2010 Suzuki Kizashi GTS: Fun Handler, But What's With The Throttle?
March 30, 2010
Finally drove our long-term 2010 Suzuki Kizashi last night, and was pleasantly surprised by its handling. The powertrain could use some fine-tuning, though.
It's pretty sharp in terms of body control and steering precision. And the grip! Clingier than I expected.
Plus, it's apparent the the bodyshell is stiff -- the taut damping is allowed to work effectively, and the car feels quite solid... both when you straddle its wheels cross-corner over a drainage rut (and thus load it torsionally), or when a single tire whacks a bump.
Yeah, the steering's could use a tick more feel overall and is a bit goofy around center. Has that electric-y hysteresis. But the helm is reasonably quick. In summary I give the chassis a B+.
The powertrain, hmmm. Forget power for a minute and think power delivery. Irrespective of how much (or how little, in this case) power an engine makes, we want a snappy response here -- both when the throttle is initially cracked and also when it's flicked shut.
The Kizashi, though, has quite a lazy throttle takeup when you're feeding in the pedal for a normal launch, and then hangs onto revs when you want to shift. I blame the drive-by-wire throttle calibration. It's trying too hard to smooth things out, and the result is that it feels like Suzuki installed sloppy engine mounts and a giant flywheel.
Not a huge deal, but the whole Kizashi package would be more cohesive were it better. Especially as the chassis exhibits some inherent goodness.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor