Kizashi, Equator, SX4 drive Suzuki's success
The Japanese carmaker's stellar lineup is on a rampage, led by the flagship Kizashi. The sporty sedan has quietly collected three of Suzuki's five industry awards for 2011. Other prize-winners are the Equator compact truck and all-wheel drive SX4 crossover.
The Equator, equipped with 4- and 6-cylinder engines that deliver between 152 and 264 horsepower, won U.S. News & World Report's “Best Compact Truck for the Money.” Year-to-date U.S. sales have been rockin', up an impressive 55%, and May to June sales keep the party going (+74%).
Suzuki's SX4, for the fifth straight year, nabbed the NEMPA Yankee Value Award. In 2010, it was a Kelley Blue Book "Coolest New Car." It's high praise for the 5-door, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine-powered SX4. Sales in 2011 are only 3% higher than at this time last year, but that doesn't make the car any less cool. The SX4 in reality is the company darkhorse, making a bold run with a 33% sales boost in June over the previous 30-day cycle.
Whatever the comparison, the star for Suzuki as the 2011 model year winds down has been and continues to be the value-driven Kizashi (pictured). Its 55% sales jump in 2011 vs. 2010 has buoyed an overall 12% increase for the brand with American buyers.
The Kizashi's three key product accomplishments this model year have been impressive. Buyers and critics say with these awards that the Kizashi is a solid option that fun while at the same time being satisfying to drive:
1. “Top 10 Fun Cars to Drive,” from Cars.com.
2. Sedan of the Year, Puerto Rico International Auto Show.