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Suzuki Esteem Wagon

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Comments

  • 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
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I'm very sorry to hear about your accident. I hope no one incurred any injuries. Your participation in this discussion has been very much appreciated. Btw, in case you weren't aware, you can also compare several vehicles side by side in Edmunds.com Vehicle Comparison tool. Good luck with your next purchase.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • Hi, first I want to say thanks to Quality for helping me make my decision on buying an Esteem. I love my car. All the good things people say about this car is true. I have owned my 2000 Esteem GLX since July of 2001. When I bought it, it had 10000 miles on it. It now (seven months later) has just over 23000 miles on it. I have had one problem. About a week after I bought it, I noticed some grinding coming from the front brakes. The dealer said that the pad had "de-laminated" itself from the mounting surface. They replaced the front brake pads and turned the rotors under warranty. I did buy this car from a reputable used-car dealer here in eastern MA, and not a Suzuki dealer. They are hard to find. I get great mileage in mixed driving (24-28mpg). One complaint: My car has the 15" Speedline rims on it with Yokohama V-rated tires. In New England, it snows. And I live on a hill. I have to get new tires for this car(pref. A/S radials). Any suggestions? Also what's with this car blowing brakelights? I've replaced the same side twice.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    I don't have an Esteem (here as a prospective customer when my Metro dies) but I've recently had good opportunities to try my new (bought last year) Michelin all-seasons in the snow and ice so I thought I'd offer my comments. My Geo Metro has 155/80R13 Rainforce MX4s and my Saturn LW200 has 195/65R15 X Ones on them. Both do well in dry, wet, snow and ice, keeping up with traffic just fine (people around here seems to drive reasonably, about 10kmh under the limit in very bad weather). The wheels are such different sizes on cars of such different masses that it is hard to compare them but subjectively, I'd say the pricier X Ones are a bit better, offering slightly better traction and a quieter ride. They are only T rated but that's 190kmh which is faster than I'd ever go.

    I have several nasty, twisty hills to negotiate to and from work every day and I made it up and down them alright in the partially plowed and driven-over remains of a 6" snowfall the other day in the Metro (I wasn't sure it would make it but I had no trouble).

    I don't have a garage so keeping 8 winter tires on extra rims in the basement is not a pleasant thought. If I had a garage, I might get snows.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for your sharing 2001 GLX Esteem experience. Glad to hear that you're enjoying your vehicle. Also, good luck with the replacing the tires, as well as dealing with the other issues (i.e. brake lights) you've mentioned.

    In addition to the feedback here, you may want to periodically check in Edmunds' Maintenance Guide to see if any related TSB's (Techincal Service Bulletins) appear. Please keep us posted. Happy Motoring!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • Chaser4: I can sympathize with your problem about the light bulbs. I have read reviews about the Esteem that note that although the vehicle is reliable ( and I can verify that ) it has a record of having minor problems that owners complain about. I had my share of " minor " problems that showed up during the first 100,000km. My second 100,000km was virtually problem free and there is nothing wrong with the motor or the transmission. Anyhow, I had the same problem with my rear lights I think I blew about 4 0r 5 when the vehicle war really new. And, it really irked me. I had the opportunity to mention this fault to the district manager ( the warranty guy for the region ) He says well: you do a lot of stopping and starting, etc. Not much help here. I ended up going to a different dealership than I was visiting. After visiting this other dealership I never really had this problem again. Bad bulbs? Just a ruse to get you into the dealership? Who knows. I thought it was serious, but it wasn't. Hope this helps.
    Quality
  • Well , I guess funny things can happen with any new car. Quality, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one out here who is blowing out brake lights. This, by far has been the best experience I have ever had with any car I have ever owned. My last car (ugh!) was a 1995 Ford Contour GL V6.
    I owned it for 4 years, put 100k miles on it after I had purchased it with 23K. For 3 of the 4 years, it was OK. for the last year to 18 months, my God!!! This car was terrible! Repairs would have included exhaust sys from manifold back(I think a bad tune-up fouled my cat), new rear struts, new main seals, new clutch, new front sway bar mount........ you get the picture. Anyway, sorry to hear of the death of your 'Zuki, Quality. Hope everyone is OK. Anyone else who is on the fence about this car, get off the fence,go to the dealer, and buy one. You will not regret it. People always ask me if my car is a (gasp!) Subaru. I tell them what it is and what I paid for it. I get more positive comments about the appearance of the 'Zuki than anything else I've owned. Mine is kind of reddish-maroon with the spoiler over the rear window and the 15" Speedline wheels. It looks great.
  • Well, the trouble-free motoring days are over for our little wagon. A few weeks ago we began experiencing pulsations during braking. Sure enough, Suzuki in Kalamazoo told us the front rotors needed to be replaced. Now that the car has been fixed (under warranty) everything is back to normal.

    I hope everyone else is fairing well behind the wheel.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Sorry to hear about your brake problem. Thanks goodness for warranties. Glad to hear everything is back to normal now. Please keep us posted on any other issues. We look forward to hearing more....

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • I am seriously considering getting a left-over 2002 GLX+ wagon and would like some recommendations as to quality, power and reliability. That zero down/zero interest is the lure. Also, if they are going to discontinue the Esteem, would that pose service problems down the line? I generally keep a car a long time. Thanks for any advice.
  • Hi Kayo.

    I don't have any advice to offer you regarding whether to purchase a vehicle that is being discontinued, but I'll gladly relate my ownership history and driving experience.

    My wife has driven 27,000 miles since we purchased our GLX+ in June 2001. Other than a rotor replacement issue that was covered under warranty, the Suzuki has been extremely reliable. The wagon certainly offers excellent value. It's difficult to find a vehicle with comparable features at such a low price. For a car that is marketed (albeit rarely) as economical transportation, it also benefits from a bit of sporty character.

    Granted, we didn't purchase the Suzuki to drag around town, but it does have some healthy pick-up. It just takes a little time to get use to the acceleration. Stomping on the gas only reveals the tranny's jerky weakness. Smooth acceleration in this car comes with a measured amount of throttle input in order to reach redline.

    My only qualm with the Suzuki is that it has rather floaty suspension. Take it for a test spin and you'll see what I mean. Hit a pothole or some uneven pavement and you'll float up and down for a quick spell.

    The GLX+ is an all around solid little car. It has decent interior room, an abundance of features, a rather 80's looking cloth pattern and great exterior lines. The bonus is that you'll rarely see another one on the road. Cheap exclusivity...
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