Midsize car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,200 – $16,500*

2010 Suzuki Kizashi front

2010 Suzuki Kizashi rear

2010 Suzuki Kizashi interior

  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Fuel economy
  • Handling/roadholding
  • Ride comfort
  • Acceleration
  • Engine noise
  • Rearward visibility

Suzuki has positioned its Kizashi as a penny pincher’s premium sport sedan. The car is aimed at shoppers who aspire to upscale sporty sedans such as the Acura TSX or Audi A4 but may not have the budget. In terms of engine performance and overall refinement, Kizashi comes up a bit short of its goal. However, it delivers nimble, sports-sedan-worthy handling while maintaining a composed and relatively pleasant ride. Kizashi also offers surprising cabin accommodations given its tidy dimensions, impressive-for-the-price interior appointments, and a long list of standard safety and convenience features. These virtues, combined with appealing pricing–new or used–earn Kizashi a place on your shopping list. Keep in mind though that Suzuki’s exit from the American market could prove problematic when it comes to maintenance and parts availability. Still, if you’re a bargain hunter looking for something different, a Kizashi might be worth tracking down.


The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi marked the return of a midsize sedan to this Japanese automaker’s lineup. Kizashi was available with front-wheel drive in S, SE, GTS, and SLS trim levels. SE, GTS, and SLS might have all-wheel drive instead. All Kizashi models were powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It produced 185 horsepower when paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and 180 when used with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which behaved much like an automatic. The manual transmission was offered on the front-drive S, GTS, and SLS. The CVT was available on those models and standard on the SE and all AWD versions. Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, and front- and rear-side airbags. Keyless engine start and dual-zone automatic climate control were standard on all models. A 10-way power driver seat with three-position memory was standard on all but the S. A wireless cell-phone link and sunroof were standard on the GTS and SLS. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and rear-obstacle detection were SLS-exclusive standard features. Suzuki’s Kizashi competed against such sedans as the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and Mazda 6.

Yearly Updates

2011 Kizashi
New sporty variants joined the Kizashi lineup for 2011. Sport GTS and Sport SLS trim levels were new for 2011. All Kizashi models were powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A manual transmission was available on the front-drive GTS and SLS as well as the entry-level S model. The CVT was optional on those models and standard on the SE and all AWD versions. A 10-way power driver seat with three-position memory were standard on all but the S. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and rear-obstacle detection continued as SLS-exclusive standard features. The Sport GTS and Sport SLS had a lowered sport suspension, specific alloy wheels, and unique exterior and interior trim.
2012 Kizashi
Only minor changes marked the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi.
2013 Kizashi
The manual transmission was dropped on all but the entry-level model, which was now called Base rather than S. Feature availability shrank, too. There was a reason for this. American Suzuki, the U.S. distributor of the brand’s products, filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2012. As part of the restructuring, the company shuttered its automobile sales division, and only limited number of 2013 Kizashis were produced. Once inventories were exhausted, it was planned that some facilities would remain open for parts and maintenance. All warranties will be honored according to Suzuki.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

All Kizashis had a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, with either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). For the final 2013 models, the manual was only offered on the Base model. All except the base S model could be equipped with all-wheel drive rather than the standard front-wheel drive.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/146
Engine HP 180
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 170
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
CVT automatic



dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/146
Engine HP 185
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 170
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual


Road Test

With the CVT, acceleration from a stop is leisurely, but power comes on more strongly when you get above 3500 rpm. Passing punch is competitive with four-cylinder rivals. Using the available steering-wheel shift paddles improves the CVT’s response. Manual-shift models are a bit peppier from a stop and have smooth shifter and clutch action.

Fuel economy is a benefit. In Consumer Guide testing, a front-drive SE, which had the CVT standard, averaged 26.1 mpg. An AWD GTS averaged 24.8 mpg in city/highway driving and 27.0 mpg in mostly highway use. An extended-use AWD SE averaged 24.1 mpg. Kizashi uses regular-grade gas.

Given its sports-sedan aspirations, Kizashi delivers a surprisingly compliant ride. There are no differences in suspension tuning among trim levels. The SE, with its 17-inch wheels, keeps things fairly calm over pavement irregularities. With GTS’ and SLS’ sport suspension and 18-inch tires, Kizashi still does a good job of absorbing most minor pavement imperfections, but sharp bumps can intrude. No S models, which have 16-inch wheels, have been made available for testing.

Handling is crisp and composed with little body lean in fast corners. Communicative steering is precise and well weighted. Available all-wheel drive increases the car’s roadholding capabilities.

Kizashi’s cabin is well isolated, particularly in the SE, as the GTS’ and SLS’ 18-inch tires are prone to rumble on some pavement surfaces. Suzuki’s engine is less refined than most rival four-cylinders under full-throttle acceleration, but it’s quiet while cruising.

Gauges are large and easy to read, though some drivers have found that the steering wheel partially obscures certain readouts. Climate control and stereo buttons are easy to reach and use. The screen readout and operation of a music player connected to the USB port is not as clear or intuitive as it should be. Kizashi’s interior has a surprisingly premium feel, thanks to high-grade fabrics and fine fit and finish. The dashtop has no padding, and its texture looks a touch down-market. The cloth seats look and feel nice, and the SLS’ leather upholstery brings a more upscale ambiance.

Despite small-for-the-class exterior dimensions, Kizashi’s cabin is remarkably spacious. Front-seat headroom and legroom are excellent in the SE. The GTS and SLS have had a standard sunroof, whose housing steals quite a bit of head space. Visibility to the rear corners is compromised by thick roof pillars, though large outside mirrors compensate somewhat. Standard fold-down rear headrests are a boon to aft visibility.

Passengers up to six feet tall will be comfortable enough in the back seat, though some testers have declared the seat cushions overly firm. Legroom shrinks significantly as front seats are moved rearward.

Although the Kizashi trunk is fairly large and usefully shaped, sickle-shaped hinges intrude slightly on cargo space. The split rear seats fold and have a convenient center pass-through. Plenty of interior small-items storage is available.


Model Tested: 2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 7
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
Cargo Room - 3


Value - 7

Total: 61


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
106.3 183.1 71.7 58.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.3 16.6 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 37.0 41.7 35.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 Kizashi 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Alternator belt
Description: The spring in the alternator belt tensioner could break causing the belt to squeal or come off unless the tensioner has been replaced as part of a silent recall. (2010-11)
Check-engine light
Description: On some vehicles, the check engine light may illuminate and the transmission will go into limp-in mode unless the transmission control module has been reprogrammed. (2010)

Recall History

2010 Kizashi
Description: On certain vehicles manufactured from October 13, 2009 through May 31, 2010, hinged door of center lower box in front dashboard area could open in a crash.
2010-13 Kizashi
Description: Certain 2010 through 2013 model Kizashi vehicles built between October 13, 2009 and October 31, 2012 may have a gear lever that can be shifted out of the Park position without the brake pedal being depressed.
2010-13 Kizashi
Description: Certain 2010 through 2013 model Kizashi vehicles may have evaporative canister vent hoses that can become blocked due to spider webs. The blockage can result in excessively high negative pressure in the fuel tank, which can lead to the tank cracking and possibly leaking gasoline.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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