As confused product launches go, the Suzuki Kizashi takes some beating. This is a car that until recently was said to be canned by Suzuki because of the faultering global car market.
But, while everyone falls over themselves in a bid to produce thrifty, economical cars in the face of a global recession, Suzuki has soldiered on with the Kizashi. And here it is: a mid-sized four-wheel drive sports saloon only available with a 2.4-litre petrol engine.
The Kizashi is probably only destined for US market now, with Suzuki UK telling me this morning that it will be focusing on small cars for the time being. The Japanese press office didn’t seem to know much about the car either, which leads me to believe the company’s American branch has adopted the project and everyone else has lost interest.
The styling is acceptable but if this is to be pitched as a sports saloon only, where’s the drama of the concept? I can’t help thinking that if I lived in the US and wanted a car that looks like a VW Jetta, I’d buy a VW Jetta with the 2.5-litre five pot instead.
A hybrid Kizashi in the works apparently, although this information was hidden in the press release announcing the Kizashi's arrival. The hybrid would be interesting, but if the confused nature of the launch is anything to go by, I wonder if this will ever see the light of day.
But the best bit of the press release was this in the description of the “dynamic” handling. “That driving experience was validated on Germany’s Autobahn, Switzerland’s Alpine twisties, cobblestone roads of rural England and the legendary Nurburgring,” it reads.
What was the point of running development Kizashis on these fabled cobblestoned country roads if it’s never coming to this country anyway? The mind boggles…