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Test-Drive Sedans, Don't Buy A 2010 Suzuki Kizashi, And Get $250?

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If you’re in the market for a sporty family sedan, go drive the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi, then take several of your other prospects on a test-drive.

Within three days of the original Kizashi test-drive, if you purchase one of several competing vehicles, Suzuki will give you a $250 prepaid debit card.

The deal is part two of Suzuki’s “Kizashi Test Drive Challenge” program and runs through the month of July. There’s really no other hitch, other than you need to fill out a registration form when you first drive the Kizashi at a Suzuki dealer.

Among the qualifying competing models are the four-cylinder versions of the 2010 Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Mazda6, Nissan Altima, or Toyota Camry.

The offer doesn’t include all mid-size sedans; affordable mid-sizers that Suzuki didn’t include were the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Volkswagen Passat.

Though it’s definitely odd, the campaign makes more sense when you look at the uphill battle Suzuki faces in just proving itself and getting the brand on shopping lists—and stoking traffic at oft-neglected Suzuki dealerships. As we summed in our review of the 2010: “If you can get past the Suzuki badge itself, you'll be pleasantly surprised. The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi is sophisticated, well designed, and a lot more fun to drive than most other four-cylinder mid-size sedans.”

We’re not the only ones; the Kizashi has been a bit of a critics' favorite all year, with high marks from a wide range of sources. The Car Connection gave the 2010 Kizashi an Overall Rating of 8.2 and praised its pleasant materials and trims, quiet cabin, handling and maneuverability, and “premium feel at a bargain price.” The only drawbacks we’ve seen, now over several drives, is that the engine can get a little gruff when worked hard, particularly with the CVT automatic, and headroom is a little tight with the sunroof. And we’d love to get all-wheel drive with a manual transmission (the combination isn’t offered).

Suzuki has at times referred to the Kizashi as mid-sized, but because it was designed to match up in size with international sport sedans like the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and Acura TSX, it ended up at least a half-size smaller than our U.S. mid-size sedans.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze preview

2011 Chevrolet Cruze preview

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In our opinion, the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta is a more direct rival to the Kizashi, and the roomy packaging of the upcoming 2011 Chevrolet Cruze will also make it a top rival.

That said, if you like to drive, you’ll probably enjoy the Kizashi more than any of those larger rivals.

Perhaps a sign of effective marketing, it could prove harder than it sounds to simply take the money and run.

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Comments (7)
  1. I simply love the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi. I test drove an automatic CVT Kizashi and loved it. But I couldn't strike the right deal for a bright red 6-speed, trading in my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS for the Kizashi. They wouldn't lower the price through extensive bargaining and with the trade-in, I thought they would haggle more because of Suzuki's troubles selling cars lately, but it didn't work. I've since fallen back deeply in love with my '08 Lancer GTS, but, ya never know, one day a Suzuki Kizashi may still end up in my driveway. I love the Jetta on steroids look. It's a tight driver, too, handles very smoothly and invites you to slam it in to turns. Buy yourself a Kizashi, start with a test drive and then go from there! I absolutely love the car and have studied it thoroughly, read on Suzuki's site about the Kizashi and their aim with it and how they've built and tested it. I tell you that it is a great bargain for what you get! Real solid Warranty, too.
     
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  2. The problem with cars that are sold in few numbers (Suzuki, Mitsubishi, etc.) is that dealers will actually offer you a crummy deal to begin with. If not in volume, how else will the make up the difference? If you compare list prices, they may look ok but add incentives and higher used values of the competition and $250 sitting in your pocket looks like a good deal (provided you can find a Suzuki dealership within a 100 mile radius.)
     
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  3. Done! Gimme the check.
     
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  4. The issue with this car is the dealerships, so wouldn't they better spend the money on making them feel a little less like used-car lots?
     
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  5. Seems like a smart incentive from perspective to get people talking about buying a kizashi
     
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  6. What have they got to lose? It's getting attention, like this story, which is what Suzuki needs the most.
     
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  7. Damn.. anyone planning to buy the other cars would be stupid not to take advantage of this.. but hey $250 is not really a lot of money when it comes to the price of a new car. Not sure if I'd bother to go test the Suzuki knowing I'm not going to buy it. That would be kind of slack as well.
     
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