Long time readers of The Garage know that I have a soft spot for the Suzuki brand. This goes back to the early 90’s when we spent some serious time with a pair of Swift GT’s. Our ’89 road car not only did daily duty for about 10 years, but also competed in several years of Solo 1 & 2, not to mention well over a hundred navigational rallies. It was abused hard and kept on rocking. We also did some time as both service crew and driving crew for a ’92 that was a fully prepped performance rally car. Great little car that GT, no matter how many people thought it had 3 cylinders and a turbo or that we had mistakenly put Suzuki badges on a Pontiac Firefly.
Perhaps that has been Suzuki’s greatest flaw. The cars were invisible thanks to lackluster brand marketing.
I get the feeling that that was the old Suzuki. The folks from Suzuki at the launch of the 2010 Kizashi were a vibrant, enthusiastic and forward looking bunch. It shows in the development of this new sedan which is a new direction for the company which has been known for smaller cars and motorcycles. The name Kizashi means something great is coming which points towards not only this model, but future product as well.
While the target competitors for Kizashi are cars like the Accord, Camry, Altima and Mazda6, engineers were looking to take the driving experience to a higher level. More premium sports sedans tend to offer a higher performance drive, which leads to a stronger emotional response from the driver. In other words, make the look fit in with the class, yet blow the consumer away with a driving experience that is above their expectations and do it for a more reasonable price. Sounds like a pretty tall order.