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Farewell to Suzuki

November 6, 2012

The Suzuki SX4 AWD offered great value and fun
Anne Proffit photo

The news came today that American Suzuki is pulling out of the American car business, beset by low sales and a cut-throat marketplace, among other things.

One item Suzuki had going its way was product – in particular the delightful little SX4 hatchback that came equipped with AWD right from the get-go. I drove one of these tiny tots to Las Vegas and back a few years ago and flat-out loved the thing. It had sufficient space for three (with luggage), a peppy demeanor, good mileage, great build quality and the kind of innocuous looks that absolutely stymied the California Highway Patrol’s efforts to see the SX4 coming and going at rapid speeds.

Suzuki had a “race veresion” of the SX4 that lacked AWD but added requisite racing stripes and a number circle
Anne Proffit photo

This little car had a larger sibling named Kizashi – a four-door, front-wheel-drive sedan that could be the best car you’ve never heard of. The Kizashi has/had style, performance and relative economy – but who the heck even knew about it, aside from the media hordes (whores?) and a few knowledgeable kids? Likely nobody, as marketing from American Suzuki has been minimal at best.

Those have been my two favorite recent Suzuki vehicles, but I do remember a great trip from Indianapolis to Watkins Glen in a bright red Aerio hatchback back in the early Indy car days at the world-famous WGI racetrack. Not only did the Aerio survive a long commute each day from my B&B 45 minutes from the racetrack, but with an imminent move back to Long Beach shortly after that particular race weekend, we traveled to Kentucky and back to pick up storage items that never should have fit in the Aerio – but did.

So say a fond farewell to the smaller of Suzuki’s offerings – as I’m not much for SUVs, I never did cotton to theirs, just as I rarely find a big tub of vehicular lard to love. Suzuki, I’ll miss you, but unfortunately, I’m among the few who will notice you’re gone.

By Anne Proffit

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