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    Interactive Review: 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD


    William Maley

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    August 17, 2012

    This time at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Garage is a newcomer, the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD (takes breath). For $26,404 (the pricetag on the car) 2.4L inline-four, CVT Transmission, AWD, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an appearance package, and a banging 425 watt Rockford Fosgate sound system.

    The Kizashi sits in a interesting position in the new car field. Its size and pricetag puts somewhere between a compact and a mid-size vehicle. Think the last generation Volkswagen Jetta.

    First impressions are mostly good. The interior is put together well, steering and handling is quite good, and the powertrain combo works well when you get above about 2000 RPMs.

    I'll have more thoughts as the week with Kizashi goes on. In the meantime, if you have any questions, post them and I will do my best to answer them.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    sent one out the door that exact color this a.m. was looking at a Cruze, he moved up! LMK what your mpg tests turn out. too bad you didn't get leather SLS.....

    I'll be real interested in your comparisons to other cars like Jettas, and anything else.

    2013 brings back NAV / infotainment with pandora, bluetooth streaming, and other stuff. The 012 non NAV radio has the better sound. 012 didn't ship any nav units cars anyways.

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    It is sharp, and I am glad your reviewing the AWD version. From what I hear the AWD system in this car is just fantastic, and I am really looking forward to future input on how you like it.

    I know why they do it (separate emissions certification) but I wish they didn't have CVT only with the AWD.

    Interested to know how you like the CVT also, I have heard the Suzuki CVT is much nicer than the Nissan CVT.

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    Kizashi and Cruze have nearly near identical dimensions, worth considering interior space and trunk comparo between the two. Elantra also has near identical dimensions. I would imagine the Dart is near identical also. The interior space inside is excellent in comparison to the Cruze.

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    sent one out the door that exact color this a.m. was looking at a Cruze, he moved up! LMK what your mpg tests turn out. too bad you didn't get leather SLS.....

    I'm averaging 25 MPG at the moment, which is the combined EPA rating. I'm liking the cloth in the Sport GTS, along with the 10-Way power seats.

    It is sharp, and I am glad your reviewing the AWD version. From what I hear the AWD system in this car is just fantastic, and I am really looking forward to future input on how you like it.

    I haven't tried the AWD system yet. There's a button on the driver's side which turns it on and off. I will likely try it later on in the week.

    Interested to know how you like the CVT also, I have heard the Suzuki CVT is much nicer than the Nissan CVT.

    I wouldn't go that far. I think the CVT is just as good as Nissan's.

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    I'm interested to know if you can feel any difference in handling as soon as you turn the AWD system on. Can you feel it "engage" at all?

    Years ago when I was in love with the Eagle Talon, I drove a FWD and an AWD back to back and the handling difference was amazing.

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    The AWD button is merely an electronic 'yes' or 'no' with regards to allowing the rear clutch pack to engage.

    There is very little mpg drop using AWD, not really noticeable. The predictive all wheel drive system is similar to the Porsche Panamera in that it can use the all wheel drive for performance driving. For example, if cornering hard and accelerating, some power will be sent aft and you will even get additional power steering assist. The coordination of the AWD and power steering and its ability to predict the intended motion of the vehicle and respond ahead of time is what sets the all wheel drive apart from the FWD.

    I get people tell me high twenties in everyday driving and I have also pulled 37 mpg on 40 mile freeway loops with some stopping at lights and such. The car can pull low thirties on the computer at a cruise set at 75 mph. The EPA ratings are a bit conservative. Any CVT car with constant redlining instead of even throttle foot will drop mpg fast.

    Compared to what I hear Cruze automatics and Elantras get for real world mpg, its pretty amazing for a car with more hp and all wheel drive to be right in the mix.

    The AWD is really nice to have in wet conditions and snow. The stock Dunlop 18" ers have stiff sidewalls and are average at best in snow conditions. They are better suited to dry warm weather.

