2012 Kizashi for a Teenager?

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Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:30 pm

My son is interested in buying a 2012 Kizashi FWD for about $4K. 95,000 miles.

1) Is that a good price or overpriced?
2) He saved up for a long tie to buy a car...I am concerned about him maybe getting something that won't last long and waste his money (transmission mainly from what I read on this forum)
3) Safer for him to purchase another 2010-2012 model vehicle that is safer bet, still has parts available (he likes this just because it does ahave a lot of features for the $)

Trying to get some expert input before he moves forward. Located in North Carolina. Thanks.
Posts: 1898
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:37 pm
Location: Vermont

Buy! (it sounds like a good deal)
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:06 pm

I have a 2012 SE with the CVT trans. Maintenance is key for the AWD models. Maintain the trans fluids with regular changes every 20k or so and you should be golden.
I wouldn't trade my car for anything.
Absolutely love it. 133k on mine. Smooth as silk!

Did you say the vehicle in question was FWD and not AWD..? if so, the transmissions are geared in those with FWD

These cars are largely overlooked.
Absolutely love mine!

Sent from my moto g stylus using Tapatalk

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:30 pm

The one he is looking at with 95K miles is FWD but also there is another that is AWD, 105K 2012 that is also available.

Is transmission longer lasting on the FWD or the AWD? Specs say both are CVT. Kizashi service guy nearby (former dealer) told me to be really weary of the transmission. Just afraid it dies and then too expensive to try and fix. But appreciate whatever feedback you have.

Also, the AWD is S trim, the FWD is SE if that makes much difference.

Just trying to decide if better/safer to look at 2012 Dodge or Nissan or something else for similar $ that may be less money to service, less likely to fail soon on CVT.
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Posts: 4754
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:08 pm
Location: California, USA

There is some confusion here so let me try to clear it up:
All automatic transmissions in the Kizashi are CVTs, regardless of FWD or AWD. The confusion comes from the fact that the Kizashi is available with a 6 speed manual transmission but only in FWD. I have one of these.

As for getting a used Kizashi with a CVT:
At this point, it's a flat-out lie to say it's not a gamble. Sure, there are many here with higher mileage Kizashis with CVTs working fine. However, these were largely benefitting from better service, care, and more gentle driving by their original or low mileage owners. When it comes to a used car with high mileage, you are at greater risk of getting something with worn out, abused, and neglected parts. The CVT in this car is about a 100K lifespan transmission by most accounts. Yes, they can last a lot longer, but you enter the risk range at that mileage given the official Suzuki stand was that these were "maintenance-free" transmissions. Hence, most Kizashis on the road never had their CVTs serviced until quite late, if ever. Also, professional mechanics, like Old Tech on this forum, have identified some CVT design flaws that made the transmission susceptible to failure from component stress wear at higher mileage. For a new driver with limited funds, it seems like a dangerous proposition to get a high mileage Kizashi without meticulous records of maintenance.

In my honest opinion, the only safe and solid used high mileage Kizashi would be a manual transmission model. Even then, you risk buying a car with a worn clutch and getting the proper parts for this orphaned car can pose a challenge. At least clutches are wear parts like brake pads and don't spell the death of a vehicle when they go out.

I hate to say this, but if I were you, I'd guide your son away from a Kizashi or any high mileage car with a CVT. This includes Nissan (Suzuki and Nissan both use JATCO CVTs) and used Dodges are terrible too. Subarus are overpriced cars with major issues their fanbois don't want to admit. From oil-burning engines to CVTs, I don't think the Subarus of the last twenty years will hold up like the ones from the 90's. My brand of choice would be Mazda or Scion for a used car in that budget range. These are more likely built in Japan and have non-CVT (conventional automatic) transmissions. Their reliability is superior to most cars of that budget range. Of course Honda and Toyota make great small cars but their prices are often inflated due to popularity and reputation.
2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)
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