But before dismissing the Kizashi completely, consider this. It costs £21,995, yet comes with leather upholstery, parking sensors, heated seats, cruise control, an eight-speaker stereo and 18-inch alloy wheels. With 178PS (176bhp), it goes from 0-62mph in a brisk 8.8 seconds.
Many road tests have compared the cabin with those of a Ford Mondeo or Volkswagen Passat and have criticised the Suzuki’s quality and space. In truth, though, the Kizashi sits in between large family cars like the Passat and smaller saloons like the VW Jetta. Make the comparison with the smaller four-doors which the Kizashi is priced against and the interior is more than roomy enough.
What really deserves to put the Kizashi on your tow car radar
is its weight. Suzuki quotes a kerbweight of 1625kg. The company doesn’t
include 75kg for the driver and a small amount of luggage, as allowed by the
EU’s kerbweight definition, so it’s not unreasonable to work from a figure of
1700kg. That gives an 85% match figure of 1445kg.
We towed a Swift Expression 554 with an MTPLM of 1454kg and
found the Suzuki to make a stable tow car in all but the strongest cross winds.
Despite the petrol engine’s low torque figure, the Kizashi pulled the Swift
from 30-60mph in a respectable 11.9 seconds. Plant your right foot and the CVT
gearbox allows the engine to rev up immediately, adjusting the gear ratio to
build speed. It makes for noisy but surprisingly determined progress.
Even so, I can’t help thinking how much more fun the Kizashi
would be with a manual gearbox. The 2.4 petrol isn’t especially refined or
tuneful and the CVT’s rev-happy antics mean there’s too much engine noise under
Pricey at the pumps
There’s no getting away from the poor fuel economy, either.
We could only manage 18.2mpg towing around our economy route. On steep hills
you could almost see the fuel gauge dropping.
Even so, for low mileage drivers the Suzuki’s modest list
price could outweigh the high fuel bills. I still think the Kizashi is an
oddball, but perhaps it doesn’t deserve to be quite so obscure.
A full review will appear in the July 2013 issue.