Sasha-CR wrote:Hey guys,
A quick intro: bought my first kizashi in 2012 (MY 2011 brand new, 6mt S), which eventually my sister kept, crashed and traded for an Escape (she regrets that dearly now). Years and cars later I bought a GTS cvt, sold because I started commuting by public transportation, then eventually toyed around with subbie tuning (was very fun, but very expensive) until I got tired of wrenching the wrex and tow trucks.. So I went back to my original favorite car.. the good ol Kizashi. Looked around for another manual, and bam back in business.
Problems with the first one: Alignment issues from factory made it vibrate past ~70mph. Went through several dealer calls and tires before it was corrected. That was basically the only issue ever. That one went to about 80k before it was traded in.
Second one: CVT tranny overheated a couple of times. Eventually I found out my tires were slightly different all around.. (bought it that way) and never realized until this gremlin. Getting all new rubbers solved the issue for me. Other than that, all great. I forget the mileage on that one. I think it was about 60k when I bought it and dont remember where it went to.
Third one (current): When I got it the rear brakes made noise but had meat on the pads. Thought the rotor was rusted from sitting for so long. This one was repo'd twice, and has pretty nasty damage to the driver pillar because of the forced break-ins. Anyway, I bought pads and rotors.. but several thousand miles later the problem is back. I think I made a mistake by not greasing the guides.. Will do the job again soon.. Unfortunate, because I have since moved to Costa Rica, where parts for this car are not easy to come by. Import duties make parts overseas literally twice (or more) as expensive. Anyway, other than the brakes, there is a constant thud coming from the rear on bumps.. I looked and it appears my right rear shock is leaking, but I don't know if the bushings are going too... would think so, its a 12 with 130k km on it now (bought with 60k miles).
Other than those issues, this latest one (all my kizashis are called Sasha. first one was the original, this one is technically Sasha the third) also went through about three sets of headlights for some reason (the original, plus a replacement for both, plus a replacement for one). Don't know why, hope it doesn't continue this way.. lol.
Current tires are hankook 18s (I forget which), riding on tenzo r wheels, and it handles excellent. The GTS sport felt like it had less body roll on corners.. not sure if it was in my head.. been a while.. But this one seems plush enough to feel comfortable, but when pushed it responds well.. so.. Loved it on day one, love it several years later.
Finally the original reason for this post (I could write books about this car): I recently took a trip to a beautiful lake and mountains with Sasha. Was the longest trip I've done here. The terrain was very hilly, and when I say very I mean it.. the roads here have slopes of up to and over 25% !!! There are roads here which small cars, bad cars, overloaded, bad drivers etc just cannot make it up the hill (overheating of the engine, trans, losing momentum and power, clutch, etc) but the kizashi exhibits no issues whatsoever.
I did some calculations and the total elevation change of my trip (one way) was about 16000 feet. So the total for both was 32000. That is quite a lot! basically it was several long descents and hillclimbs. Also lots and lots of twisties. I was trying to be easy on my brakes so I had her purring at 5k for a little while in second gear down a descent, and downshifting constantly. I find that she takes corners really well when you unload the front by applying gas.. feels like its on rails sometimes.. (mind you the wrex never inspired as much confidence even with its 4wd!).
Anyway.. if I dont stop myself I could ramble on all night.. So. in summary, I love this car.
Welcome. Given your post, I can tell you that you've found the perfect home for your passion for the Kizashi.
With your experience with three different Kizashis, it looks like you've experienced some of the annoyances with the car too. The early models had bad alignment from the factory which quickly wore out the factory tires unevenly. Suzuki updated their alignment specs which fixed the issue. The rear shocks are also susceptible to premature failure due to a bad bump stopper design that trapped moisture and caused corrosion of the rear shocks. A newer design fixed this issue so when you replace the rear shocks, make sure you get the revised bump stoppers. There is a very detailed thread on here all about this issue.
The Kizashi isn't known for brake issues so it sounds like you may just need more lube on the caliper components and shims. I upgraded my brakes to slotted rotors and high performance ceramic pads which improved the already-great braking of the Kizashi without creating much noise or brake dust.
Which trim do you currently have for your manual trans model? It sounds like you don't have a Sport model so maybe the S again?
Despite the obscurity of the Kizashi in the general public, I love driving mine too. I find it rewarding to drive while being a reliable and secure car to operate daily. I currently have about 89,000 miles on my 6 speed 2011 Sport GTS and plan to keep this car for a lot longer. In fact, it will likely be my last conventional ICE vehicle but I'm not ready to part with it anytime soon.
2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS 6MT (Black)