Kizashi 4WD - the new mid-sized saloon from Suzuki
Suzuki is pleased to announce the UK introduction of the Kizashi Sport ‘D’ segment car with switchable 2/4WD as standard equipment. Kizashi – which in Japanese means ‘A sign of great things to come’ - represents an exciting new direction for the company and has been developed as the flagship model in the Global Suzuki passenger car line-up.
The Kizashi redefines the traditional performance saloon and moves the Suzuki brand upscale without abandoning Suzuki’s traditional emphasis on content and value. Furthermore, its active and energetic identity, a core component of the Suzuki brand DNA, is augmented by the vehicle’s overall mission to provide strong yet refined performance.
The Sport model features a host of external and internal modifications that include a muscular front fascia (with chrome accents) and lower grille; body side sill extensions; lower body side mouldings with chrome accents; custom lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels and a unique sport steering wheel with contrasting stitching for its leather seats, gear shift surround and parking brake boot.
Kizashi is Suzuki’s first mid size saloon car and comfortably accommodates up to five people and their luggage needs, while retaining a sleek and stylish look. Exterior dimensions are length-width-height of 4,650mm x 1,820mm x 1,470mm making it one of the most compact ‘D’ segment saloon cars.
The spacious interior offers plenty of leg and shoulder room, even for rear seat passengers. Space is not the only factor in ensuring plenty of on-board comfort: the shape and position of the seats are designed to support a natural posture, a key factor in comfortable long-distance travel. Additionally, ideal seat heights and large door apertures make access easy for all on board.
For added practicality, the Kizashi features a through loading system to allow for longer items to be loaded from the boot. The rear seats divide 60:40 to accommodate seating for one or two rear passengers or none, making full use of the extra boot space available. A ‘ski bag’ style load through facility is also installed for carrying longer items.
Kizashi Sport is highly equipped as standard including seven airbags; four electric windows, MP3/WMA compatible CD tuner with eight speakers, Dual Zone automatic air conditioning, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start and folding heated door mirrors. The sole option for Kizashi will be a touch screen satellite navigation system, available as a dealer fit.
In combined cycle driving, it has a combined fuel consumption of 34.0 mpg with CO2 emissions of 191g/km.
For the UK market, the responsive 178hp four cylinder engine is connected to a performance-tuned Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that delivers the driving experience consumers demand. The transmission is fitted with an additional shift lever gate as well as switches behind the steering wheel. This helps fully optimise driver control as the system can be operated manually through the available programme of six speeds.
An exceptionally rigid steel body with a reinforced front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension constructed from aluminium allows for crisp, nimble handling with excellent stability, a sophisticated ride and reduced chassis vibration. Kizashi’s sophisticated braking system offers standard four-wheel disc brakes and includes suppliers such as Akebono, a world-leader in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) and a leading brake supplier for Japan’s famed bullet trains.
The Kizashi incorporates a long list of standard safety equipment including seven airbags; Electronic Stability Programme; anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution; and to further enhance driver confidence, the Kizashi also offers a reinforced rigid chassis for added stability and control.
All Weather Capability
Kizashi for the UK market is fitted as standard with Suzuki’s latest intelligent all-wheel-drive system (i-AWD) which is quite a rare option in the ‘D’ segment as this performance feature is more often found among luxury cars. Engineered to provide outstanding traction in inclement weather, the sophisticated all wheel drive system delivers both enhanced traction in low friction situations as well as enhanced cornering capabilities.
When driving in dry and normal conditions, the i-AWD system can also be operated in two wheel drive mode where drive is predominantly to the front wheels with minimum torque transmitted to the rear wheels; this is simply operated via a switch on the dashboard and can be altered when the car is in motion.
In four wheel drive (i-AWD) mode the system sends power to the rear wheels immediately upon acceleration, with torque split – up to 50:50 front/rear - remaining dependent on several factors including wheel slippage and throttle and steering input.