    Average drivers can't tell any difference in AWD vs. FWD. If you drive a FWD only car you notice the car is lighter and more nose heavy, but the suspension feels pretty much the same. So hard driving and getting some rear wheel assist helps to not plow the vehicle.

    I am surprised at how many folks think the GTS is too stiff.....even the SE's.....I'd be interested in seeing if you think the car is too stiff. I've had some folks buy the base with 16th and gummy soft tires only because the softer ride.

    The CVT is a function of how willing people are to adapt to a CVT.. its one of the better ones, maybe not the very best. But if you hate CVT's anyways then it's not your car.

    I test drove a Focus Titanium the other day, in comparison the K steering is not as spot on hardcore as the Focus..... but it is very good. The Cruze's steering is lighter and very good for many consumer's everyday driving.....but it's not quite as quick and responsive as the K.

    Kizashi has a few pounds over the Cruze and Focus but I think the Dart and K have close to the same curb weights.

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    Would like more input on AWD handling and fuel economy, please.

    Well I can give some input on the AWD system. Like Reg said above, the system doesn't engage till you turn it on. The only way you know its on is a light in the gauge cluster. You can feel it working if you decide to floor the Kizashi on pavement or a gravel road.

    I will be trying the AWD system some more later on in the week.

    Fuel economy: Right now, I averaging about 23 to 25 MPG in mostly suburban and rural driving. I just finished doing a couple highway runs with my average being about 32 MPG. The Kizashi was on cruise control set at 70 MPH.

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    Not bad, but the 1994 Concorde I had did better, and was a larger car.

    I would think a Cruze would do better in real world mileage....and most GTI owners I know are seeing better MPG than that...hmmm..

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    Not bad, but the 1994 Concorde I had did better, and was a larger car.

    I would think a Cruze would do better in real world mileage....and most GTI owners I know are seeing better MPG than that...hmmm..

    The Kizashi should be doing a lot better. I left the AWD system off for most of the time and haven't stuck my foot into it. And, the Kizashi is lighter than a lot of vehicles, weighing somewhere around 3000 lbs..

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    GTS AWD curb weight is like 3450 or 3500 pounds.

    truedelta reports of mpg for AWD CVT is usually mid twenties. FWD only high twenties. MT FWD seems to average out at 30 or above, which is slightly odd since the rpm at 70mpg on the MT is several hundred more than the auto CVT once it settles in. but you don't rev the MT as much to get it going.

    Most of my homeys report high twenties in mixed driving with the AWD CVT. Once you learn that you don't need to constantly floor it to get motivation, is when the magic light comes on. If your city driving is more than say 2/3 of the driving, yeah, you will get 25 probably.

    I do admit the Kizashi does not possess stump pulling torque. However, the 4 is smooth in running top to bottom on the rev scale. Even if low end torque is not overly plentiful...the wily nature of the engine and its smoothness at least make the higher rpms livable.

    Edited by regfootball
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    So the Kizashi has left the garage and I'm really impressed with it. I have some complaints and worries about it that I will explain when the review comes out in a week or two.

    Final fuel economy average for the test.. 24.8 MPG. Just under the 25 MPG combined.

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      2016 BUICK ENVISION PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
       
      Overview
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      2016 Buick Envision
      Body style / driveline:
      four-door, five-passenger compact crossover; front engine transaxle, all-wheel drive
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      Manufacturing location:
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      Key competitors:
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      Ecotec 2.0L DOHC I-4 VVT DI Turbocharged
      Displacement (cu. in. / cc):
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      Bore & stroke (in. / mm):
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      Cylinder head material:
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      Ignition system:
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      Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):
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      Emissions controls:
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      EPA-estimated fuel economy (city / hwy)
      TBD
       
      Transmissions
       
      Hydra-Matic 6T70
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      six-speed transverse, electronically controlled, automatic overdrive
      Application:
      standard
      Gear ratios (:1):
       
      First
      4.48
      Second
      2.87
      Third
      1.84
      Fourth
      1.41
      Fifth
      1.00
      Sixth
      0.74
      Reverse
      2.88
      Final Drive
      3.17
       
