A little bit of drive, a little bit of exclusivity: is it worth buying Suzuki Kizashi


Usually, buyers of D-class sedans want to get the maximum size and status out of them. But once, back in 2010, when D-class in Russia consisted not only of Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Volkswagen Passat, and a million rubles was the sum for which it was possible to buy a decent car, Suzuki decided to jump in a car of the going away train of customer opportunities with its flagship sedan Kizashi. Japanese were late with experiments, all over the world, so the car was on the conveyor less than 8 years, and in the majority of countries, including Russia, it was on sale only 3-4 years officially. As a result, Kizashi now is more exclusive than many: there are fewer variants on sale than Alfa Romeo Brera. But the prices by today’s measures are not so high: our colleagues from Avito Avto say, that the market low starts with 500 thousand, and already for 700 one can look for a good copy. What, besides rarity, has a sedan from Suzuki to offer and how difficult will be its purchase?

Actually, Kizashi in our market was unlucky twice. First, the model has debuted not very timely from the point of view of financial situation in the world and in Russia in particular; and secondly, even within the limits of a class it had dark competitors: Honda Accord, Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6, Subaru Legacy, Nissan Teana and so on. As a result, the newcomer with an ambitious price tag of about a million rubles immediately found itself in the midst of a battle for a buyer, but failed to convince it of its appeal. Suzuki’s initial plans to sell 100 cars a year became a reality: for the incomplete 4 years the car was on the market, less than 500 people bought it. As a result, there is actually no aftermarket for the model: at the time of writing, there were exactly 10 variants on sale on Avito. Well, let’s look at what Kizashi was bought new 10 years ago and how difficult will be the search of a car today.

In comparison with schoolmates Kizashi with total length of a body of 4,65 meters was short, though on wheelbase it remained quite at the level of others. A short rear overhang with playful bend of a trunk’s edge hinted at driving character of the car, though this Suzuki could not be called a car for a driver in reality.

However, a full drive and a decent capacity motor provoked some owners to recklessness, thus small and not so small accidents remain one of the main enemies of body condition. Kizashi ages slowly and with dignity – even cheap copies usually have only small operational defects. And quite typical: pockets of corrosion on edges of wheel arches, damages of paintwork in a sandblasted area behind the front wheels, rare paint scuffs in the area of contact with seals and small problems on a trunk lid. The front end collects chips not only on the hood and windshield frame, but also on the edges of the front fenders, adjacent to the headlights. Much worse, things can be in hidden cavities like wheel arches, and also on the underbody. Cars are already inexpensive and not very exclusive, so not all owners spend for regular anticorrecting. Therefore, you should not trust to look decent car and neglect its thorough inspection.

There are not enough unpleasant trifles. There is almost no chrome in exterior trim – only emblem gets rusted off, but defects on black radiator grill appeared literally in several months after purchase. The optics is very actively scratched, and together with polishing the owners often add dubious tuning such as tinting. Door stops squeak and fail, and the price of the original provokes some owners to experiment with parts from VAZ. Leaking seals and corrosion of the hatch rails are also not surprising, as well as clogged drains, because of which the water can get inside. And the failing headlight washers are one of the typical diseases of Kizashi.

Suzuki Kizashi ‘2009–14

It is not difficult to assume that short conveyor life of the model and small circulation mean certain difficulties with body parts. Even a light frontal accident is only original bumper for 40 thousand, not including fine plastics, which can easily cost the same sum (only a radiator grill costs 20 thousand). Further – worse: if a front wing for 15 thousand is still within the bounds of propriety, the hood for 50 thousand is not, as well as doors for 60 thousand. Even the windshield will have to be bought as original for 40 thousand or made to order. The headlamp costs 15k, but the headlamp is already 30k, and there will be no opportunity to buy an analogue here too. In general, it is not surprising, that broken copies are quickly bought out, and on club forums the disassembly subject is fixed at the top of the page.

Suspension of Kizashi is quite simple: MacPherson in front and multilever behind. There were no active shock absorbers, tilting rear wheels as Acura TLX has, and other driving trinkets: simply tightly packed suspension, providing decent controllability at low cost. It will not ruin in repair: here manufacturers of non-original components already enter into business. So, you can not look at the price of original spare parts. You can buy front shock absorbers from KYB for 8 thousand instead of 20 thousand for the original, and the rear ones are half cheaper, a hub together with a bearing is available for 7-10 thousand instead of 15 thousand, and stabilizer struts are “universal” and cost kopecks. Of course, the front ball bearing pressed into the lever, which costs 15 thousand, is upsetting, but there are piece and very cheap non-original levers for 2-6 thousand. The rear levers are also expensive, but first of all, there are standard replacement silentblocks available, albeit not cheap (2-4 thousand a piece), and secondly, there is a small selection of analogs. In general, the suspension is quite realistic to service in time, and the prices by the standards of many “Japanese” are quite acceptable. Except that the range of substitutes is often small, and some rare parts, you may have to look for at scrap yards.

