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Suzuki Aerio Wagon

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  • chrisonchrison Posts: 17
    I am just wondering why a subie AWD is not offered as an option for Grand Vitar/XL7. Does the transfer case have to gang up with the boxer engine? What Aerio has is merely an inline 4 though...
  • Hi all :) We're choosing a wagon from the following three models:

    Suzuki Aerio SX (NOT AWD, and still undecided on manual or automatic, suggestions or comments on this are also appreciated)

    Toyota Matrix FWD, manual, with power package option (I can't believe power windows and doors are still not standard!)

    Ford Focus ZTW Wagon

    Any suggestions/comments/thoughts? Thanks very much!

    Kerry
  • chrisonchrison Posts: 17
    Hi all,
       Both Matrix and Aerio have their gives and takes and I am sure you can find all the info from previous threads.
      Just a humble piece of advice: Please don't buy Focus. Some people mentioned they have been driving their Focus for 2-3 years and there's no issue... but more can't wait to get rid of their Focus' in less than 2 years of ownership. I do talk to differnt dealerships. I heard that quite a few of their customers just wanted to get rid of their Focus due to the ridiculous number of mechanical problems. What I want to say is that the European Ford definitely knows how to engineer a great car (Focus is indeed an excellent compact car in terms of performance), but the American Ford just can't build them well enough.

    Chrison
  • tictac2tictac2 Posts: 12
    Thanks for the input on the power issue. Still trying to find one without AWD to compare. Will update you all if I can find one. I read in one of the post, you'll have to forgive me I don't remember which exactly just finished reading all 600 and some posts on the Aerio, that someone rented an SX for a day. Any ideas on where you can rent them. I am in the Denver area, don't think any rental agencies have any. Do the dealers have any kind of programs where this could be possible? I was considering an Elantra GT and was able to rent one (GLS not GT) for a day and it raised a couple of issues that weren't apparent in just the test drive. Would love to be able to do the same with the Aerio. Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    Check with Enterprise Rent A Car. When I lived in Colorado Springs one of their outlets often had a few Suzuki 4X4 models. Call the sales manager at all the Denver Suzuki dealers and ask if they have sold an Aerio to any rental companies. They might even offer to rent one for a day but no guarantee of course. I am in Tucson now but will be in Denver in June but Im sure you dont want to wait that long as you could try my automatic without AWD. Mine is well broken in and is faster than the others I have driven. The K & N air filter made a big difference and the Mobil One helped too. I have not driven the 5 speed nor AWD. AWD sounds logical for Colorado with all their snow but my son in Denver drives an old Geo Metro with just FWD and has never been stuck and goes to the mountains frequently in winter. I lived in Colorado for 15 years and found that FWD with the right tires and special sipes cut in them by Discount Tire Co. ($10 per tire) was almost as good as 4 WD. Hope this helps.
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    Prior to our 2002 Aerio we had a 2000 Focus ZTS. It was a good car but we got sick of the 14 recalls and the seats were uncomfortable on trips. We love the Aerio much better and no problems in one year with it. The Matrix just didnt seem to fit right and the engine rpm range isnt quite right. Everyone has different priorities. Good luck.
  • kaz6kaz6 Posts: 331
    I recently rented a car from Thrifty and when I picked up my car, a Stratus, I saw a whole bunch of Aerio sedans whizzing out of the garage. I too would love to rent one for my monthly drive to Vegas from Los Angeles to see what kind of mileage/comfort I get from it. I currently have an ECHO and it's been very comfortable for long drives with very little wind noise and great seats.
  • tictac2tictac2 Posts: 12
    Thanks for the input and the offer to try yours out. Even here in Colorado I don't feel the need to have the AWD. For 14 years I have been driving a 2WD pickup and have had very few problems getting around, even with winter in the mountains. I agree with you that the right tires make all the difference. But now that it is time to upgrade, would love to have FWD. And with the luck I'm having finding the car I want, it might be June before I find one so I might be able to take you up on your offer. Actually, I'm in no hurry to buy. My truck is still running pretty well, just closing in on 200,000 miles, so it's about time to retire it. I have even considered waiting for the 2004 to see what changes or updates have been made. Anyone heard any rumors yet? Thanks again.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    After a 100 mile highway commute today, I noticed a few things that I thought I would share.

