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Hi everyone. I'm new to this site. Test drove and fell in love with a 2012 kizashi. The problem is there aren't many dealerships close to me. I'm afraid that once I buy the car, hauling my butt to the dealership for maintainece and any unexpected issues will be a real pain. Does anyone take their car to their local mechanic instead of the dealership? My husband is also worried about the reliability of Suzuki in general. I tend to keep my cars for awhile so I want to make sure I won't have issues down the road should should I need replacement parts. I'm leaning towards purchasing a subaru legacy because of these reasons but actually would rather buy my ice blue kizashi:D. Any feedback to qualm my fears would be great.
 

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I wouldn't say a Subaru would be any more reliable than a Suzuki. My parents and sister have had a Liberty (Legacy), Forester, Outback and Imprezza over the last 10 years. They've had a few problems with the 2YO Outback (fuel tank related) and Imprezza (fuel gauge misbehaving) which are both current shape models. The problem with the Outback is apparently not covered by warranty and going to cost a substantial amount to fix.

I've owned a 2004 XL-7 since 2007 and the only failure has been the central locking switch on the driver's door failing. I've just bought a new Kizashi and have had it for a week. It seems very well built and I'm not expecting any serious problems will crop up.
 

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Hi everyone. I'm new to this site. Test drove and fell in love with a 2012 kizashi. The problem is there aren't many dealerships close to me. I'm afraid that once I buy the car, hauling my butt to the dealership for maintainece and any unexpected issues will be a real pain. Does anyone take their car to their local mechanic instead of the dealership? My husband is also worried about the reliability of Suzuki in general. I tend to keep my cars for awhile so I want to make sure I won't have issues down the road should should I need replacement parts. I'm leaning towards purchasing a subaru legacy because of these reasons but actually would rather buy my ice blue kizashi:D. Any feedback to qualm my fears would be great.
I've currently got two 2002 Suzuki XL-7s and one 2010 Kizashi SLS. have owned Volvo, Toyota, Honda vehicles in the past.

The main reason to go to any dealer is for warranty work. With Suzukis, I think you can reasonably expect a couple of warranty trips to the dealer within the first three years, then maybe one or two warrant trips to the dealer in the next four years. If the warranty work requires their keeping the car overnight within the first three years, I think they are obligated to provide or pay for a loaner.

Let's see, I've been driving new cars since 1985. With my first Toyota purchased in 1985, I got absolutely raped by the dealer on the price for "routine" maintenance. Moral - make sure you know what the manual actually says.

With all my vehicles since 1985, I have done only a few visits to dealers for routine maintenance since then. Oil changes, radiator flushes, brake pads, belt changes, battery replacements, wiper replacements, tire changes, oxygen sensor replacement, alternator change etc. -- these can ALL be done by your trusty local mechanics. I would NEVER go to a dealer for such work. Except, with the Kizashi, the only annoying thing I have found requiring a dealer visit is the Tire Pressure Monitoring System reset on putting on a new tire (and I found that if you let the dealer do the tire change, the TPMS reset is included so that is going to be a better deal).

When comparing Subaru to Suzuki, make sure that you compare the warranty terms. Remember that Suzuki warranties are lengthy in time and have no deductible and are fully transferable. A good warranty makes the trip seem worthwhile.
 

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Subaru warranty

I see the Subaru drive train warranty is only five years, 60,000 miles, whereas Suzuki is seven years, 100,000 miles. A lot can happen in those extra two years. And it looks like you explicitly have to prove maintenance according to schedule with Subaru. Says nothing about transferability, but with a short period perhaps you won't need to worry.

https://www.subaru.com/my-subaru/warranties-2012.html
 

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You'll be fine. I have several dealers somewhat closer to me, but I bought my Kizashi at a dealer 50+ miles away. Service wise, it has only been back at the dealer once (the complimentary first oil change + got a recall taken care of). I have a 2010, and I really only needed oil changes thus far.

To address your reliability concern:
The reason why major publications (Consumer Reports, etc) rank Suzuki so low is due to them selling Daewoo-made cars over the last few years (Reno, Forenza, Verona). Those cars are crap. The Kizashi was an all-Suzuki effort (although development did start on the same platform as the Malibu and Saab 9-3). Suzuki-made Suzukis are very good generally.
 
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