When in i-AWD mode, the control system monitors the vehicle operating conditions via sensors and, based on these sensed conditions will control the system power coupling device so that optimum torque is delivered to the rear wheels. This function improves driving performance on rough roads and stabilises performance in slippery conditions including snow covered ascents.
Suzuki has taken advantage of its expertise in the compact car segment to efficiently execute spacious interior proportions that afford comfort and practicality while minimising wasted space. Along with cabin proportions that reward Kizashi drivers and passengers with comfort and roominess, Suzuki provides a contemporary, upscale interior feel (including standard sport seats) in line with the vehicle’s on-road performance characteristics. Driving enthusiasts will appreciate Kizashi’s sporty, elegant and informative instrument panel, while consumers seeking a luxury saloon will be pleased with the vehicle’s leather seating and premium quality materials used. The Kizashi also offers extensive sound insulation to help suppress road, tyre and wind noise.
Stainless-steel exhaust covers reflect inspiration from Suzuki’s motorcycle designs. The boot lid is both slim and rigid thanks to an advanced joining technique known as laser brazing (a first among Suzuki cars) and the brush-stroke-style ‘Kizashi’ emblem combines spirit and Japanese tradition.
The interior design gives a contemporary, upscale feel. The ‘sporty and elegant’ theme is reflected in features that include a bold but elegant centre console, premium grade controls and seats, and extensive touches of tactile and visual refinement.
The main instrumentation takes the form of two cylindrically shaped meters with an information display between them, which logs instantaneous as well as average fuel consumption, range and average speed. It also incorporates a battery replacement warning for the remote key fob.
Although the Kizashi is a saloon car, it offers a level of utility that will more than satisfy people downsizing from larger saloons. Luggage-carrying convenience in the Kizashi begins with a boot that has a generous capacity of 461 litres and a 60:40-split-folding rear seatback with ski-bag facility.
Handily positioned spaces for smaller items include an illuminated glove box, a double-layer compartment under the centre-console armrest and an instrument-panel centre box ideal for an iPod®, housing the USB port and power socket.
Power for the Kizashi comes from a 2.4-litre DOHC in-line four cylinder engine, designated J24B. Based on the engine that made its debut in 2008 in the award winning Grand Vitara, the engine has been updated with increased power for Kizashi with modifications to inlet valve lift and also improvements to the shaping of the exhaust port.
Those improvements have helped attain excellent performance of 178PS at 6,000 rpm with 230 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm and fuel consumption of 34.0mpg on the combined cycle.
The engine also reflects a focus on suppressing noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH). These technologies include extensive use of insulating materials and seals in the underfloor, dash, pillars and wheel wells. Engine balance shafts, acoustically tuned manifold passages and dual high-capacity silencers in the exhaust system are also used.
An exceptionally rigid steel bodyshell forms the basis for the great handling and a smooth ride in the Kizashi. Keys to the body’s high rigidity include straight under floor members, comprehensively reinforced joints and reinforced pillars, engine and suspension mounts.
The front suspension is of McPherson strut type, featuring a cradle type suspension frame which contributes to a lower centre of vehicle gravity and improved vehicle dynamics. Suspension mounting to the body is of a floating type using a bush to improve comfort and quietness and a stabiliser joint is installed on the strut assembly to further improve vehicle stability.
The front steering knuckle is made of die-cast aluminum to reduce weight around the bottom of the spring and the rear suspension consists of a multi-link arrangement including an upper arm, lower arm, control rod and trailing arm.
The multi-link type contributes to a lower centre of vehicle gravity and lower floor panel position, improving vehicle dynamics and comfort. Superb braking performance is supplied by Akebono brakes, the company that provides the braking system for Japan’s famous Bullet train.
Service intervals for Kizashi are 9,000 miles, in line with all other Suzuki models. A three year / 60,000 miles warranty is offered together with a 12 year anti-perforation warranty. The insurance group rating is 26.