2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport: Something great is coming?

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2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport: Something great is coming? Listen to this article

2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport: Something great is coming?

Something great is coming, that is what Suzuki is telling me with the arrival of its all-new sport sedan Kizashi (pronounced Kee-Zah-Shee) model. So let me get this straight, this new vehicle is the something great or this car is the messenger telling us something great is coming?

Either way, in my opinion something great is already here – the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport. Many hold strong to the “first impressions are usually right” theory and my first impressions of this car are very positive.

2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport: Something great is coming?

I remember Kizashi arriving in concept form a couple of years ago and looked forward to it coming into the press fleet as a production unit. Well, it is here and it is a huge improvement over past sedans brought to the North American market by the automaker and it is offered at a competitive price with a great warranty. And it looks GOOD.

Suzuki aims the Kizashi sport sedan squarely at the Audi A4 and Acura TSX models. While I don’t think many Acura and Audi customers are ready to head over to the Suzuki showroom, I do feel the Kizashi stands a good chance of causing a few ripples in the Euro-spec sport sedan segment and with a few tweaks here and there might just catch the others off-guard.

2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport: Something great is coming?

Highlighting the Kizashi are its strong styling front and rear while offering a host of creature comforts inside. The sport packaging gives the vehicle very good road manners although I don’t feel it is quite ready for any racing venues. Suzuki offers front or all-wheel drive in Kizashi and even our fully laden front-drive sport model with leather and all the goodies came in right around 25 grand, well under the competition.

Our tester had the sport-tuned suspension, sport aero body kit, sport wheels and enhanced brake system and a killer 425-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with satellite radio.

2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport: Something great is coming?

So what needs tweaking? Our car featured the six-speed manual transmission, which was very welcome to get any sort of sport-type performance from the only engine offered in the Kizashi – a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder generating 185hp and 170 lb. ft. of torque. And the clutch was perhaps the wimpiest I had ever experienced in a passenger car – ever. Perfect for beginners and folks with no lower extremity muscle tone but lifeless for the masses. And perhaps they could find a few more mpg on the highway than our tester’s 29.

2011 Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport: Something great is coming?

All-in-all though the new Suzuki Kizashi SLS Sport is a good-looking, good-driving, good-value automobile, and with a few improvements in the powertrain would announce to the world that something great is already here.

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About the Author

David Goodspeed
David was editor of AutoworldToday at Today Newspapers in the Dallas suburbs until its closing in 2009. He was also webmaster and photographer/videographer. He got started doing photography for the newspaper while working as a firefighter/paramedic in one of his towns, and began working for the newspaper group full-time in 1992. David entered automotive journalism in 1998 and became AutoworldToday editor in 2002. On the average, he drives some 100 new vehicles each year. He enjoys the great outdoors and as an avid fly fisherman, as is his spouse Tish. He especially enjoys nature photography and is inspired by the works of Ansel Adams.