Living with $26k worth of utter frustration and pure joy.
I was wondering when I was going write a review about my car. Too early, I was afraid I would be in “Honeymoon mode” and can’t say anything bad about it. So when did I know I was ready to write about it?
It was one lazy Sunday afternoon, when I was stranded on the Garden State Parkway.
So let get over whats not awesome about the car. A CVT transmission may be a successor to the slushbox, but it’s still plenty of kinks. The “kink” that left me stranded on the GSP was that something triggered the CVT to gradually lose power over a short period of time. Suzuki claims to have fixed the issue now, but who knows if it may or may not happen again? Plus, when working the CVT feels too much of a fun stopper. The Kizashi struggles in small inclines and it’s not particularly rev-happy. Frankly, it’s a waste on such a low powered car (180 HP, and don’t even mention the paddle shifters). I think the CVT is more appropriate on a hauler like the Maxima.
So what other terrible things I can say about a car I’m paying for the next 5 years? Well, for those of you not living in a small state like New Jersey, I have some bad news. You probably do not notice any Suzuki Auto dealers in your neighborhood. That’s because Suzuki has one of the sparsest dealership network in America. I am fortunate to live close to a Suzuki dealership, but you try servicing your Suzuki in say… Arkansas. Plus, while Suzuki is synonymous with automobiles in India and Japan, here in America it’s known more for motorcycles and crappy Daewoo rebadge jobs. And that name… it’s Ki-Zaaa-Shi, ya d-bags!
So the transmission is suspect, there are not enough dealers, and brand recognition is lower than Tesla’s stock price, why did I buy it?
Did I mention it’s the best mid-size sedan in the market right now?
First of all, as much as Suzuki marketing want to compare the Kizashi to the A4′s, TSX’s, and GS’s of the world, it will not beat mid-sizes with a 10k premium. However, I am confident it can slay the Camry’s, Accords, 6′s, and Jetta’s of the world in driving dynamics. While every other brand blew up their mid-size to fit the ever expanding American, the Kizashi sacrifices size for one of the best handling cars with four doors.
On the quiet mountain roads of Central and North Jersey, there is a reckless Chinese man treating his commute like a rally stage. Going 15-20 mph above the speed limit through narrow roads and terrorizing inhabitants living in their grand estates and horse farms. I am certain the local constables are setting a speed trap for me as soon as they can and pronounce the car name correctly. So yeah, it eats corners for breakfast. And turns mild mannered commuters into The Fast and The Furious. Can’t say the same thing about a Sonata.
Did I also mention it’s a amazingly good looking car? Once you get past the giant ‘S’ badge on the grill, it looks more like a big-booted Jetta than a bloated CamCord. And the interior…. 425 Watt Rockford-Fosgate… enough said.
I spend quite a bit of time worrying about the Kizashi’s three digit monthly sales. While being outsold by such mainstream sedans like the Porsche Panamera makes me wonder about the viability of the brand, it really is nice to have the only Kizashi in town it seems. In the three months of ownership, I’ve seen only one other Kizashi out in public. Despite the fact that Suzuki still owes me $150 in towing fees, I am glad I took the dive into basically an unknown entity. Hopefully, my loyalty to Suzuki pays off in the future.
If not, I’m gonna void that warranty and install that turbocharger. If it can’t be a Maxima, it ought to haul ass like one.