2011 Suzuki Kizashi vs. Its Competition

2011 Suzuki Kizashi 4-door Sedan Man FWD SLS Sport Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

With dimensions that are closer to mid-size sedans like the Toyota Camry in looking at its cabin but closer to compacts like the Corolla when considering overall dimensions, the Suzuki Kizashi lands in an underrepresented part of the U.S.

sedan market.

But it doesn't take on those bread-and-butter family sedans like Accord, Camry, and Malibu.

Instead—even though Suzuki succeeds in making the Kizashi a lower-budget alternative to the likes of the Audi A4 or Acura TL (both about the same size as the Suzuki)—its main rivals are the sportier mid-size sedan models, along with a few of the most attractive, spacious compacts.

The Kizashi has a little more style and personality than the Ford Fusion, although the Fusion handles surprisingly well; it also feels more nimble than the Mazda6 and feels considerably firmer and sportier than the new Subaru Legacy, which has standard all-wheel drive.

Both the Legacy and Altima have cheaper-feeling interior appointments and less-supportive seats but share the choice of manual transmission or CVT.

Finally, for those considering the base Kizashi S model, the stylish new Kia Forte is one of many compacts that starts at a considerably lower price—with an interior that might feel almost as spacious—but it doesn't have the refinement and sophisticated driving feel offered by the Kizashi.

Another new alternative is the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, which offers a more comfortable, roomy interior but isn't nearly as enjoyable to drive.

2011 Suzuki Kizashi 4-door Sedan Man FWD SLS Sport Angular Front Exterior View2011 Suzuki Kizashi
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2011 Ford Fusion Sport2011 Ford Fusion
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2011 Kia Optima2011 Kia Optima
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2010 Mazda MAZDA6 4-door Sedan Auto i Grand Touring Angular Front Exterior View2011 Mazda MAZDA6
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2011 Nissan Altima 4-door Sedan I4 eCVT Hybrid Angular Front Exterior View2011 Nissan Altima
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2011 Subaru Legacy 4-door Sedan H4 Auto 2.5i Prem Angular Front Exterior View2011 Subaru Legacy
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Quick Specs
The 2011 Kizashi is the best Suzuki car to date—a sophisticated and well-designed small sedan that's a lot more fun to drive than most other compact sedans.
The 2011 Ford Fusion comes in a few finely developed flavors; Sport, Hybrid and base are a few of the best tastes.
Kia simply gets it; basic doesn't have to be boring, and the 2011 Kia Optima shows that mid-size sedan shoppers don't have to settle to design boredom or a lack of features.
The 2011 Mazda Mazda6 is a great pick for practically-minded family-car shoppers who also value driving enjoyment.
The 2011 Nissan Altima isn't quite as roomy as some mid-size rivals, but it's one of the sportiest-driving choices.
The 2011 Subaru Legacy is one of the best-handling mid-size sedans, and the only mainstream one to offer standard all-wheel drive.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas Flat 4
EPA Class     
CompactMid-Size SedanMidsize CarsMidsizeMidsizeCompact
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Manual FWD S4-Door Sedan S FWD4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual LX4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport4-Door Sedan I4 CVT 2.54-Door Sedan H4 Manual 2.5i
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
ManualManualManualManual w/ODContinuously VariableManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 Suzuki Kizashi vs. 2011 Ford Fusion2011 Suzuki Kizashi vs. 2011 Kia Optima2011 Suzuki Kizashi vs. 2011 Mazda MAZDA62011 Suzuki Kizashi vs. 2011 Nissan Altima2011 Suzuki Kizashi vs. 2011 Subaru Legacy