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The Mercury Cars Guide : July 25th 2009
2— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Suzuki scoops up dropped SX4 ball Saturday, July 25, 2009 New baby Alto TheAlto is alreadya hit in Europeand India withdemand exceeding supply andnowit’sonits wayto Australian shores. ByNeilMcDonald KIZASHI: Suzuki calls its mid-size sedan ‘‘a driver’s car’’. T HE countdown has started on Suzuki Australia’s biggest gamble. Suzuki Australia has confirmed its mid-size Kizashi sedan will ar- rive in the second quarter of next year, pitched right into the stagnant mid-size segment. However, Suzuki Australia gener- al manager Tony Devers has high hopes for the mid-sizer, which will be pitched directly at the Mazda6 and Honda Euro. ‘‘It’s a driver’s car and we’ve benchmarked the Mazda6 and Hon- da Accord Euro,’’ he says. A Kizashi pre-production car is due to arrive within weeks to start the local homologation process. Devers says when production models become available he also plans to clinic the car among focus groups to see how it goes in front of potential Australian buyers. ‘‘This is the biggest passenger car that we’ve made,’’ he says. ‘‘There’s a lot riding on it.’’ The Kizashi will be launched with an entry 2.4-litre front wheel drive version, which should be around $30,000 with a larger capacity V6 of more than 3.0-litre arriving later. The V6 may also get all-wheel drive. Ahead of the Kizashi is the new facelifted SX4, which will arrive early next year. ‘‘We’ve dropped the ball on the SX4,’’ Devers says. So far this year Suzuki has sold just 1337 SX4s, down almost 50 per cent over the same period last year. Devers says the changeover to the new car is to blame. ‘‘We lost about three months of production,’’ he says. ‘‘We definitely dropped the ball with that car.’’ The facelifted SX4 gets a more powerful 2.0-litre engine but also a 20 per cent fuel economy lift and more equipment. Devers admits that it goes up against some tough small car com- petition, like the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3. Suzuki plans to push the car’s individual styling as well as its all- wheel drive capacity. ‘‘AWD represents about 70 per cent of SX4 sales,’’ Devers says. ‘‘We’ll definitely push that more among potential buyers.’’ The Grand Vitara and Swift re- main Suzuki’s big cash-cows. Grand Vitara sales are up 12 per cent this year thanks to the addition of the 2.4-litre three-door and the Swift is weathering the overall downturn well, with sales down 14 per cent year to date. Further out a new-generation Swift and Swift Sport are due in 2011 and Suzuki wants to launch a bigger off-roader above the Grand Vitara around 2012. light car class from $12,490 for the well- equipped five-speed manual. It is pitching into a new nursery of T micro cars heading our way from Korea and China. But in reality it must also go up against larger-engined rivals like the three-door Hyundai Getz, Holden Bar- ina, Toyota Yaris and Kia Rio. According to Suzuki Australia gen- eral manager Tony Devers the public mood is right for a car like the Alto. ‘‘If economists are correct we could be paying $1.60 a litre for petrol by Christmas so there is an opportunity with cars like this,’’ he says. ‘‘The Alto is not only a good proposition for budget buyers, but people with an eye for economy and the environment.’’ Devers has big hopes for the five- door hatch even though Suzuki has set modest sales targets of 1000 this year and about 3000 next year. Suzuki is doing a hard-sell on the car’s European styling and engineer- ing, good fuel economy and low C02 emissions, presenting itself as a real- world, low-cost ‘‘green’’ car.’’ Although designed in-house, Suzuki looked to Europe for inspiration. The smallest member of Suzuki’s range tips the scales at just 850kg and measures 3500mm in length and 1600mm in width. Despite its diminu- tive size and light weight, the Alto’s extensive use of high strength steels has helped deliver a four-star crash rating. BABY, BABY: The smallest member of Suzuki’s range tips the scales at just 850kg and measures 3500mm in length and 1600mm in width. The Alto is powered by a Euro 4 compliant three-cylinder engine that develops 50kW at 6000 revs and 90Nm at 3400 revs. Its combined fuel economy figure is a hybrid-busting 4.8 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 113g/km. However, the downside is that the engine must run on more expensive premium unleaded. Two models are available, the GL and GLX. Introductory prices start at $12,490 for the GL manual with the GLX manual $14,490. A four-speed automatic is an extra $2000. Despite its low-cost entry, the micro- Alto gets standard safety features rarely seen in the light car segment. Six airbags, traction control, anti- skid brakes and brake assist are standard and the GLX version adds electronic stability control. The GL has air conditioning, CD system with MP3 auxiliary input, remote central locking, anti-skid brakes and front electric windows. The GLX adds 14-inch alloys, fog- lights, six-speaker sound system and a full-size spare wheel as standard. Visually, the Alto adopts a distinct Euro look with its compact dimen- sions and oversized headlights and in profile has a wedge-shape and rising shoulder line along the rear door. At the back, the truncated rear end has a wide opening hatch with large high-set tail-lights and bumper. Inside, the cabin has sturdy plastics, integrated CD/stereo and height ad- justable steering wheel. The rear seats split fold 50/50 with a small amount of boot space and plenty of storage space in the cabin. Specialising in cars... www.thecarmart.com.au 98 Holden 99 Hyundai Sonata EF GLS 2.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, elecs, SAVE $1000. SB Barina ‘Soft top’ 1.4lt manual, p/s, a/c, alloys, 99,000km, dual airbags, economical, ready for summer. 98 Nissan Pulsar N15 Plus 1.6lt manual, p/s, a/c, alloys, rear spoiler. 96 Proton Wira XLi 1.6lt auto, p/s, elecs, moderate kms, tidy. 03 Suzuki Ignis GL 1.3lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, 52,000km. 00 Landrover Freelander 1.8lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, sunroof. 99 Toyota Camry CSi 3.0lt V6, auto, p/s, a/c, 134,000km, towbar. 07 Holden TK Barina Hatch 1.6lt manual, p/s, a/c, elecs, SAVE $1000. Mitsubishi Express van 1.6lt manual, towbar, roof racks, 194,000km. HERE is a new baby car screaming for attention. Suzuki’s new five-door 1.0-litre Alto hatch enters the LOOK AT ME: Visually, the Alto adopts a distinct Euro look with its wedge- shape, rising shoulder line and wide opening hatch. $10,000 05 Hyundai Getz Hatch 1.4lt manual, p/s, a/c, 86,000km. “Award winning Best Small Car.” David Strang 0404 724 986 Mark Patterson 0417 025 936 Todd Jackson 0419 514 956 Rob Sylvester 0418 124 226 (Finance) 99 Mazda Bravo 4x4 tray 2.5lt turbo diesel, p/s, towbar, ready for work. Easy on-site finance available 02 Toyota Camry Altise 2.4lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, tint. Value. 88 Mitsubishi TN Magna SE 2.6lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, 175,000km. 03 Holden Rodeo RA DX 2.4lt manual, a/c, 168,000km, towbar. www.thecarmart.com.au 14 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park 6211 0566 13870jayne Under $5995 $7995 $6995 $7995 $9995 $9995 $1995 $9995 $6995 $8995 $2995 $4995 $9995 $7995
July 18th 2009
August 1st 2009