Family Car Compare: 2010 Ford Fusion vs. 2010 Suzuki Kizashi

June 4, 2010

It's time again for a look at two family cars--this time we present the 2010 Ford Fusion and the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi. We'll take a quick peek at both cars through the eyes of our parent site, The Car Connection, and see which one comes out on top.

The Fusion was restyled for 2010, while the Kizashi is a new entrant into the field. Fusion offers both V-6 and four-cylinder power, while the Kizashi is only available with a four-cylinder for now.

These two cars both attempt to appeal to mid-size buyers who like a little sportiness in their four-doors.  So which car comes out on top?

Is it the Ford, which has been around for two generations? Or is it the upstart Kizashi?

Read on to find out.

2010 ford fusion sport 002

2010 ford fusion sport 002

2010 Ford Fusion

The Basics: Front-wheel drive sedan with four-cylinder and V-6 power. All-wheel drive available on some models. Hybrid version is available.

Price:  $19,695

Fuel Economy: 22/34 (41/36 hybrid)

Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Our editors at The Car Connection like the Fusion's "sharp" and "aggressive" styling. Other plaudits came the Fusion's way for its quiet four-cylinder and "strong and smooth" V-6. They also loved the "tied down" suspension in the Fusion Sport.

The instrument panel design also earns kudos, along with the car's visibility and seating position. A fair amount of standard features also earns high praise.

Brickbats are directed at the smallish rear seat and the lack of a split-folding rear seat in Hybrid models. The lack of paddle shifters on Sport models and the lack of any gear other than "D" and "L" on the basic automatic also hurt the Fusion in our editor's eyes.

The Bottom Line? Our editors found the Fusion proof that an American car company can build a mid-size sedan that competes on the same level as the imports.

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE AWD

2010 Suzuki Kizashi SE AWD

2010 Suzuki Kizashi

The Basics: Front- or all-wheel drive four-door mid-size sedan.

Price: $18,999

Fuel Economy: 20/31

Rating: 8.2

The Kizashi is Suzuki's new entry into the mid-size segment, and while sales aren't strong, the buzz around the car is. And for good reason.

For one, the interior impresses, being dubbed "upscale" stylish by our editors. We liked the "swoopy" dash, the "tasteful" trim, and the "classy" gauges.

The 185-horsepower engine gets credit for being "gutsy" and providing spirited acceleration.  We prefer the 6-speed manual transmission over the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

We also liked the handling, as well as the car's quietness. But the Kizashi drew pans for a harsh. buzzy engine and tight headroom. Wind noise at 70 mph was also noticeable.

Overall, the Kizashi offers a lot of standard features for the money, as is Suzuki's modus operandi. This gives it a good chance to compete in the crowded mid-size class.

The Bottom Line? Our editors found the Kizashi to be "well-designed," "sophisticated," and "fun-to-drive." That speaks highly of the car.

2010 ford fusion sport 007

2010 ford fusion sport 007

The Winner

The Fusion wins because it's more polished, more refined, and it offers plenty of standard content. But the upstart Kizashi keeps it close by offering plenty of standard content, a fun driving experience, and an upscale feel. With some more engine choices and a few tweaks here and there, Kizashi could narrow the gap siginificantly.

For now, though, the Fusion holds the crown. Just one more feather in its cap.

[Source: The Car Connection]

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