When you think of entry-level luxury sedans our bet is that the Suzuki Kizashi isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Instead you probably think of cars like the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Acura TSX. If we said affordable, yet luxurious economy car, you probably still wouldn’t think of the Kizashi, but instead the Elantra (now with front and rear heated seats) or perhaps the all-new 2012 Ford Focus with the Self Park feature. The Suzuki brand still seems to struggle in the U.S., but with the Kizashi the company has a car that could change the brand from little thought of, to viable class competitor. Think of how Hyundai was thought of in ‘90s and now two decades later it is a formidable competitor with class-leading cars.

2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport

2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport

The 2011 Suzuki Kizashi comes with a four-cylinder 2.4-liter engine with 185-hp mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic continuous variable transmission (CVT). It can even be equipped with the i-AWD system that offers enhanced cornering and traction management through the stability control system. Gas mileage is even decent with 20-23 mpg in the city and 29-31 mpg on the highway. So what makes the Kizashi the best Suzuki to date with a luxury feel? All the reviews really point to the ride and handling. The Kizashi is a pleasant vehicle to drive—in fact we drove one last year at the Rocky Mountain Driving Experience and were quite pleased with its track handling. From a features perspective the Kizashi offers dual climate control, leather keyless entry and navigation—something that isn’t available on other Suzuki models available in the U.S. That said, you won’t find the class-leading features promoted by cars like the 2012 Ford Focus. In the words of the muppets, “Baby steps, Sir. Baby steps.”

 

The bottom line is that the Kizashi is good car for the money with base MSRP starting at $18,999. For a full review of the 2011 Suzuki Kizashi check out our partner site, TheCarConnection.com.