Suzuki will launch the new European-inspired Kizashi sedan this year
After being introduced overseas recently, Suzuki New Zealand has confirmed the new premium model will go on local sale before mid-year.
The car’s nomenclature in Japanese means “something great is coming”, and is pronounced kee-zah-shee.
The 4.65 metre long mid-size, front-wheel-drive Kizashi will be the largest sedan ever offered in New Zealand by Suzuki, and will go up against models like the Toyota Camry, Mazda 6 and Honda Accord Euro.
But Suzuki says the car also has the potential to challenge more costly rivals like the Audi A4, Alfa Romeo 159 and Volkswagen Passat.
“We wanted to build a world-class sports sedan at a price the average person can afford,” said Gene Brown, vice-president of marketing for American Suzuki.
Built at Suzuki’s plant in Sagara, Japan, the Kizashi’s pre-production testing included unrestricted German autobahns and the twisting Nurburgring race track, alpine roads in Switzerland and cobblestone roads in rural England.
Kizashi has been given the highest safety rating awarded in the United States. It has a five star rating in both frontal and side impact crash tests.
Suzuki is also working on a hybrid version of the car.
Pricing and New Zealand specification of the Kizashi will be announced closer to the launch date.