    First off, the cruise control on this car is one of the worst I have ever encountered. It is very slow to engage and very inaccurate. You must leave your foot on the pedal a full 5 seconds until you feel the pedal grabbed from underneath you or face the car loosing at least 5 mph before the stupid thing engages. I pressed down on the lever and held it there about 5 seconds to slow me down, which it did, but when I released it, it sped right back up to almost the same speed it was originally set at, thus causing me to hit the brakes. The cruise also sometimes causes the speedometer to constantly change back and forth 1 mph, which can be distracting at night.

    Secondly, the high speed setting for the windshield wipers is too slow and inadequate for the highway. They can't keep up with a florida torrential downpour. I also noticed that when stopped at a light, the high speed setting literally rocks the car from side to side, which is quite annoying. It would be nice if Suzuki offered an intermittent setting for the rear wiper, because most of the time, the regular speed is too fast, thus causing me to turn it on and off often.

    At 80 mph, this car is no quieter than my former $10k 2000 Hyundai Accent hatchback with 89 horsepower at the same speed. I expected a more expensive Japanese car to be better insulated and smoother, but honestly, this engine is no smoother and just as loud as that old tech 12 valve four banger in the Hyundai. Another surprise is the fact the much more powerful Aerio feels more strained at that speed than the Hyundai. Aerodynamic drag must play a big role in this as the Accent had a very good .31 drag coefficient.

    I do have one compliment for the SX. Stability in heavy rain is impressive, even with the B traction rated original tires. I drove through a rain storm so horrible that most of the highway was on the side of the road. I was one of the few brave enough to push through it. At 45 mph, I couldn't see hardly anything in front of me thanks to the slow wipers, but by golly, the car stayed firmly planted to the road and never tried to hydroplane. I have driven through similar downpours in both a 00 Accent and 97 Nissan Altima and had trouble keeping the cars in a straight line due to hydroplaning.

    As far as the ride is concerned, for the most part it is well controlled and comfortable on the highway. However, when you hit raised expansion strips on overpasses or bridges, the ride does become abrupt and the car jumps to the side slightly (giving it a sort of skittish feel). Potholes and other bumps are felt as a sharp jolt when in the city. These two shortcomings is probably where the comments in magazines about busy or rough ride came from.

    Anyway, i just thought I would share these thoughts. Any other Aerio owners notice similar things?
  • jontyreesjontyrees Posts: 159
    I'd say it just depends where you live. If you don't encounter constant snow and ice, I'd do without the AWD - it sucks up power due all the extra hrdware, deifferentials, etc, and forces you to go to automatic. I have a 5sp SX, and I'm having a blast with it. I put in a ground wire kit that has definitely helped the high rpm performance, ($40), and I think the FWD would be just fine in about any conditions.

    Yes, there are a couple of quirks. I have a little bit of buzz from panels now and again, (I also have a fairly powerful stereo system that pushes some decent low frequency volume), and I do have the infamous brake clunk whenever I go from forward to reverse and vice versa. Neither issue is causing me to lose any sleep though, or spoiling my enjoyment of this excellent little car.

    In all I think it's an unbeatable combination of utility, performance and value.
  • I hadn't noticed any problems with the cruise control. Seems to work about as well as any that I have had in the past. Took a lot of getting used to where it was and which way was speed set.
    All in all I thought it was one of the more accurate. My old Dodge "Dienasty" was plus or minus 7 mph up and down hills.

    Agree the intermittent rear wiper, it needs it. Suzuki might spend five more dollars next time on the 04's to add this feature. I had forgotten how bad hatch backs are about the back window getting too crudded up to see out of. Not a problem with sedans.
    I hadn't noticed any problems with the front wipers not able to keep up.

    As to the ride, it is a little car with a short wheelbase. I guess I can't expect it to ride like a Crown Victoria. Bad stretches of highway are almost nausea inducing in the Aerio. Makes you appreciate freshly paved roads.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I'm comparing the Aerio's cruise to my other almost new economy car, an 02 Mitsubishi Lancer. On the Lancer, the cruise engages immediately. It also reliably decreases speed. For instance, I can tap the lever down one time and the Lancer will slow down by 1 mph. If I hold the lever down and than release it, it slows down to the speed where I released it and holds that speed. The Aerio doesn't do this. If I tap the lever down (the cruise control levers are identical between the two cars), it will slow down initially but than speed right back up. And like I said in the last message, holding the lever down will slow the car down, but when I release it, it speeds back up a few mph. I just find it annoying. My friend drove the car and cound't stand it. It was that noticeably different.

