After dominating the cheap-car-you-buy-for-your-kid-with-the-expectation-that-they’ll-total-it-within-a-month market, Suzuki has apparently decided to break ties with their old, slightly less than favorable stigma with the introduction of the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi. Initially unveiled as the Kizashi Concept 3, Suzuki remained tight-lipped concerning production intent and left us with nothing by spy shots with which to fuel our imagination.
Today, after months of waiting, the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi has finally made its global debut – and we’re intrigued.
Generally, our enthusiasm for Suzuki products is limited to those of the two-wheeled variety, but the Kizashi has caught us off guard. Unlike anything currently sitting in their line-up, the Suzuki Kizashi is immediately aesthetically appealing and, like the new Ford Focus, blindsides you with its surprisingly sporty styling. Our first reaction was “Look! Dual exhaust ports! It has dual exhaust ports!” and, try as we might to professionally evaluate the rest of the car, we’re still clicking back through to the gallery and staring at them in wonder. Presumably, this was the reaction Suzuki was hoping to elicit, and the deceptively rally-ready features don’t stop there. The 2010 Kizashi also comes with an advanced AWD system dubbed “i-AWD” that Suzuki claims is a rarity in its class. Engineered to enhance traction and cornering capabilities, engaging the AWD switch delivers power to the rear wheels immediately upon acceleration, while torque split remains dependent on several factors, including wheel slippage and throttle input.
For now, a 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder (available mated to either a 6-speed manual or CVT transmission) remains the 2010 Kizashi’s only engine option, but sources indicate a V6 will also be offered as the model year progresses. Performance numbers for the I4 have yet to be released, but if Suzuki plans to put their money where their mouth is, we expect horsepower to fall somewhere in the 160+ range.