Suzuki introduces new mid-sized sedan, the Kizashi

(July 2009) Suzuki is betting that an all-new mid-sized sedan, called Kizashi (pronounced “Kee-Zah-Shee”), will revitalize its sagging American lineup. In Japanese the name means "great things coming."

Suzuki says the sedan's "exhilarating performance and driving experience reflect Suzuki’s exuberant brand spirit, backed by the confidence of America’s number one warranty."

Steve Younan, director of product planning, says the starting price will fall somewhere from the “high teens to mid-$20,000."

The Kizashi, introduced to the automotive press this week, is slightly smaller than the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry at 183 inches in length with a 107-inch wheelbase. The initial powerplant will be a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 185 horsepower, which company officials expect to be a best-in-segment.  Eventually, says Kevin Saito, the new president of American Suzuki, a V-6 will be added. The four-cylinder will be mated to either a six-speed manual or a Continuously Variable Transmission.

Suzuki sales are down about 60 percent so far this year from 2008 levels, when the automaker sold 85,000 vehicles in the U.S.
The Japanese company hopes to stop the sales slide with the Kizashi.