is generally very sure of itself and is quick to respond to throttle inputs." -- Automobile Magazine (2010)
Handling and Braking
The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi is more engaging to drive than many of its rivals, according to reviewers. They say the Kizashi has poised and lively handling. One says its ride is slightly stiff yet compliant, and reviewers say it strikes a good balance of both. The Kizashi’s steering gets positive comments for being accurate. The front-wheel drive Kizashi is also available with all-wheel drive.
- "Handling is crisp and composed with little body lean in fast corners. Communicative steering is precise, if a bit heavy at low speeds. All-wheel drive provides welcome extra grip in wet and snowy conditions." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Kizashi provides commendable driving dynamics while also offering pleasant around-town comfort and decent operating efficiency." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "For drivers looking for a little more excitement out of a family sedan, the … Suzuki Kizashi should prove satisfying. With plenty of grip and adequately weighted steering, the Kizashi can easily take on curvy roads. The suspension tuning is a little firm, but it's not significant enough to sour the overall experience." -- Edmunds (2011)
- "The Kizashi exhibited better control of the understeer inherent in that class and there was little lift-throttle oversteer." -- AutoWeek (2011)