Few are likely to discover as much, but Suzuki has blessed the Kizashi with excellent handling. Taut and responsive yet quite refined and compliant with it, it would give this car an entirely convincing selling point as a provider of affordable driver thrills were it not for the shortcomings of the powertrain.

A steering rack with near-perfect weight and an abundance of road feel is among the car’s biggest assets. It communicates the amount of lateral grip available at the front wheels with unerring accuracy, and means you can lean on the outside front wheel as hard as you like while cornering the Kizashi precisely and with commitment.

Matt Burt

Matt Burt

Executive Editor, Autocar
This is a car you’d be happy to commute in every day

The car’s chassis serves body control first and comfort as a close second, but it is by no means compromised. Although allowing a little body roll, it generates a commanding hold on the road and attends to surface disturbances with a quiet bump absorption that develops into fine vertical damping as speed increases. The bushed subframes make for an equally quiet low-speed ride that, while slightly fussy, is anything but harsh or unyielding. This is a car you’d be happy to commute in every day, and you’d feel good about driving it home.

The Kizashi has a fine handling balance, too. A grippy front end hardly ever understeers, and the rear axle is responsive enough to make for an engaging, adaptable cornering style.

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It’s a shame that the Kizashi’s four-wheel drive system doesn’t add its own layer of involvement into the car’s dynamic mix. Only on very slippery surfaces are you aware of Suzuki’s i-AWD system coming into play as it juggles power towards the rear axle. In the dry, even at the limit of grip, the Kizashi’s throttle-on handling feels classically front-wheel drive.

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