    On a side note, I need to take my car in to the dealer, because it has a bad pull to the right. Grrrr.........
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    My disappointment in my SX has turned to hate. The boot over the edge for me was when the recurring bucking/stumbling problem that happens intermitently reared its ugly head all the way to work this morning. I have determined something in the clutch assembly is to blame. It's definitely not a fuel delivery problem like I thought, thus why my check engine light doesn't come on. The stumbling/bucking occurs only right after engaging the clutch, which leads me to believe something is either warped or glazed. The odd thing is why it only occurs intermittently, instead of all the time. It definitely is not caused by bad driving. Almost every car since I was 15 has been a stick, and this is the only car to have this problem. After engaging the clutch and the car is already moving, the car will suddenly jerk back and forth, as if someone is rapidly pushing the clutch in and out with no gas being applied. It's aggravating to no end and makes you look like you can't drive. I curse the day I bought this piece of you know what. The SX is a good value for a reason....lower quality mechanicals, substandard engineering, and a lack of quality control.

    I'm beginning to wonder if automakers have forgotten how to build a good quality clutch or simply concentrate their entire budget on making a better automatic. I noticed in the Mazda Protege5 board a number of different people have complained about their clutch slipping. The clutch was always weak feeling and shuddered a bit in my Accent and was replaced under warranty at 22k, but it never acted as bad as my Aerio. And now that I truly hate this car, I'm stuck with a huge loss thanks to Suzuki's horrible resale value.
  • hpulley4hpulley4 Posts: 591
    Might not be the clutch itself. Check or have your dealer check the driveshaft seals, CV boot seats, tranny seals, tranny and clutch fluid levels, etc. It sounds like something is running without lubrication. Should be a warranty repair as none of those things should have required fluid changing yet and if you had your oil changed by them they likely include those seals in their 40-point inspection.
  • jontyreesjontyrees Posts: 159
    Sound like it's time for you to bite the bullet and get rid of your Aerio. Either it's a lemon, or you're so focused on its faults that every little thing is a crisis. Either way, once a car starts to bug you, it's like a toothache. Time to move on. I'm sure you'll take a hit to the wallet, but consider your sanity!
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I wouldn't go so far as to say its a lemon. Afterall, it has been "reliable" and everything works on the car. I have had a lot of niggling little annoyances with it, but almost all of them have been experienced by others (a design flaw in other words). I have only had one recurring problem that really gets on my nerves and that is the bucking/stumbling. Like I said before, the intermittent nature of the problem just totally boggles my mind. It ran great on the way to work this morning. I just don't get it!! And that is what is driving me crazy. I'm pretty good at figuring out problems on cars and have always either fixed my car myself or helped my dad or friend do it. But I'm stumped here and the dealer can't help me either. If the car would stop having this problem, I could be happy with it long enough to get rid of its negative equity. Fact is, I simply can't afford to pull out of the loan this early. It would cost me at least 2-3k, and that's if the dealer is being generous. Unless a bank will finance that negative equity, I'm screwed! I'm just hoping that whatever it is just breaks completely. Leave me on the side of the road for all I care!! At least than the dealer can acknowledge my problem and fix it under warranty.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Hi Everyone- For those of you experiencing problems, we hope you'll also take the time to post (copy/paste) your problems in our Suzuki Aerio Problems discussion. We've just reopened that discussion.

    It's okay to mention problems here, but by also posting them in our problems discussions, this will make it easier for you to focus on your issue, as well as meet other owners that are experiencing the same problem. Not to mention, it's been shown that numerous postings of recurring problems (on the internet) have encouraged manufactures to come up with solutions... they may have been inclined to ignore.