      Chassis / Suspension
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      Steering type:
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      Steering wheel turns lock-to-lock:
      2.67
       
      Turning circle, curb-to-curb
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      39.5 / 12
      Steering ratio:
      15.6 to 1
       
      Brakes
      Type:
      four-wheel disc w/ABS and electronic stability control
      Brake rotor diameter – front
      (in / mm):
      12.6 /321
      Brake rotor diameter – rear
      (in / mm):
      12.4 / 315
       
      Wheels / Tires
      Wheel size and type:
      19-inch aluminum
      Tires:
      235/50R19 AL3
       
      Dimensions
      Exterior
      Wheelbase (in / mm) :
      107.9 / 2740
      Overall length (in / mm):
      183.7 / 4666
      Overall width (in / mm):
      72.4 / 1839
      Overall height (in / mm):
      66.8 / 1697
      Front track (in / mm):
      1575 / 62
      Rear track (in / mm):
      1575 / 62
       
      Interior
      Seating capacity (front / rear):
      2 / 3
      Headroom (in / mm):
      39.96 / 1015 (front)
      38.5 / 977 (rear)
      Legroom (in / mm):
      40.9 / 1040 (front)
      37.5 / 952 (rear)
      Shoulder room (in / mm):
      57.0 / 1448 (front)
      55.8 / 1417 (rear)
      Hip room (in / mm):
      54.4 / 1381 (front)
      53.1 / 1348 (rear)
      EPA passenger volume
      (cu ft / L) :
      100.6 / 2849
      EPA interior volume (cu ft / L):
      127.5 / 3610.6
      Cargo volume (cu ft / L):
      26.9 / 761 (behind rear seat)
      57.3 / 1622 (rear seat folded)
       
      Capacities
      Fuel tank (gal / L):
      17.3 / 65.5
      Engine oil (qt / L):
      6.0 / 5.7
      Curb weight (lb / kg):
      4047 / 183
      Trailering rating (lb / kg):
      1500 / 680
       
      Note: Information shown is current at time of publication. Please visit http://media.gm.com for updates.
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Buick will be unveiling the 2016 Buick Envision on Sunday at a preview event before the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. One piece of information we dug up is on the drive configuration. According to the VIN card for 2017, the U.S. market Envision will only be available in All-Wheel Drive while we already know that Chinese market vehicles can be configured with just front-wheel drive.
       
      Knowing that VIN cards can change as products are finalized, I e-mailed a Buick rep to confirm. He got back to me quickly, confirming that yes, the Envision will be available in only two trim lines, Premium Group 1 and Premium Group 2, both only available in All-Wheel drive.
       
      Looking at other Buick models, the Premium Groups are the top of the line, coming standard with leather and lots of luxury features. The 2015 Buick Lacrosse with the Premium Group 1 package is a $7,134 upgrade over the base model. An Enclave with Premium Group is an $8,450 upgrade over base. While pricing hasn't been announced yet, with only Premium Group models available, expect the Envision entry price to be a significant jump in base price over the smaller base Encore.
       
      Part of the reason for the limited options groups is that Buick is only expecting to import about 60,000 Envisions per year from China. With most other Buick models skewing heavily towards the upper end of their respective ranges, it makes sense for Buick to send only the best equipped models.
       
      Back to the power train, the Envision will be available only with a 2.0 liter, direct injected turbo 4-cylinder which produces 260 lb-ft of torque over a broad RPM range and 252 horsepower fed through GM's standard issue 6-speed auto. The AWD system will be the same as in the coming 2017 Buick LaCrosse. It is a dual-clutch system that can transfer power from side-to-side in the rear wheels and Buick promises to be as fast acting as it is efficient. Also standard GM's HiPer Strut front suspension which when combined with the AWD means there is no torque steer.
       
      We will have more Buick Envision information for you as we get closer to its official unveiling on January 10th. In the meantime, you can follow all 2016 Detroit Auto Show news here.


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