2010 Suzuki Kizashi GTS: Way Better Bluetooth
August 17, 2010
I've been following all the gushing comments about the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi GT on this blog and wondered if it's really that good. It is. I drove it for the first time last night and came away duly impressed with pretty much everything everyone else has been praising the car for.
The Kizashi also has some great gadgets for a car costing $22,500: a pumping 425-watt/10-speaker Rockford Fosgate system, decent iPod integration and Bluetooth hands-free for phoning as well as wireless audio streaming.
And while the Bluetooth hands-free isn't the best, it is better than some cars costing twice as much.
First, it was relatively easy to pair my iPhone 3GS. Even though I had to pull over to do it. And delete another editor's phone since the system had hit its limit (a common occurrence around here). And go through a few too many steps compared to the best systems.
While calling a friend who owns an Acura MDX I was reminded of how maddening some systems in more expensive vehicles can be. He started the conversation by cursing the MDX's Bluetooth system, which requires an extra step to transfer the call from the phone to the car. And while chatting with another friend, I was struck by how clear the connection sounded in the Kizashi.
But the system didn't automatically download my phone's address book, although you can enter contacts one at a time and assign voice tags as well as six speed-dial numbers that can be accessed by touching the numbered buttons on the left side of the dash display.
You can also dial a number by voice, although the system was about 50 percent accurate during my short time in the car. And as a bonus you're able to simultaneously pair the phone for Bluetooth hands-free and audio, unlike some systems.
If you classify Bluetooth systems as good, better, best, the Kizashi's falls somewhere in the middle. But if you go by what you get for your money -- and also consider that the car's in-cabin tech comes standard -- the Kizashi is way better than most.
Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology