The mid-grade Total Car Score earned by the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi reflects the polarized attitudes the automotive media have about this sedan.
To some it’s an underdog: a fun, sporty sedan with a responsive four-cylinder engine, capable manual transmission and available all-wheel drive that isn’t on most buyers’ shopping lists only because of Suzuki’s limited dealer network.
Others see a car that wants to be more than it is, and that in reality is a bit too cramped inside and really could use a V6 option.
Both sides agree that the Kizashi represents great value, as it includes some upscale features -- push-button start, automatic climate control and more -- as standard equipment in even the lowest-priced model.
Because the car was first introduced just two years ago there are few changes to the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi. SE models now have a leather option package that includes leather upholstery and heated front seats, while the sunroof and powered driver’s seat have been eliminated from the manual-transmission version of the Sport GTS to improve its performance and lower its price.
The 2012 Suzuki Kizashi offers buyers a four-door, five-passenger sedan with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive powertrains and four different trim levels.
The well-equipped base S model features push-button start, automatic dual-zone climate control and sport front seats. SE models upgrade the 16-inch steel wheels to 18-inch alloys and have a powered driver’s seat.
Sport models are distinguished by a different front fascia, body-side extensions, a rear-deck spoiler and lower ride height. Inside, the Sport GTS receives a 10-speaker sound system, while the top-tier Sport SLS adds a navigation system, leather trim, automatic headlights and rear parking sensors.
All Kizashi models use the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but it’s tuned to different power levels depending on the transmission. With the six-speed manual (available in front-drive S and Sport models only), it makes 185 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque. Horsepower dips to 180 when the engine is backed by a continuously variable transmission (CVT), though the torque remains at 170 lb-ft.
EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi are very similar model to model, ranging from 23 mpg city, 31 highway and 26 combined for the Sport GTS with CVT, to 20/29/24 for a base model with a manual.
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