Suzuki is mulling launching petrol only, 4WD Kizashi sedan into a hatchback and diesel-obsessed UK market. That has worked for Subaru which only recently got diesels
Suzuki's local importer is considering whether to launch its first D-segment model in to the UK and is currently evaluating the Kizashi - launched in India this week - against rivals ahead of possible sales towards the end of the year.
Suzuki has had D-segment cars in some markets before but they were built by GM-Daewoo. The Kizashi, offered only as a four-door sedan, was wholly developed by Suzuki on a new platform and is currently on sale in Japan, the US, India and Asia Pacific markets following launch last year. It also went into showrooms in Germany last month.
One sticking point is the lack of a diesel engine - the Kizashi is currently powered by a 2.4-litre petrol unit with manual or CVT automatic transmissions. Diesels dominate the UK D-segment but Suzuki is considering using four-wheel-drive as its unique selling point along with a price of around GBP23,000.
The model is available with both two- and four-wheel-drive but may only be imported into the UK as a 4x4 to appeal to potential customers who do not necessarily cover high mileages, but live in hilly or poorly accessible areas.
The all-wheel-drive system is also being made available in Norway and Switzerland.
The Kizashi was first unveiled as a concept car three years ago at the Frankfurt show. The name means ‘A sign of great things to come' in Japanese.
The UK model will also most likely take the Sport variant which features a host of external and internal modifications that include a more muscular front fascia, lower grille; body side sill extensions; sports suspension with 10mm lower ride height, lower body side mouldings with chrome accents; custom lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels; unique sport steering wheel and contrasting stitching to the leather seats, gear shift boot and parking brake boot.
Although more compact than the Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia, the Kizashi has plenty of room for five occupants plus a large load area with a through loading system to allow for longer items to be loaded from the boot.
The Kizashi Sport is also highly equipped as standard including seven airbags; four electric windows, MP3/WMA compatible CD tuner with eight speakers, dual zone automatic air conditioning, 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and start and folding heated door mirrors.
In combined cycle driving, it has a combined fuel consumption of 35.8 mpg with CO2 emissions of 183g/km.
Suzuki UK says it would need to sell around 500 units to be viable. The company acknowledges that the lack of a diesel engine could be an issue but is hopeful of some developments through Suzuki's alliance with Volkswagen announced last year.