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Suzuki Esteem Wagon

mikeyewmikeyew Posts: 6
My local Suzuki dealership is offering
a AL wagon for $11,999. I realize that this
is a very basic vehicle, with a and ad, but
is it a reliable vehicle?
The price is hard to beat and all I need
to haul my mountain bike and stuff is a
"very basic vehicle."
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Comments

  • mikeyewmikeyew Posts: 6
    Sorry, the spell check misspelled
    some of the words in the previous post, not me.
    LOL!
    The Suzuki GL wagon comes with AC and a
    CD, that's it! But it is an attractively
    designed car, and also an attractively priced
    car.
  • geraldc1geraldc1 Posts: 2
    I own a 2000 glx+ suzuki wagon. Bought new 2-2000. Presently have 13,500 miles. Have not had any problems with car. No warranty problems or adjustments whatsoever. Car exceeds my expectations and enjoy driving the car. Smooth ride and very quiet. Well made. Gave $14500 for two tone with 6 changer cd. Averages 24-26 in town and 29-32 highway. Very stylish car. E-mailed suzuki and was cridical of them for not pushing this car to sell. They elect to push their Grand Vatari and their new XL7. The consumer report gave the XL7 rave reviews. Suzuki is noted for its quality. No recalls on suzukis for repairs. Highly recommend.
    Next year toyota and mazda will offer wagons as wagons are making a big comeback. SUV are only large wagon gas guzzlers.
  • bobtaybobtay Posts: 1
    I bought a 2000 Suzuki Esteem station Wagon, the GL four months ago. On the whole I am pleased with it, except for a rotten egg smell that we get after a short run, when we stop the vehicle. This smell is so bad that it almost makes a person vomit, and co workers when they see the vehicle being parked, move away to avoid the smell.

    I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had similar problems, as to whether they have found a solution.

    Bob Taylor
    btaylor@ntl.sympatico.ca
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Posts: 236
    I have a Geo Metro (which is essentially a Suzuki) and I've gotten almost 50,000 trouble-free miles from it. The only repairs I've had to make were brakes (normal wear) and window glass from a break-in. Suzuki is known to make reliable small motors. If you take care of the car it should last a long time.

    I'm also in the market for a small wagon or hathcback; unfortunately, Suzuki dealerships can be hard to find. If you are getting a good deal from yours then I'd say go for it.
  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    bobtay: The most common cause of the smell comes from fuel that has a high sulpher content. try changing your brand of gas. You could have a malfunctioning cat converter or you car's computer may be allowing it to run too rich. This used to be a big problem with GM cars a few years back ( tho any mfg can have the problem)but is not much of a problem now days. In any event the problem can be cured by your dealer. it is emissions related and would be covered under warranty for at least 50K miles. Good luck