Suzuki Kizashi ‘2009–14

Of course, the sedan has disc brakes on both axles, but not the most powerful ones. They are usually known not for their work, but for the fact that, according to owners’ testimonies, in front they are “from Nissan X-Trail” and in back “from Honda Accord”. Certainly, the catalogs do not show the same parts, but the similarity of parameters allows constructing different theories. This, however, does not matter, as there is no need to pick up parts with a line in an effort to save money. The choice of non-original components more than covers the majority of requests. For example, brake disks both ahead, and behind are available from 2,5 thousand at the price of the original in 10-15 thousand apiece, and a set of pads you can buy for a couple thousand instead of 10. And here the steering of Kizashi, though it is equipped with the usual electric booster on a rack, can upset. From occurring malfunctions it is possible to mention a small power deviation of a steering wheel aside, but these are separate certificates, instead of mass problems. And what you will have to face with, sooner or later, is the repair of the rack. A new one costs about hundred thousand rubles, so it is only possible to assemble the old one, blessing that some repair kits like the contact group of amplifier are on sale.

One of few tricks of Suzuki sedan is a four-wheel drive, which, however, was optional. Moreover, the four-wheel drive is not permanent, but “crossover”: the rear axle is connected by a simple electromagnetic clutch. There is also an opportunity to forcibly switch off all-wheel drive with one button, so in summer the sedan can be operated as usual front-wheel drive. If four-wheel drive is important for you, it is worth to tinker with car’s inspection: to check clutch’s work, condition of oil in clutch, angular and back gears, and also condition of cardan shaft, which is standard change as a complete set and costs as a half of car. By the way, a four-wheel drive was an option only at first, and then it remained the only available option. So it is not surprising, that half of the cars on sale now are equipped with it.

Suzuki Kizashi Sport 4×4 ‘2011–14

At the beginning of sales Kizashi was available in the base complete set with a manual gearbox at the price slightly below a million, but soon it disappeared, and the only option of transmission was a variator. On sale in the secondary market at the time of writing the material there were no machines on the mechanics, but it is not worth regretting much about its rarity: a full drive was still available only for cars with a variator. Besides it will not be possible to save money on maintenance. Only “universal” clutch bearing is cheap, which you can buy for 2-3 thousand. But the clutch is only original and will cost 30 thousand per set, and the flywheel, despite the fact that it is single mass, costs the same.

The variator is JF011e from Jatco, well known from Nissan Juke, Mitsubishi ASX and many other cars. By the standards of variators it is strong enough unit, capable to pass before repair about 200 thousand kilometers. Telling the truth, he still likes change of oil once in 40-50 thousand, quiet driving with warming up and without strolls, and also good cooling. So, it is necessary to pay attention for cleanliness of lubricant and at least regular radiators. Taking into account the age of the car, one should not count on miracles: the real run is already very close to those 200 thousand, and the maintenance is not always optimum. So, it is necessary to remember that repair of variator will cost 60-80 thousand, which you can lay in reserve.

Japanese dreamed to present Kizashi a powerful V6 engine, but the destiny has disposed differently: 2,4-liter in-line four “J24B” from Grand Vitara has remained the unique accessible variant. The engine on Kizashi is slightly forced up to 178 hp, though as a whole has remained the same: there is an aluminium block, chain timing, simple distributive injection and there are no hydro-compensators. In the maintenance of the engine is not expensive, even the consumption is usually kept in the region of 10 liters for mixed driving. On the intake there is a phasor regulator, which costs 15 thousand in the original version, and 10 for the analog, but this can not be called a serious investment, as well as strictly original injectors for 10 thousand. The motor resource can quite make up 300-350 thousand kilometers, and variants of repair with peregilzovku quite mastered by the same Grand Vitara. The catalyst, however, is surely already removed with replacement of firmware on Euro-2. And if it is not so yet, its condition is all the same worth worrying about before buying. However, as a whole, Kizashi is quite lucky with the engine, especially with the only one.

Suzuki Kizashi

Well and now, having briefly understood with features of this sedan of Japanese assembling, it is possible to try to make the portrait of an optimum copy. As we already know, it is extremely difficult to find a car on the mechanics, so the only real question at purchase will be availability of a full drive. Whether it is worth overpaying for it is a personal question, but it’s better to look for a four-wheel drive car among “club” ones, from the experienced owner. If Kizashi is interesting to you first of all as a rare and stylish Japanese car, which will not be ruinous in maintenance, it is possible to concentrate on search of the car in rich complete set with small run – approximately such. And if examination will confirm one record in the motor certificate and good technical condition, and Autoteque – absence of serious road accidents and any restrictions, Kizashi can become quite a companion not for one year. And thus it will not lose in “exclusiveness” at all.

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