Maruti Kizashi Review
Kizashi: Meaning (Sign of good things to come.)
Question: Does the Kizashi have the desirability, capability, make the right noises in the senior exec’s car park and right pricing to meet the requirements of the Indian Car buyer?
The exterior and the insides:
As your eyes glide over the front of car it looks like an SX4 on a weight training program i.e. (muscular SX4) which is not necessarily a good thing in the Indian context. On closer inspection the funkier lines start to appear. The sporty compact dimensions, beautifully sculpted rear, super bike like chromed tipped exhausts, Delicious looking alloys, BMW like rings in he headlamps. It’s a design that grows on you.
The interiors are leagues ahead of what we are used to from Maruti Suzuki. The cabin has a big airy feel about it. The V shaped dash, soft touch plastics on the dash, chunky and beautifully built steering wheel, sunken instrument panel. The dimpled leather seats are well designed and are large and supportive coupled with ample shoulder room and head room at the front. The rear seats are not as massive as the front but are nice and comfortable and knee space is also good.
Special mention goes to features like keyless entry, powered front seats and seat memory. There are also some cheap nasty bits like the buttons on the driver’s door pad and others on the steering wheel which look like they have been picked off the SX4.
Impressive equipment list like Keyless entry and ignition, USB input, Six airbags, ABS,ESP make the car feel special
Corner lover or comfortable cruiser? The American Kizashi is an AWD (all wheel drive) with a firm suspension which is the best sports saloon in its class there. For India Maruti’s engineers have softened up the suspension for Indian roads so the car is more bottom soothing and back friendly. It demolishes most bad roads with its suspension working silently and large tyres helping to some extent. It is one of the best riding saloons in its class.
The chassis still has the agility and is a driver’s car that you can chuck into corners.
Kizashi gets a 2.4 litre four cylinder engine from the Grand Vitara with 178 PS of power mated to a six speed mechanical tranny. The engine is amazingly smooth and silent revving up to 6500 rpm. The ton (100 Kph) comes up in 9.43 seconds. This Kizashi can cruise effortlessly at 140 all day. This car also comes with a CVT which is not as refined as the ones in its class. Top speed is limited to 181 kmph. The actual top speed is in excess of 200 kmph but the fun is spoiled here by a speed limiter which Maruti will not remove.
Value build and strength quality:
At an on road price ( Bangalore) of Rs 22 lac the car is pricey for the stuff it brings to the road. The fit and finish is high quality Japanese and the build is decent as well.
The Kizashi is more than capable to take on cars in its class. Coming to desirability and making the right noises in the senior executive’s car park there are two issues here. Firstly coming from a mass car maker there is an image problem and at the price point it leaves its core audience confused. Too compact to compete with the Accord and Superb and too expensive for the Civic and Laura segment buyers. But if you still want a plush riding, sporty, loaded to the gills luxurious saloon with vast service network look no further than the Kizashi.
Pros: Sporty, Loaded with extras, ride quality
Cons: Price, Image, Rear seating