2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sedan
Now in its third model year, the Suzuki Kizashi is the Japanese manufacturer’s most expensive vehicle. The midsize sedan has only a few minor changes in 2012 from last year’s offering, with the uniquely named car still hoping to find a larger niche in the near-luxury category.
Kizashi (pronounced KEY-ZAH-SHEE) means “something great is coming.”
Suzuki promoted the Kizashi with industry buzz in mind. And it attracted attention for a while when the car debuted in 2009 as a less expensive alternative to an Audi 4. But the Kizashi is still largely unheralded and under publicized.
The Kizashi S includes 16-inch steel wheels, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.
The SE includes all of S model’s features, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and an eight-way power driver seat with memory settings and power lumbar adjustment.
When equipped with its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the SE gains cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a seven-speaker stereo with USB port/iPod interface.
I drove the SE trim (185 horsepower) on an extended weekly test, about 1,000 miles from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles and then home to Sacramento.
Just like with the debut edition, several passersby momentarily thought the car might be Audi A4. But then they noticed the insignia Suzuki “S” and tried to pronounce the car’s name. Even when the phonetic pronunciation is said slowly, the name isn’t easy to pronounce and it likely won’t be easy to remember.
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