Winnipeg Suzuki welcomed its new 2012 SX4 and Kizashi models near the end of March -- just in time for spring.
"We'd just about sold out our 2011 models," says Brendan David, the dealership's new car sales manager.
There have been no design changes to the 2012 SX4, which is powered by a 150-hp 2.0-litre all-aluminum four-cylinder engine matched with a six-speed manual transmission. It's available as a four-door sedan or a five-door crossover hatchback.
Suzuki's Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive (I-AWD) system is standard on the crossover, while the sedan is front-wheel drive.
"There are no other models with AWD that you can buy for under $20,000," David said, adding that Suzuki is also offering zero-per-cent financing for up to 84 months.
The crossover/sportback is available in Base, Premium and Technology/Tech Valu Package trims. The sedan is available in Base, LE, LE Popular, and Sport SE versions. Sport SE and Technology/Tech Valu models include a navigation system.
David points out that both the Kizashi and the SX4 have CVT (continuously variable transmission) which makes for smoother shifting and improved fuel economy.
The Kizashi was first introduced last year and is Suzuki's initial entry in the mid-sized sedan category.
"The Kizashi is one of few cars in its category which you can purchase with available AWD for under $30,000," David said, noting
the 2012 model ranges in price from about $28,000 to $33,000, depending on options (plus freight and pdi).
The Kizashi is equipped with a 185-hp 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual, or a 180-hp version with the CVT. Standard features include sport bucket seats, projector headlamps, keyless entry, push-button start system, automatic dual-zone climate control and steering-wheel audio controls. Options include a Rockford-Fosgate audio system, leather interior, heated power seats and Bluetooth connectivity.
The model is available in S, SE, Sport GTS, and Sport SLS trims.
"Our sales are going very well," David said. "Our cars are available in a wide choice of colours."
Still to come, he notes, is the 2012 Suzuki Viterra.
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The Vickar Auto Group has long been a supporter of L'Arche Winnipeg, the local branch of the international organization that provides homes for adults with mental disabilities.
So, when L'Arche representatives approached Vickar Group President Larry Vickar and his wife, Tova, with plans for a small restaurant in Transcona that would provide meaningful employment and public interaction to people with disabilities, the Vickars very quickly signed on as the principal sponsor.
L'Arche Tova Café at 118 Regent Ave. East in the heart of Transcona had its official opening on April 3, with L'Arche clients/restaurant workers sharing centre stage with the extended Vickar family.
"We've been working with L'Arche Winnipeg for the past three years," Vickar said at the grand opening.
"When Jim Lapp (L'Arche Winnipeg's executive director) came to see Tova and I about a year ago with this more-than-100-page business plan for this restaurant, we quickly decided that we wanted to be part of this very worthwhile enterprise. We have already been here for meals three or four times."
Also giving congratulations were Christine Melnick, Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, Transcona MLA Daryl Reid and Mayor Sam Katz.