2013 Suzuki Kizashi Review

Pros & Cons

  • High-quality interior
  • generous standard features list
  • inspired handling
  • responsive transmissions
  • excellent brakes
  • available all-wheel drive
  • great value.
  • Suzuki no longer actively sells cars in the United States
  • subpar fuel economy
  • less legroom than rivals
  • no optional engine upgrade.
Other years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi is without question the most underrated and overlooked midsize sedan out this year. Sadly, it's a great car tied to a dead automotive brand, since Suzuki has elected to quit doing business as a car company in the U.S. Your warranty will still be honored, though.

Vehicle overview

The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi is a great car that was never given a chance. This sedan, sized between compact and midsize cars, offers a tremendous blend of attributes that many buyers should find very enticing. It's fun to drive, the brakes are superb and all-wheel drive is available. The standard features list is very generous, the price is reasonable and cabin quality is high. Cover up that stylized S badge and you might think you were actually in a Volkswagen.

Sadly, the Kizashi is likely the most overlooked car in a very, very crowded market segment, plus you'd be hard-pressed to find a dealer. And finally -- the great nail in the coffin -- Suzuki has ceased new car sales in the United States after filing for bankruptcy. You can still buy a Kizashi, the lengthy warranty will be honored and service facilities will remain open for the foreseeable future, but the B word is hard to overcome.

And yes, there are other drawbacks. This car is slightly smaller than its competition, so the backseat has less legroom than larger midsize sedans. The fuel economy is subpar from the four-cylinder engine. There isn't a more powerful optional engine. The new-for-2013 touchscreen navigation system also has a rather unimpressive technological display compared to the advanced systems of competitors. We'd skip it and stick with the well-sorted standard radio controls.

Last year, we said that the Suzuki Kizashi was still worthy of consideration despite these somewhat insignificant drawbacks. We noted that if you happen to live near a Suzuki dealer, it was a wonderful alternative to premium compacts like the Jetta and Ford Focus, or budget midsizers like the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. In theory, that's still the case, but with the car company's bankruptcy, it's easy to pass on the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi and simply remember it fondly as the poor little car that was never given a shot.

2013 Suzuki Kizashi models

The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi is a family sedan sized between compact and midsize models. It is available in base, SE, Sport GTS and Sport SLS trims.

The base Kizashi comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a manual transmission only, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a seven-speaker sound system with a CD player and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The SE adds an automatic transmission and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It is also eligible for certain options not available on the base car. These include heated mirrors, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an eight-way power driver seat with adjustable lumbar and memory functions.

The Sport GTS features 18-inch wheels, transmission paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension and lowered ride height, a sport body kit, a rear spoiler, foglights, a sunroof, the power driver seat items, a sport steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shifter and hand brake lever, and Bluetooth audio streaming. The heated mirrors and Bluetooth phone connectivity are optional along with leather upholstery, a four-way passenger seat, upgraded interior trim, a navigation system (includes a touchscreen interface and a rearview camera) and a 10-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system.

All of the above items come standard on the Sport SLS along with all-wheel drive, automatic wipers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Satellite radio is a dealer-installed option.

2013 Highlights

An integrated touchscreen navigation system is added to the options list for 2013. That options list has been shuffled as well, along with trim level feature content, resulting in additional standard items.

Performance & mpg

Every 2013 Suzuki Kizashi is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 185 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. The base model comes only with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. All other trims get a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is optional on the SE and Sport GTS, and standard on the Sport SLS.

In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped Kizashi went from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which is average for a compact car (few midsize cars can be found with a manual). With the CVT, that time drops to 9.1 seconds, which is average for both compacts and midsizers.

Fuel economy with the CVT and front-wheel drive is 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. This is disappointing regardless of what size of car you compare the Kizashi to. The all-wheel-drive model gets 22/29/25, while the manual-equipped base car delivers 21/31/25.


Every 2013 Kizashi comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. An enhanced stability control system is included with the available all-wheel drive.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Kizashi with 18-inch wheels came to a stop in an excellent 114 feet -- nearly 10 feet better than most competitors.

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 2013 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. 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 range between fill-ups.

Output from the four-cylinder is adequate, though its fuel economy will disappoint compared to newer competitors. 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 2013 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.