    Floridian
  • QualityQuality Posts: 17
    Today is my car's second birthday (May 20) and the tally today is 131,000km. The car is running in top form and no major problems have occurred. Hope this helps any curious onlookers.Quality.
  • I HAVE HAD MY WAGON FOR FIVE DAYS NOW. THE ONLY DEFECT I HAVE NOTED IS THAT THE FUEL GAUGE WILL NOT GO ALL THE WAY TO FULL. WHEN I FILL HER UP IT STAYS DOWN ABOUT HALF A MARK. I READ SOMEWHERE THAT THE LAST GALLON IS HARD TO GET IN. SHOULD I JUST FORCE THE LAST GALLON IN TO GET A FULL READING OR WHAT? THE PUMP SAYS DO NOT TOP OFF! ON OTHER THING I NOTICED IS THAT THE REMOTE ENTRY SYSTEM AND INTERIOR LIGHTS DEPEND ON THE REAR GATE BEING CLOSED FULLY. OTHERWISE, THE INTERIOR LIGHTS WILL STAY ON AND THE REMOTES WILL NOT WORK. WHAT KIND OF MOTOR OIL IS NEEDED IN MY WAGON... IS IT MOBILE 1? CAN I TAKE TO SAY QUIKLUBE? JOE IN ATLANTA!
  • SHOULD I CHAGE OIL EVERY 3,000 MILES. ON FELLOW ON HERE SAID HE CHANGED THE OIL AFTER THE FIRST 500 MILES. ONE SAID HE CHANGED TO MOBIL OIL. WHAT ABOUT CARBON BUILDUP IN THE ENGINE WHICH I READ ABOUT...CAN THAT BE PREVENTED AND HOW? THANKS FOLKS! WANT TO GET OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT HERE YOU KNOW. ONLY HAD CAR A WEEK!
  • sphil906sphil906 Posts: 6
    I have a 2000 Esteem GL. Purchased used with 5,000 miles. When going over rough pavement there is a rattle around both struts in the rear. I notice the seat belt retractors are in the same area. I cannot determine the source of the rattle. Anyone else with the same problem?
  • QualityQuality Posts: 17
    Just read entry # 9 and the concern about carbon build-up. My carbon problem that I mentioned earlier on in the discussions was not a carbon problem at all. I had a rattling noise coming from somewhere. Every time I took my car in for servicing the dealership could not hear this noise because it occurred mainly while climbing steeper hills. The dealership never heard the noises that bothered me. So, I went for the " de-carbon " job. This must be a problem sometimes for some people if the service manager is recommending this procedure. But, it was not my problem. My problem turned out to be a clamp that broke on the exhaust system ( a stiffener is its name ) Just got this fixed recently. I am sure that rattling occurs because of carbonization but it was not my problem as I reported earlier. Just trying to keep the record straight while presenting the information as it presents itself.Quality.
  • jaskingjasking Posts: 10
    I got a black GL 5-speed wagon about a month ago, have put about 5,300 kilometers on it, and so far I am extremely pleased with it. It's quick, quiet, roomy, comfortable and, for an econo-wagon, supremely good-looking. Took a 2,500-km (1,500-mile) vacation drive last week, including a couple of 600-mile days. Emerged unscathed (very nice seats). The car easily passed the crucial dead-skunk avoidance test (sudden lane change), easily swallowed a week's worth of luggage and various bulky purchases, and exhibited a very comforting reserve of passing power. When I got home, it passed two more important tests. Returning my empties to the beer store, I found the little Esteem actually held more cases than the much bigger, vastly more expensive 4-Runner parked next to it. And on a trip to the vet, my two dogs (a 30-pound border collie and a 100-pound Lab-shepherd) had lots of room in the back without folding down the rear seats. People should buy these cars. Mine functions as well and looks as good as vehicles costing twice as much or more. People are lined up around the block to pay thousands more for the new Mazda Protege 5, which is slower, no better looking and far less practical. Go figure.
  • mikeyewmikeyew Posts: 6
    I still haven't jumped onto the Suzuki bandwagon for one main reason, quality. Does
    the Suzuki feel like a quality wagon, or does
    it feel like the low price it commands?
  • jaskingjasking Posts: 10
    mike,
    Maybe your question would be best answered by someone who's owned an Esteem longer than I have, but I'll tell you what I know. As far as I can see, the wagon is built as well as any smallish car, it just doesn't have the useless bells and whistles some people demand. Mine has exactly zero assembly faults. The interior materials seem to be of high quality. It doesn't rattle, buzz or squeak. There are no wind or water leaks. The engine is strong and cruises quietly. The car seems to ride as well with a full load as it does with just a driver aboard. As for reliability, well, I owned two Suzuki 4x4s for a total of six driving years with the following repairs: one headlight bulb, one set of wiper blades, one taillight fuse. That's all. There aren't many small wagons to choose from, and an Esteem should be far more reliable than a Ford Focus, Saturn or whatever Korean product is available in your area. I think the Focus alone had more safety and quality recalls in its first couple of months than the entire Suzuki product line has had since they entered the market 20-odd years ago.
  • mikeyewmikeyew Posts: 6
    This is a hard decision folks, and the
    dealer not having the color I prefer makes
    buying a wagon all the harder. He has a
    red and a silver 5 speed on the lot. I prefer
    white or black, but silver will do.
    The bigger question is now, how will these
    cars survive life in the rust belt? Here
    in western Pennsylvania the roads are coated
    with salt every winter.
  • jaskingjasking Posts: 10
    Mike,