    Thanks for your participation!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • HankrHankr Posts: 100
    Aerio SX Pros
    - Japanese Quality
    - Very Fully Featured
    - Good Warranty
    - Excellent IIHS Crash Test Results
    - Low Real-World Price (relative to Matrix/Vibe, comparable to Focus)

    Aerio SX Cons
    - Steep depreciation (go Matrix if you'll keep it less than 5 years)
    - Few Dealers
    - Disappointing IIHS Bumper-Test Results
    - Low plastic front end may invite trouble with curbs and ice-chunks.

    I gave quick look at PT, Protoge5 & Golf and dismissed them all (PT - don't trust Chrysler, Protoge5 too small and low, Golf too cramped and trouble-prone). I looked very hard at Focus and Matrix/Vibe.

    Focus lost when I finally admitted to having very modest luck with 5 prior Fords bought new over last 25 years. Matirx was nice, but a 5-Spd virtually impossible to find and costs $4K more (real-world, not sticker) than Aerio SX when comparably-equipped. Same story with Vibe... no sticks available, priced a little lower than Matrix after rebates, bigger depreciation hit).

    Felt Aerio gave best long-term prospects for trouble-free use, with all desired features, for much less money. This car will be in my fasmily for at least 5 years, so the depreciation issue wasn't a big deal to me.

    Took me all of 3 days to get used to the Aerio's digital dash... Glare from chrome rings and difficulty reading red displays on Matrix/Vibe dash would have annoyed me for years.

    Either choice is a good one though. Even the Focus wagon was an attractive package at an aggressive price.
  • guickgguickg Posts: 19
    Have you guys checked out the Edmunds.com comparison test of six small wagons, including the Aerio SX? They put the Aerio in last place (I think the Matrix is rated No. 1). Although I do think that it should have been placed a little higher (possibly fourth), I do agree with many points they make in the writeup based on my one year of driving an Aerio SX (2002 auto w/ABS). They note that the strong points are the engine and transmission (they tested manual). I have to say that the auto transmission performance is very good and far ahead of most other cars, including luxury ones (very smooth downshifts and upshifts). The engine has a strong midrange pickup, but it is somewhat slow from the start with the auto tranny. On the negative side, they point to below average braking, and I once again totally agree. The brake pedal feels soft, and the stopping distances are not short. I've had a clanking/popping sound coming from my brakes from day one, it's been repaired under a technical bulletin issued by Suzuki, but nothing has changed. My friend has a non-ABS Aerio, and his brakes do lock up often, especially on wet surfaces (this is something that Edmunds. com has also pointed out). The OE tires are squeally and low rated (B) for wet traction (I've already replaced mine). I also do have a problem with the steering wheel sometimes vibrating very noticeably at highway speeds, usually above 68-70 mph (I have had the wheel balance and front end allignment checked several times). To my surprise, the writeup mentioned the same problem as well. And, of course, they pointed to the lack of usable, readily-reachable interior storage for glasses, keys etc. (the underseat tray is nice, but not very useful for daily needs). I also feel that the noise level inside the cabin is generally excessive. My opinion is that Suzuki has come up with a timely, practical and well- thought out concept for the Aerio, but either has executed it in a haphazard way, or decided to save money, thus compromising in several important areas, like braking, tires and storage. They also should have offered the extended warranty right from the start. I, having been one of the pioneer Aerio owners who decided to give Suzuki a chance and purchase the car early, have been penalized and stuck with the original short warranrty that Suzuki would not alter. And that's not the way to have customers coming back. But on the positive side, the Aerio has not had any recalls so far unlike all the other cars tested by Edmunds.com. However, now that there are several alternatives available in the small wagon/hatch category, I think it would be difficult for Suzuki to increase their sales and profile in a meanungful way, and to keep their current customers which is key, unless they improve the car to the level of refinement expected by people in this country. Additionally, Suzuki dealerships and service leave a lot to be desired in terms of customer satisfaction and geographic coverage. As of now, I would not buy another Aerio or recommend it to anyone else.
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    I see it a little differently. I too bought one of the first Aerios and have about 12,000 miles now and we still love it and trust it and recommend it to friends and all the strangers who stop us and want to know about it. We did not get the ABS and we are glad. The transmission and engine are just fine but a little noisy or throaty sounding under hard acceleration. Comfortable, spacious, practical, inexpensive and great value. We had a strange noise underneath for the first 3 or 4 weeks that went away. We had a slight shimmy that also went away and we got different tires and it handled strange so we took the tires back and 2 of them were out of round and replaced free and it has benn fine ever since and rides better too except on really rough pavement. Our brakes are great but then we get little rain in Arizona so we cant judge hydroplaning. I too only received the short warranty so we are going to now buy a 7 year, 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty as we plan on keeping it. We are fortunate in that we have a knowledgeable dealer with a good service department. Suzuki plans on adding many more dealers in the next two years, are coming out with some additional models and will soon redesign the Vitarra, Grand Vitarra and XL-7. They have had trouble keeping mechanics because they cant make much money servicing these vehicles as they last a long time without many breakdowns. This is our 4th Suzuki and we have owned 20 different brands from all over the world over the years. I am now looking for a used 93 to 96 Sidekick or Tracker as a second car. I have owned them before and they are reliable and cheap to maintain. I have found 6 of them for sale and drove 5 but the 6th only had 50,000 miles and was sold before I got there. Of the 5, there were 2 that needed help and 1 was priced out in left field. The 2 that drove the best were high mileage cars, 115,000 and 148,000 but all were priced higher than book value and the 2 wheel drive models were priced right up with the 4X4's here in Tucson. In 7 years they have only lost half their original cost so there is a good market for them here but I am still looking for a lower price. GM now owns 20% of Suzuki and hopefully they will become a bigger player in the American-Canadien markets but even if they dont, I trust them. You could do a lot worse and they rarely have recalls. They can only get better. No they are not perfection but they arent priced like an Infinity or Lexis either. Just my opinion.
  • HankrHankr Posts: 100
    I think one needs to take price differential into consideration in this class of vehicles. I just bought my FWD/MTX Aerio SX, paid $12.5K after rebate but before tax. The comparably equipped Matrix, Vibe, PT Cruiser and Protoge5, even with their rebates, would have all been $3K to $4K more... that's VERY significant in this price range.

