Hip by the sea

2012-01-20 14:43

My holiday in Cape Town was three glorious weeks of fun. And the Suzuki Kizashi can take some of that credit.

I’m not usually fussy when it comes to what I drive, but when I am surrounded by my motoring buddies, the wheels do matter.

And this wasn’t the car I thought would score me cool points.

There are a lot of motoring events during December and I believed the 2.4-litre sedan was going to be a bore. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I felt like I was wearing an invisible Suzuki ambassador sash the entire time as random strangers kept coming up to me asking: “Where did you get this car?” and “What is this and where can I buy one?”

Launched in July, the Kizashi is still a fairly new car. So new that I didn’t spot another model on the road in all the time I was in the Mother City.

Also, most people only know Suzuki for their bikes and boats, and are still flabbergasted at the thought that the Japanese stable sells cars too.

Being the flagship model in the stable and also the only sedan, it was certainly a curiosity. Whether it was at the shopping mall, the racetrack or just a park-off with friends, people were intrigued.

Its styling is different to other sedans – and it’s a looker. It has xenon headlights, a sunroof and massive twin exhaust outlets.

It was a blast to drive.

I love spoiling my parents, so I chauffeur them to church and family functions. And since it was the festive season, my mother always had pots, cakes, big tablecloths and flower stands to drag along with her.

So boot-size was a key factor.

I wanted a car that was comfortable enough for my family, had a big boot, looked decent and was fuel efficient. While the Kizashi ticked all the right boxes, the fuel ate into my wallet.

Since it has a 2.4-litre engine and the weather was scorching and required the dual air-conditioner to be on at all times, fuel consumption was a killer. I must have spent at least R3 000 on fuel, if not more, in three weeks.

I clocked about 3 500km on the odometer and the average fuel consumption was never less than 10.3 litres per 100km and not more than 12.2 litres.

The best I got from a full tank was just over 600km.

Still, I enjoyed the car and so did everyone else I tagged along on road trips and visits.

Whether it was taking my mum down to the coast of Saldanha Bay for the day, a girl’s night out in Wellington or doing a photoshoot with my buddy at 4am, everyone loved it thanks to its spaciousness . . . and the sunroof.

Other than the fuel consumption, the sunroof was the other thing that bothered me. It has a tilt-and-slide function but when trying to close it, I always had to double-check when to stop hitting the button as once you press the slide button, you don’t know when it’s completely closed or on the tilt option again.

Trimmed in leather, 18-inch rims, loads of storage compartments, a USB port and climate control, the Kizashi made for a great holiday car. There are also six airbags and the usual ABS, EBD and electronic stability control.

And while everything was hunky-dory inside, it was the sound system that blew all my passengers away. The guys kept asking me to open the boot so they could see the huge subwoofer, yet there was none to be seen.

Many memories were made during the festive season.

The brand name Kizashi – Japanese word meaning “great things to come” – now makes sense to me.
Quick Stats
Make: Chevrolet
Utility Engine: 1.4 / 1.8
Power: 68kW / 77kW
Torque: 120Nm / 161Nm
Fuel consumption: 7.2 l/100km / 8.1 l/100km
Price: from R115 600 to R173 500

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