It deserves all your attention
There are so many mid-size sedans on the market that choosing one can be a difficult decision. Together, carmakers sell over a million of these every year in the US, and if you don’t have a competent offering in that segment, you’re basically giving away profits to your competitors.
The big guns right now are the Honda Accord, the Nissan Altima, the Ford Fusion and the Toyota Camry, which topped all others as 2010’s bestselling car. Here in Canada, though, the most popular mid-size sedan last year was the Fusion. Expect the new Hyundai Sonata to do some more damage to all of those mentioned above.
However, a newcomer to the segment is so good that it also has the potential to steal a significant amount of sales away from its rivals. But it won’t; more on that later.
We’re talking here about the Kizashi, Suzuki’s first splash in the mid-size sedan category. Forget about the Verona, an unreliable, rebadged Daewoo Leganza that was sold in North America for a couple of years; this is the real thing, engineered and developed by Suzuki.
The entry-level Kizashi is the S model tested here. Step inside and you’ll be greeted by comfortable seats covered in high-quality fabric upholstery that resembles the ones found in the Mazda6. The dash’s combination of textures, tasteful bright trim and chrome-ringed switchgear look and feel upscale.
The base Kizashi also includes a full array of standard features, including keyless entry and start, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, an 8-speaker stereo with USB port, leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob, a power driver’s seat and heated front seats.
Unlike the Accord, the Camry, the Mazda6 and the new Subaru Legacy, the Suzuki’s proportions are tidy, more in line with the Fusion. As a result, two adults will be at ease in back, but three across is pushing it. One look at the narrow rear doors is a good hint that you may never see a Kizashi taxicab anytime soon; headroom and legroom are among the worst in its class, and it’s got the smallest trunk, too.
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