Category Archive: Suzuki

Sep 03

Road Test: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi SX

Text / Images: Iain Shankland

It’s been a number of years since I last drove a Suzuki vehicle – too long in fact. I’ve always been a fan of Suzuki vehicles because they are always well built and well equipped – and they typically cost a lot less than other Japanese vehicles. Many moons ago (1987) when I was a driving instructor I leased one, and my students absolutely loved it.

But Suzuki is just a little car company and don’t make many cars – right? Wrong! Suzuki is the NINTH (9th) largest auto manufacturer in the world – they’ve been around for more than 100 years, they’ve got the Number 1 best-selling car in Japan and have a 50 per cent market share in India. I talked to one car dealer several years ago that sold Suzuki’s side-by-side with Volvo’s. He hated the Suzuki’s because they never came back for warranty work. The Volvo’s kept the dealership doors open because of all the warranty work!

In late spring 2010 Suzuki decided to shake things up a bit in the automotive landscape when they launched the Kizashi. They’ve always had small cars and small to mid-sized SUV’s – but until now they’ve never competed in the mid-size sedan arena – at least in North America they haven’t. It’s a tough segment with perennial best-sellers like Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion  constantly beating each other up for the “Best-Selling” title. It’s a tough and competitive segment of the market where mediocrity is severely punished, and where glory results in the spoils of huge sales and bigger profits.

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