    The Aerio's real-world price-competitors are Kia Rio, Focus and maybe Elantra (is it a hatch?). In this field, I think the Aerio blows 'em away.

    Your comments about usable cabin storage are well-taken... Aerio lacks. It's brakes?... I dunno, haven't discerned any shortcomings yet, but am aware others have said so. OE tires?... they're all pretty modest in this class of cars.

    Sorry you're unhappy but to some degree, you do get what you pay for.
  • jontyreesjontyrees Posts: 159
    The lack of storage was really bugging me too. I addressed it with one of those little neoprene pouches they sell in car washes and auto parts stores. I attached it to the side of the center tunnel in the front passenger footwell, and it works well - there's plenty of foot space, and it is in just the right spot to hold my cell phone without the cord stratching half way across the car. Not the most elegant solution, but it doesn't look bad, and it works.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Being that I paid 17k after taxes for my Aerio, I think I can expect it to be just as high quality as the Matrix, Protege5, etc. I bought mine before there were any rebates. I agree with Edmunds take on this car in their comparison test. Brake pedal feel is soggy, the front brakes do tend to lock up easily, and stopping distances are soso. The steering does get twitchy and tiresome on the freeway, at times it feels overly heavy in the city, and it takes much larger turns of the wheel to get the car to turn (adding to its tiresome ponderous feel). The level of refinement is lacking in this car, shown by the sound of the doors, the hard plastic everywhere, the uncomfortable armrest in the door panel (not to mention the cloth is already wearing away where I put my elbow), the buzzing of the door panels, and the loose fog lamp. I've been driving my 02 Lancer for the past few days and it's like I'm driving a luxury car compared to the Aerio. The engine is buttery smooth and quiet and is quick to rev(Suzuki needs to take notes on engine design from Mitsubishi), no wind noise, no buzzing or rattles, a solid thunk from the doors, no odd driving habits, and a much higher quality interior. All this for 1k more! When I can notice this much of a difference, you begin to realize why I'm so disappointed. You might ask if I was so happy with the Lancer, why didn't I buy another? Simple answer: I thought it would be dumb to buy 2 of the same cars when there are so many to choose from, plus I liked the idea of saving money and still getting supposed Japanese quality. Boy, did I make a mistake! However, I may rectify my mistake by trading the Aerio in for an 04 Lancer Ralliart. The new 2.4 liter 160 horse engine, 16" alloys, sport suspension, 4 wheel discs, and available sunroof has me salivating. The bath I will take trading has me sick to my stomach though!

