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Used 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS Sedan Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS Sedan.

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
Hot Little Car
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.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Is this the best value car you can buy?
Sport SLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl CVT)
We recently purchased our second new car, (we’ve had many second hand cars over the years), having had to sell our 12 year-old Nissan Pulsar SLX due to me breaking my back in a car accident last year. The seating position of the Pulsar was no longer tenable for me and I had to get a vehicle with a higher, more ergonomically correct seat. We bought the Pulsar new in 1999 and it had been a pleasure to own and was well specced for the time with ABS, driver's air-bag, four-wheel disc brakes, air-conditioning, factory alloys and the engine was chain-drive DOHC with VVT. It was the cheapest car to own we'd ever had and I was sad to see it go. After briefly considering second hand cars, I was conscious that had I been driving a vehicle with traction control, I would not have crashed, spinning out on oil, so when looking at later models with this feature I decided to go with another new car. My requirements centered around my physical needs, but I wanted several other things. The car had to have the latest in technology as I felt it was a waste of time buying older technology that was already outdated and due to be replaced. I wanted fuel economy that was at least as good as the 1600cc Nissan Pulsar auto we'd just sold and the car had to be value for money. We wanted an automatic so manual cars were not considered. This ruled out the otherwise excellent Ford Fiesta Econetic as it was only available in manual form. So too, the Toyota Rav4 diesel, the petrol being too thirsty. It became apparent early on that the small cars of today are excellent vehicles and all were superior in power and economy, ride and handling and of course features by comparison to our 12 year old Pulsar, with the Honda City the best over all, but the Swift being cheaper equalled the ride and comfort factor emphasising to me just why it is NZ's best selling small car. Also in the early running was the Honda Insight hybrid, which I liked but the passenger seat was uncomfortable and my wife didn't like the rear view through the mirror, the split window was disconcerting to her. So despite the lowest running costs, even over the Fiesta once RUC's, were counted, (Road User Charges - New Zealand has a separate charge for mileage on diesel vehicles on a $ per Kilometer basis, and Diesel fuel is not taxed at the pump. Depending on size and type of vehicle you pay a particular charge per Kilometer), the Insight dropped off the list. I looked at SUV's but despite the great performance and economy of the new generation diesel's, with the Hyundai ix35 being the best of them, I didn't need the size and expense. On a $ per km figure including RUC's they were going to cost the same as the medium sized petrol cars to run. So that left me to look at the medium car market as an alternative to buying a small car. The Suzuki SX4i AWD is unique and a great wee SUV with comfort, features and power, but let itself down on wind and engine noise. A shame because otherwise I'd have bought it! It was amazing to realise that the new cars with 2.4lt engines could equal the Pulsar for fuel economy while being a lot bigger and a lot more powerful! I compared the Ford Mondeo Titanium Hatch diesel, the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord Euro, Hyundai i45, VW Passat and the Suzuki Kizashi Ltd. and Sport. The Camry was the first to go as it was dearer and less economical and while the ride and seating were comfortable it was very plain-Jane. It was also a run-out model, due to be replaced with an all new one. The VW was too dear as was the Honda Accord. The Hyundai was my early favourite for technology, style, economy, features and seemed good value. It was perfect in driving position and nearly took the prize. Until I tried the Kizashi... What can I say? I run out of superlatives to describe this car! All the neighbours are jealous, all our friends love it, especially the colour and my wife doesn't want to get out of it. The heated seats and dual-zone climate air were the clincher for her, as was the colour and tints which set the car off beautifully! My back is happy and we look forward to many years of service from what has to be the best mid-sized car on the road today!

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport SLS Sedan

Pros & Cons

  • European-style interior
  • inspired handling
  • responsive continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • available all-wheel drive
  • great value.
  • Less rear legroom than rivals
  • no V6 or turbo engine option
  • limited dealer network.

Full Edmunds Review: 2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sedan

What’s new

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.

Edmunds says

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2011 Suzuki Kizashi models

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.

Performance & mpg

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.


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.


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.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2011 Suzuki Kizashi in Virginia is:

not available