What is it?
Proof of the remarkable ambition of little-regarded Japanese car-maker Suzuki.
The outfit is already world-reknowned for its ability to make profitable small cars and 4x4s, it has 50 per cent of the burgeoning Indian car market, and has entered into an important relationship with the giant Volkswagen Group. Most recently, it’s branched out by launching its first ever medium-sized saloon onto the global market: the Kizashi.
This car’s already on sale in Japan, North America and elsewhere. As a compact family four-door, it’s intended as an alternative to the Renault Laguna or VW Jetta rather than bigger, pricier four-doors like the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia.
What’s it like?
We drove a Japanese-spec Kizashi with Suzuki’s Sport pack. Powered by a transversely mounted, normally aspirated 2.4-litre petrol four-pot driving the front wheels, the car has all-independent suspension and a six-speed manual gearbox.
The Kizashi offers just enough interior space to be competitive at the compact end of the Mondeo class. Standards of both material cabin quality and fit and finish are decent rather than great. Suzuki UK is likely to offer plenty of standard equipment in order to make up for the one of two areas where perceived quality could be improved.