    Greetings from Ottawa, the road-salt capital of the world. I've seen a few rusted Suzuki Swifts around, but never an Esteem. And the Swifts were all very, very old. Probably the Civics of the same age have long since disintegrated. If you wash the car once it gets real crusty and cover any deep scratches with touch-up paint, you should be OK. After four years of wallowing through the salt here, my old Sidekick didn't show a hint of rust anywhere.
  • raduga750raduga750 Posts: 13
    I am thinking about getting a Suzuki Esteem wagon. There are very few new hatchbacks or small wagons out there, and almost all of them look overpriced (e.g., Volkswagen Golf, Mazda Protege5). Consumer Reports didn't like the Esteem, but they seemed to focus on the sedan vrs other sedans, and they didn't criticize its reliability. I'd like to know from owners what their experience is in two areas:

    1. There seem to be very few dealers -- the one dealer in my area didn't even have a wagon to test drive -- and no garages in my area advertise that they work on Suzukis. Is it difficult to find mechanics? Are parts and labor more expensive than for other Japanese cars?

    2. Some car reviewers have questioned the suspension system, saying the ride is hard. How would you compare it with other wagons?

    Thanks!
  • jaskingjasking Posts: 10
    I'm a small-car guy, so I don't care much for the soft, heavy feel of a big car. With that in mind, I find the Esteem wagon's ride very acceptable. I tested a bunch of small cars and it rides as well as most and better than a lot of them. One nice thing is that the ride doesn't deteriorate when you load it up.
    As far as servicing goes, there are three Suzuki dealers within 20 minutes of where I live, so I don't get that lonely feeling. I'm in my fifth year as a Suzuki owner, and I have no idea how expensive parts and repairs are, since I've never had anything to fix or anything to replace except wiper blades and a headlight bulb. Most towns or cities will have Suzuki dealers, most villages and hamlets will not (but then they probably won't have a Chevy or Ford dealer either).
  • app3jxvapp3jxv Posts: 1
    I bought my Suzuki Esteem Wagon GLX+ wagon at the end of August 2000. I had to replace the front brake pads after 18,000 miles. Most of my driving is on the highway. Is this normal, or is Suzuki using inferior material in their brake pads. I replaced the pads with full metallic Bendex pads - they should last awhile. Has anyone had a similar experience???
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    it will be due to a poor quality of pad, hard braking, resting your foot on the brake, or a sticking caliper. What I mean by resting your foot on the brake covers not only riding the brakes 24/7, but also when you come to a stop, holding the brake pedal down does not allow heat to disperse as well. Allowing the car to roll an inch or two at a time will help, as will setting the parking brake when stopped. It's easier to do this in a manual, and it saves on your brake pads and will keep your rotors from warping.
  • I HAVE JUST ROLLED 20,000 MILES ON MY WAGON. HAVE NOT HAD A SINGLE PROBLEM OR ADJUSTMENT AND CAR HANDLES BEAUTIFULLY. TIP TO INCREASE GAS MILEAGE. MOBIL 1 OIL, INFLATE TIRES 5 LBS ON TIRE PRESSURE OVER REQUIRED AND PREMIUM GAS(WHEN PRICES ARE LOW) I HAVE NOTICED ABOUT A 2 MILES PER GALLON INCREASE SINCE DOING ALL 3.
    I HVE NEVER FIGURED OUT WHY SUZUKI DOES NOT ADVERTISE THIS FINE LITTLE CAR. LOOKED AT THE NEW MAZDA P5 WAGON AND WAS QUOTED APPROX, $5000. MORE FOR THE CAR WITH SAME EQUIPMENT. INTERIOR OF SUZUKI APPEARS TO BE LARGER THAN MAZDA .

    LETS HEAR FROM YOU SUZUKI LOVERS!!
  • It's nice to see someone posting on this thread again. I guess you could call me a Suzuki lover. I've just rolled over 17,000 km on my Esteem wagon without any problem, adjustment or complaint of any kind. I have to agree that Suzuki could do more to promote these great little cars. They're good at making cars, not too good at marketing them in North America. I also have to agree on the Mazda P5. It's a cute little car, in a teen-street-racer way, but overpriced and severely lacking in cargo space. I came out of Starbucks the other day and found a black P5 parked next to my black Esteem, so I had to compare. From a visual inspection, I'd say the Suzuki has at least double the cargo space with rear seats up. The Esteem is also faster, according to published road tests, and for my money it's better looking -- sleek, classy and subtle, rather than stubby and gimmicky like the Mazda.
  • I have a rattling sound, like plastic on plastic, coming from both sides of the rear of my 2000 Esteem wagon, when traveling over sharp bumps like pavement patches. Seems like it may be coming from the general area of the struts, but the stuts have been declared fine by the dealer. I wonder if it could be the seat belt retainers. Anyone with a smiliar irritation. Also, when it is cold outside(40 or below) I get a creaking sound seeming to come from the rear suspension from large bumps or undulations in the road as well as speed bumps. Any ideas?
  • Umm.. creaking sound.. could it be the rear strut mounts? If i'm not mistaken, the esteem have the four wheel independant macpherson suspension setup.

