Now, don’t ask me why we are so fascinated by the Maruti Kizashi in India. It is a car which does work wonders but then is it with the looks only? I am not sure but then that is the first thing which attracts any one, isn’t it? Everyone and by that I mean everyone in our office is enamored by this car. Right from the office boy to my boss. So much so that my boss is thinking of selling his brand new Honda City and going in for the Maruti Kizashi as and when it comes. The whole nation seems to be going in a Kizashi wave, me included. I don’t think any one would be waiting for Valentine’s day to come so much as the Kizashi. Now, that’s making a statement in itself. February 2nd 2011 is the day when it is supposed to be launched. In a meanwhile I thought of just sharing some Maruti Kizashi trivia and other details.
To begin with, the name Kizashi means “sign of good things to come”. It was a concept which was shown to people and then they were asked to select their pick. Now, there were three concepts on display but then the as expected, the most radical one was chosen. Alas, Suzuki did finally go with the public choice but then to make it commercially viable, some of the elements were removed from the concept. The blue LED head lamps as well as tail lamps were removed. Some of the elegant creases were also removed. The 20 inch wheels also were ditched in favour of 18 inch ones. What the company has done is retained the radical shape of the rear. Now, this car looks the best from the rear with its twin Tamburini type organ pipes. Not many know that this car is amongst the favorites in North America. Infact many would happily choose a Maruti Suzuki Kizashi over a say, Honda Accord. In India, however with its looks, it would easily be a noteworthy rival for the Chevrolet Cruze, the only other head turner. Infact both the hunks out in the ground will make for a great combo. From the side profile, the car does look like on an extended Swift platform. The truth is that this car is modeled on the Swift platform.
The Kizashi concept cars were unveiled in three different concepts and in three different motor shows.The first was at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, the second one in the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show whereas the third one was in the 2008 New York Auto Show. The car has also won many rave reviews across the globe, more noticeably in Kiwi land. In New Zealand, the car has won 2 awards for been an excellent automobile. I feel that the wide outside rear view mirrors that this car has may be broken easily by those reckless BEST buses or even motorcyclists. That it been electronically retractable is a boon then.
Cut to the Maruti Suzuki Kizashi interior then. Well this car boasts of one of the better tastefully done interiors in a Suzuki car. Infact, they are at par with the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in India. The steering wheel is 3 spoke with leather wrapped on it. Just by the pictographic representation of the car, one can deduce that this is worth the effort investing in a Suzuki product. Those circular hooded instruments remind one of the Skoda instruments in India. But then turn on the lights and they are as different as chalk and cheese. The Suzuki’s instruments seem way more better than the Skoda’s unit. Surprising, isn’t it? Even though it is a CBU, when the car lands on Indian shores, it will have a two tone dashboard unlike the completely black unit from North America. Unlike other cars in its class which have the parking brake interfering with the operation of the gear lever, there is no such problem in the Maruti Suzuki Kizashi. It is also loaded with goodies something which the likes of Toyota Corollas as well Honda Accords miss out on. Though it wouldn’t be prudent enough to comment on them until the car is launched, the best I can speculate is that Suzuki retain the Rockford Fosgate system, which by the way is an excellent sounding system and one which Mitsubishi would swear by. The rear seats have some problem with the space since there is less of leg room and for the taller ones, even the head room. There is a heavy transmission tunnel intrusion which also worsens matters. But then if people did take so kindly to the Maruti A-star which had similar problems, then the Maruti Kizashi should also go for a good start.
Now comes the driving part. This car would come with the standard 2.4 liter engine which boasts of 185 Bhp of peak power and 230 Nm of torque. The transmission would either be a 6 speed auto transmission with paddle shifts or a 6 speed manual. If reports are to be believed, this car is a scorcher with either of the transmissions. As far as experience goes, I am sure that Suzuki’s manual transmissions have no issues whatsoever. It is just the CVT which I am not so sure about. It may have got to do with not many Suzukis sporting the auto transmission badge in India apart from the Maruti A-star now. But then having a diesel in the portfolio would have widened its appeal big time. Now, the thing is that, it been a CBU and all, the price point will start at approximately Rs 16 lakhs to Rs 20 lakhs. The big question is how many Indians would be ready to pay that price for a Maruti? Well, this only time will tell. Good that Maruti didn’t take to the adage “Once bitten, twice shy”. Keeping fingers crossed for February 2 2011. It definitely is going to be a red letter day for Maruti and for the whole of India.