2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Suzuki Kizashi Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi

  • The 2011 Suzuki Kizashi is one of the best midsize sedans on the market, but a limited dealer network has kept it out of the spotlight.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    European-style interior; inspired handling; responsive continuously variable transmission (CVT); available all-wheel drive; great value.

  • Cons

    Less rear legroom than rivals; no V6 or turbo engine option; limited dealer network.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Suzuki Kizashi's two upper trim levels, GTS and SLS, have been renamed Sport GTS and Sport SLS this year. The name change reflects the addition of cosmetic, aerodynamic and suspension enhancements.

Full 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Suzuki Kizashi's two upper trim levels, GTS and SLS, have been renamed Sport GTS and Sport SLS this year. The name change reflects the addition of cosmetic, aerodynamic and suspension enhancements.


The term "cult classic" refers to a movie that, while genuinely good, saw limited commercial success at the box office. In automotive terms, the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi is much like a cult classic. Among midsize sedans, it's one of the best you can buy today. But since the Kizashi's debut last year, sales haven't exactly achieved blockbuster status. And chances are, none of your friends have heard of the thing.

And that's really too bad, since few will have the chance to see for themselves how well the Kizashi stacks up against the competition. From the outside, it has a distinct European flavor, almost like the previous-generation Volkswagen Jetta. Inside, the Kizashi continues the premium theme (something Volkswagen actually abandoned with this year's Jetta), impressing drivers with excellent materials, pleasant interior design and solid construction.

On the road, the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi delivers a comfortable ride as well as just enough excitement to get the blood pumping. The 2.4-liter engine is adequate for most drivers, though sadly the rumors of a turbo or V6 model have yet to be realized. On the plus side, the suspension is firm enough to inspire confidence in the curves (especially with this year's new Sport models) without being overly harsh.

Despite Suzuki's limited dealer network, the Kizashi is certainly worth the extra effort to check out if you're considering a midsize sedan, even among such worthy opponents as the 2011 Honda Accord, 2011 Hyundai Sonata and 2011 Kia Optima. True, the backseat is a little short on legroom compared to those larger models. But next to livelier sedans like the Ford Fusion, 2011 Nissan Altima and 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, the Kizashi has a lot to offer. The Suzuki is also one of the few in this class that offers all-wheel drive.

Just like a praiseworthy independent film, we consider the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi the must-see feel-good car of the year. Now if only we could get it in wide release.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Suzuki Kizashi is a midsize sedan available in S, SE, Sport GTS and Sport SLS trim levels.

The Kizashi S comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. When equipped with the CVT, the S gains cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a seven-speaker stereo with USB port/iPod interface. The SE includes all of the above, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and an eight-way power driver seat with memory settings and power lumbar adjustment.

The Sport GTS adds 18-inch wheels, sporty exterior treatments (front fascia, side sills and a rear spoiler), foglights, a sunroof, a sport-tuned suspension with a lower ride height, a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate stereo and Bluetooth phone connectivity/audio streaming. Sport GTS models with AWD also receive steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles (optional on front-wheel drive models).

The top-shelf Kizashi Sport SLS adds automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, heated sideview mirrors, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power passenger seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Optional on the SLS is a navigation system with a rearview camera.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering all 2011 Suzuki Kizashi models is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the S, Sport GTS and Sport SLS with front-wheel drive, while a CVT is optional on those trims and standard on the SE and AWD models. Models with the six-speed manual transmission produce 185 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque, while CVT-equipped variants are detuned slightly to produce 180 hp. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trims, with AWD optional.

In performance testing, a Kizashi SLS with the six-speed manual and front-wheel drive went from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds -- slightly above-average performance for a four-cylinder midsize sedan. With the CVT, that drops to a class-average 9.1 seconds.

Estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 25 mpg in combined driving on the S model with the manual transmission, while the CVT model is rated at 23/31/26 mpg. The other trims achieve 20/29/24 mpg with the six-speed manual, 23/30/26 mpg with front-wheel drive and CVT and 22/29/25 mpg with AWD and the CVT.


Standard safety features on all 2011 Suzuki Kizashis include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front and rear side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Kizashi GTS with 18-inch wheels came to a stop in an excellent 114 feet.

The Kizashi has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in a perfect five stars for front and side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Kizashi its top score of "Good" for frontal-offset and side-impact protection and its second-best score of "Acceptable" in roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Suzuki Kizashi's interior is notable for its use of upscale materials and pleasing design. Not only is it uncharacteristically sophisticated for a Suzuki, but for midsize sedans in general. Passenger comfort is bolstered by ample headroom and well-shaped seats, although those riding in the backseat may find it lacking in legroom compared to most other midsize sedans.

