Suzuki Car Review
What is it?
Quite possibly, the best car you’ve never heard of….
Typical company car it emphatically is not. And that might just be part of the attraction.
The Suzuki Kizashi is a stylish saloon that lobs a few grenades into the Mondeo/3-Series/A4 sector of the market. It’s a high quality car with plenty of spec and standard equipment, blessed also with one of the sweetest front-drive chassis around. Put simply, it’s both fast and fluent and a superbly balanced and responsive machine on the road.
Unfortunately, it comes with just the single engine choice – a relatively thirsty, 2.4-litre petrol ‘four’ that also emits 191 g/km for C02, thus making it a non-starter for today’s corporate fleets virtually from the outset.
The Kizashi was originally conceived around a mix of body styles and with petrol, diesel and hybrid power. Sadly, Japan’s difficult economic climate has put paid to most of that and the only survivor is this 2.4 petrol saloon, whose main market is actually North America.
Give credit to Suzuki GB for at least having a go with the Kizashi, with an initial 500 unit run even, if the all important economy and BIK numbers are not in its favour as a company car choice. Still, with just the single engine and virtually zero image, the Kizashi is already looking like one of the classic lost leaders.
- With outstanding chassis balance, strong grip and precise steering, Kizashi is great to drive – you will be amazed
- Strong performance from gutsy 2.4-litre engine, offering 178 bhp
- 0-60 mph in a quick 8.8 secs
- High quality build – goes head to head with German premium compacts, inside and out
- Cool ‘junior executive’ 4dr styling catches the eye
- Switchable 2WD/4WD with 6-speed CVT box, plus steering wheel paddle shift
- ESP plus seven airbags as standard
- Standard equipment also includes leather upholstery; electric front seats with driver’s seat three-position memory; heated front seats; electric glass sunroof; cruise control; Eight-speaker radio/CD system with Bluetooth and USB port
- Good packaging – plenty of space in front and back. Decent boot
- Rarity – you’ll never see another one coming the other way
- No diesel. Suzuki at one point harbored plans to use a VW diesel in the Kizashi but that’s now been abandoned….so Suzuki’s 2.4-litre petrol is the sole engine on offer, with its uncompetitive 191 g/km for C02
- Just the single 4dr body style.
- What is it? Given the Kizashi’s low profile, you will be asked this time and again.
- Poor 34.0 mpg combined economy
- 1st year VED of £460
- High 29% BIK, or £6229
- Likelihood of weak residuals.
Business Car Manager Verdict
We’d wager when you see and drive the Suzuki Kizashi, you’ll be impressed by what’s on offer. The car has style, inside and out, and both on the motorway and across that twisty B-road. Kizashi excels, with a level of performance, handling and response that’s genuinely top drawer.
A more sober company car comparison of the bits that matter to a company car driver, however – BIK, C02, VED etc – and the Kizashi is pretty much out for the count. Blame that ‘big’ 2.4-litre petrol engine for that instead of efficient, smaller capacity unit (preferably a diesel) the market now expects. And the car’s standard CVT box.
Suzuki knows this of course which is why its market aspirations with Kizashi are suitably modest. Given its limited numbers, the Kizashi is never going to be common sight on UK roads which perhaps gives it its own kind of appeal.
That’s to say, if you don’t want to run with the usual company car pack, the Suzuki Kizashi is out there to surprise and delight, and overturn a few preconceptions.
Suzuki Kizashi 2.4 178PS CVT
The Low Down…
|Doors and body style||4-door saloon|
|Engine/gearbox||2.4-litre 4-cyl petrol|
…and what it costs
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)|
|Road tax (VED)||Band J|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2012/13 to 2014/15||29%, 30%, 31%|
|Benefit in kind 2012/13 to 2014/15||£6,229, £6,444, £6,659|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||£1,172/£98|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||£2,343/£196|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£1,246/£104|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£2,492/£208|
|Figures correct at time of posting|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|