2010 Suzuki Kizashi GTS: Road Trip Notes
May 06, 2010
I took the Kizashi on a 650-mile road trip from Los Angeles to Monterey and my initial impressions, those being that this is a refined and thoughtfully-equipped car, were cemented. (I snapped the picture while driving through wine country -- sorry the light is harsh but the photo-op was too good to resist).
Right off the bat, the Kizashi gives off a feeling of quality -- you grab a nicely padded (not hard plastic as in most rivals) handle to shut the door which closes with a solid "thunk". Underway, the shifter/clutch are light and easy to work and the 2.4-liter four is willing and smooth right up to redline. Though passing tractor-trailers on the ascending "Grapevine" section of the 5 required a sixth-to-fourth downshift and some patience, the power was otherwise more than adequate. Once I settled into cruise mode on the freeway, the Kizashi (the name reminds me of that cereal) was quiet, comfortable and composed. For the trip, I averaged 29.4 mpg which lends credence to the EPA highway figure of 29 mpg.
On the l-o-n-g freeway run I appreciated the aforementioned adjustable sun visors that kept Old Sol from burning my retinas and the well-shaped seats. Under thigh- and lumbar support in particular were solid, thanks to a generous seat cushion and the power lumbar support that kept my compressed L4 vertebra happy. Hooking up/using my iPod was easy, but as James noted it doesn't spell out the whole name of a given selection. A scrolling feature for this would be nice.
I'm not a big fan of the headlight and taillight styling, but if that's my biggest gripe after a couple of 325-mile days, then Suzuki is doing something right.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 4,834 miles