    Hey Quality, how's your suzuki esteem so far? I'm looking into puchasing one. Please post an update.

    Thanks.
  • QualityQuality Posts: 17
    Sorry to report that my car died in the line of duty on Christmas Eve. ( 170,000km ) Very reliable until death and never stalled once. Was running in excellent condition and would easily have doubled the mileage given the chance. Not sure what to buy. So many choices. Looking at new Matrix, Honda, and Subaru. The ultimate decision will be based on value.
    Sincerely.
    Quality
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Is the Esteem's rear suspension and exhaust anything like the Swift's? My '95 Geo Metro (same as Swift but for the smaller engine) has a variety of noises from back there. The muffler is new from last year, though it is not an OEM part so it is a bit big. I'm sure it could use some work on the suspension back there but for now it is not bad enough to sink money into it (also got new tires and brakes last year) -- it is fine for one or two people but 4 people has it riding kind of low.

    Anyone looking forward to the Esteem's replacement, the Suzuki Aerio SX? My '95 Geo Metro is still running well but when it goes, I'll be taking a look at the Aerio for sure, along with the Matrix/Vibe and maybe the new small Saturn if they make a small wagon or hatch out of it. I'm not fond of the Echo, Focus or Protege5 styling.
  • tistevetisteve Posts: 142
    I have started a new discussion about the Aerio (formally known as the Suzuki SX concept car).

    Check it out!
  • My wife and I have driven 12,000 trouble free miles on our wagon since we purchased last June. If you are looking for a recommendation, you definitely have ours. I honestly cannot think of a car that offers better value - such a shame that Suzuki plans on retiring it in favor of the Aerio.

    For those of you currently in the compact wagon market, I believe you'll be very pleased with the Esteem. It's the sort of car that really grows on you. A few months after you've made the purchase, you'll be patting yourself on the back for getting such a great deal on a car with so many features.

    One note - it handles quite well in the snow.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi folks- Please note the minor changes in this discussion title. The word "Esteem" has not been added to the title. Hope this is helpful.

    Also, for those interested in discussing the upcoming Suzuki Aerio, here's a direct link to our new Suzuki Aerio SX discussion. Thanks for your participation.

    Hi cityplanner- Thanks for the update. Glad to hear your Esteem is serving you well. We look forward to hearing more.... Happy motoring! ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • hudraheadhudrahead Posts: 169
    Quality: Please tell us what killed the "Zuki", was it wrecked or what ? Just when it was nicely broken in too. LOL. Don't you jus hate it when that happens?

    What's next ? That Mazda Proto5 is a real piece of work. My son just bought one and loves it. I drove it too and was REALLY impressed with the build quality, equipment for the price etc. A LOT more car for the money (US anyway)than the Esteem don't you think.

    hudrahead
  • QualityQuality Posts: 17
    Hudrahead: Thanks for the concern. Car was hit by
    another and pushed into concrete wall. Death was quick and painless. Very reliable vehicle and would recommend to first time buyer and someone who likes to keep their car for long periods. I like to trade and buy new once in a while. Reasons for switching to another vehicle include the relatively poor re-sale value ( unknown car and not deserved ) and the elimination of the Esteem line. Do not like the looks of the new Suzuki vehicle and sounds too small for my use. I like what the new Matrix has to offer in terms of technology and value ( not sure about the options package which I probably will want) I like the Subaru Impreza TS package, but too expensive perhaps (but good value) and it has a timing belt(a big negative for me) I also like the Honda engines, but has timing belt and no hatchback. Sorry, don't like Ford/Mazda products even though it looks cute. I will be comparing my new vehicle with the value of the Suzuki Esteem which is substantial.
    Sincerely,
    Quality
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