Our complaints are few, with some noting that the oversized font on the radio display can only show a few characters at a time. Also, the trunk is on the small side, accommodating only 13.3 cubic feet of cargo.

Driving Impressions

For drivers looking for a little more excitement out of a family sedan, the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi should prove satisfying. With plenty of grip and adequately weighted steering, the Kizashi can easily take on curvy roads. The suspension tuning is a little firm, but it's not significant enough to sour the overall experience. We expect the Sport models, with a 10mm lower ride height, will be slightly stiffer still. On the highway, the Kizashi is quiet and gives drivers a long fuel range between fill-ups.

Output from the four-cylinder is adequate. The six-speed manual transmission's shifter can seem slightly vague for first-time drivers, but it becomes more intuitive with use. Unlike some other CVTs, the Kizashi's does an admirable job of keeping power on tap without much hesitation or the typical engine drone. The paddle shifters are an added plus for more sporting drivers who demand more control.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Hot little car

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

I have to say I have owned several nice cars in my day and I love to try out new and different models, especially if they have great curb appeal. This one caught my eye as soon as I saw it on the road and I had to find out what it was and where to test drive one at. I was driving a Mustang GT at the time which is an awesome car in itself. This one didn't quite have the GT pep but this old lady needed to chill a bit and this car was perfect. I also owned a Lexus IS 250 and this reminded me of it almost to a tee. Very well made, excellent interior quality and accessories and the exterior is just awesome (I own a Black metallic one). I have had this car 2 yrs now and love it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Terrible paint and warranty

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi SE 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

I bought a 2011 around this time last year. From a mechanical and fun to drive standpoint, its great, but the painted metal surfaces are rusting and Suzuki is denying it as a defect, claiming instead that its an environmental. I haven't owned many cars that rusted, let alone with only 6000 miles on them. Needless to say, my good will towards the company is lost and now it will become a legal matter. Its ashame really, as I did whole lot of research before picking this car.....so I really wanted it. Now I'm not so sure.....and who really know's the extent of the rust....it could be encompass the entirely of the unibody. Beware as this isn't an isolated issue, just the responses vary.

Beware of tpms fees to

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi S 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

I have owned this car for 5 months. I nice ride love the paddle shifters just to have fun. I travel in heavy traffic to work with light driving on the week ends I average a disappointing 22MPG. I have had studded tires on the car for most of that time. When I put my studs on the console lit up and locked me out of my features. The tire pressure monitoring system was locking the dash up. I had to pay $300.00 for computerized valve stems. I also found that each time I change my tires out I must pay the dealer $30.00 to re-set the TPMS in the on-board computer. Other servicers (Les Schwab) could not do the re-set.

1 of 9 people found this review helpful

Love it, but growing a

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

I bought this car because I fell in love with the body style, it had every feature I wanted, and I was offered a fantastic deal. After a year of driving it, though, the little annoyances are pushing me toward trading it. Little things like a radio with an already limited range losing the station a lot. The low tire pressure warning takes over the dashboard but doesn't indicate which tire. The rounded shape of the dash and hood make it difficult for someone of my height (5'5") to judge how close the front end of the car is to something. Because it's so low to the ground, it's either get out and look or risk damaging the car because it won't clear most curbs.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Best kept secret

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Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

I have owned this vehicle for three months now and can say it is probably the best kept secret in the car industry. Safer than a Volvo, as or more responsive and sporty than a BMW or Audi and much less expensive than any of those. For being the best selling car in Japan I am surprised no one in America has ever heard of it, likely do to a non-existent ad campaign. Great Warranty, Fun to drive, turns heads everywhere I go. The quality of the build, fit, finish and all the little details and gadgets Suzuki included are impressive. This car is defiantly worth a test drive even if your looking at its more expensive European cousins exclusively.

5 of 13 people found this review helpful

Lots of fun .... but

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

Bought my Kizashi 6 months ago and have 14,000 miles on it. Fun to drive, sleek appearance and great gas mileage. However, the longer you live with it, the more it shows its weak design points. Two major complaints. 1. the paint is paper thin-chips if you look at it the wrong way. 2.windshield washers are useless for winter driving. they freeze after 1 squirt and that first squirt doesn't even hit the windshield. The car could be considered unsafe to drive in messy winter roads ... zero visibility.

Talk About The 2011 Kizashi

2011 Suzuki Kizashi Discussions See all Started By

I have bought Suzuki Kizashi 2011 AWD. Transmission sucks. Its too slow. Lots of noise while accelerating. And best part is at only 11000km my car Engine head is cracked....

I have a 2011 Kizashi SE which i really love. I have had it for almost two years. About a year ago the rims started to peel. It was very strange. As time passed all four rims peeled, some more ser...

at the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport. Available at a Suzuki not-so-near-you in August of 2010. Here's a polar white one for you to enjoy....

Read more about the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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