Other complaints are not exactly substantial. Some have noted that the oversized font on the radio display can only show a few characters at a time -- this is specifically a problem with the iPod interface. The available navigation system is essentially an aftermarket unit with questionable functionality, so we'd skip it and buy an actual aftermarket head unit that's cheaper and doesn't compromise the audio system controls. Also, the trunk is on the small side, accommodating only 13.3 cubic feet of cargo.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

A spectacularly underrated luxury sedan
Sport SLS Navi Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT)
This is primarily my wife's daily driver, and we thoroughly love it. We bought it with low miles and have put about 100,000 miles on it in the past five years. It's been 100% reliable. Other than routine maintenance (oil changes, air filters, and brakes once), we've only had a single issue... and that turned out to be our fault. The front differential started dripping some fluid and we couldn't sort it out. The dealer changed the seals under warranty, and it kept leaking. It turned out the front passenger wheel had been significantly bent in a pot hole and was shaking the front differential so hard that it was leaking. We replaced the bent wheel, and the leak was gone. So, I blame us for that, not the car. The interior is luxurious (nicer than my dad's BMW or my Mercedes), and everyone that rides in it comments on the quality of the leather (contrast stitching) and the comfort of the front seats. It is superb for long trips; we never experience back fatigue. The chassis of the car is overbuilt too. It has truly superb handling that could easily support a couple hundred more horsepower. The chassis reminds me of the sports cars I've owned... taut and grippy. That being said, we've never felt that the stock 185hp was too little. The Kizashi came with more standard horsepower than all the base model sedans in the segment. A turbo or V6 option would have been a nice upgrade, but the 2.4 is a very decent little engine. Acceleration is a little deceptive since the smooth CVT makes it feel slower than it actually is. The CVT isn't my favorite (I prefer manuals), but my wife genuinely likes it. The 2013 had a slight CVT redesign versus the 2010-2012 models; it's never given us any issues, and we're pushing 130k miles on it. I have changed the fluid and 2 filters in it once at 100k (and I suggest others do the same at 100k or whenever the fluid color starts changing). It'll whine a little when you drive up a mountain for a few hours in 90F degree heat, but it's been entirely reliable just like virtually everything else on the car. The only thing that's "failed" was the poorly-designed USB outlet. It can literally be pushed into the dashboard if you plug something in too hard. I modified the replacement USB outlet's retention tabs with a touch of epoxy, and the problem is fixed. Oh, I did read about a lot of Kizashi owners needing to replace their headlight bulbs frequently. So, rather than face that possibility, I just bought an HID kit and installed it (so no problems there, and the lights are bright and beautiful). The Edmunds review bullets indicate mediocre fuel mileage, but I would disagree. In 2010 when the car was released, this was the second most fuel efficient AWD vehicle in America (second only to the smaller Suzuki SX4). It's no Prius, but for a solidly-built AWD sedan, it's very decent (easily over 30mpg on the highway). Don't forget that this only requires regular fuel too; a lot of the competitors require premium fuel to reach their mileage ratings. We're saving plenty of money on gas versus the Honda CRV this replaced (despite the CRV being a lighter vehicle). If I can find a low mileage one, I will absolutely buy another when the time comes to replace this one. Yes, the dealer options stink since Suzuki is gone from the US, but I'm not a huge fan of dealers anyway. I'd rather let a skilled independent work on my cars. Or better yet, get a supremely reliable car like the Kizashi and no one needs to work on it. This is an attractive luxury sedan with solid performance, excellent reliability, and high safety ratings. It's hard to think of any real complaints on it. I will say that based on the car's terrific performance in snow, the AWD may have been an unnecessary option... the FWD version of the car is probably what I would buy next time (just to save weight and fuel). Snow has never been an issue, and my wife frequently forgets to turn the AWD option on during inclement weather anyway. My wife hates it when we rent cars now, because all the new 2020 Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, Chevy and Toyota rental sedans are dull and uncomfortable compared to her beloved "Kizzy." Highly recommended. I hope Suzuki figures out how to return to America one day... and makes more cars like this.

Features & Specs

22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
180 hp @ 6000 rpm
23 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
180 hp @ 6000 rpm
22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
180 hp @ 6000 rpm
22 city / 29 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
180 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2013 Suzuki Kizashi features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.9%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi

Used 2013 Suzuki Kizashi Overview

The Used 2013 Suzuki Kizashi is offered in the following submodels: Kizashi Sedan. Available styles include Sport SLS Navi Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT), SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl CVT), SE 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT), Sport GTS Navi Edition 4dr Sedan AWD (2.4L 4cyl CVT), Sport GTS Leather 4dr Sedan 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl CVT), and 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6M).

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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Suzuki Kizashi?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Suzuki lease specials
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