    p.s. I wouldn't be so quick to state the Aerio blows the competition away at even a 12.5k price. The Elantra has a higher quality interior, similar engine performance, a better warranty, and a roomy interior. The only thing the Aerio really excels at is amazing room in a small package. But I feel its cons far outweigh its pros.
  • artdechoartdecho Posts: 337
    quickg/frenchcar:......we've had our Aerio for about 10 months/16,000
    km(10,000 mi) now.......thought I'd share our likes/dislikes as well.
    Overall, I think we're pretty happy with our purchase.......we needed
    something economical enough for daily commuting/grocery-getting while being
    spacious and comfortable enough for vacations, camping trips etc. We
    replaced our 1993 Sidekick (200,000 km) and will likely keep the Aerio for
    commuting/around town when we pay it off in 2 more years and buy something
    a little bigger(but not too big) for camping etc. If we were buying it
    strictly for commuting, we probably would've gone for something like an
    Echo, as it's fuel economy is way superior (Echo's city rating is the same
    as Aerio's highway rating). The Aerio (at least in hatchback form) is a
    good value and very well equipped compared to similar vehicles like the
    Matrix/Vibe, Protege5, Focus ZX5 and Golf. Likes: amazing interior space,
    very comfortable seats (on our 5,000 km trip to the east coast last summer,
    we had a few 9-10hr drives......I usually get a stiff back/sore legs after
    a few hours in a car but not in this one), decent power (not blazing...we
    have the automatic...but certainly competitive), easy to get in and out of,
    tall driving position, perfectly reliable to date (fingers crossed!),
    dealer service has been okay around here, distinctive looks (especially
    from the front), good crash ratings. Things we don't like: interior door
    buzzes (although, to be fair, even the much-vaunted Corolla in Edmund's
    latest test had a number of buzzes, rattles, etc.), styling can be somewhat
    cartoonish from some angles, no doubt emphasized by the smallish wheels and
    tires......a wider track, longer wheelbase (push those wheels out to the
    corners!) and at least 16" wheels and tires would help......and, while
    we're on the subject of tires, V-rated tires with mediocre wear and
    traction ratings have no place on a car like this....a more sensible
    speed-rating and longer wear characteristics would be appreciated; lack of
    oddment storage.....no place for cellphones, sunglasses etc.; while we
    appreciate a cargo privacy cover, we don't appreciate the fact that it's
    too low to be useful; ground effects are also a bit low and
    impractical.......a more integrated approach like the Protege5 instead of
    the Aerio's "tacked on" approach would be better; fuel economy could be
    better (no doubt affected by poor aerodynamics)averaged about 29+
    miles/imperial gallon since we got it which is about 24 miles/us
    gallon...highest was 35(28 us)last summer during our trip; wind and road
    noise too high and ride a little bouncy over some surfaces. Also, engine
    boom at around 11-1200 rpm (if idling in that range upon start up in our
    garage, the sound pressure level on your eardrums is quite
    intense.....sounds like a low bass note being played through a
    sub-woofer!).......also noticeable when coasting to a stop and the rev's
    cycle down through that range. We're ok with the digital dash, although I
    wouldn't complain if they put an analogue one in......not really an issue
    though. Athough it seems like there are alot of negatives here, most are
    very minor and easily fixed by Suzuki just "sweating the details" a little
    more.
    In summary, the easy fixes are:
    -change the tires to a more reasonable speed rating with longer wear and
    bump the size to 16"
    -recalibrate the suspension for a less-jouncy ride
    -raise the cargo cover 3-4" (a retractable one would be nice too!)
    -recalibrate exhaust system/engine to reduce "boom" @ 1100 rpm
    -improve "oddment" storage in the interior
    -improve NVH levels/ergonomics
    -as Suzuki is a "small car specialist", they should be able to be more
    competitive in fuel economy
    -better-integrate and raise the ground effects a bit
    -give the rear wiper an intermittent setting

    All-in-all, though, we love our Aerio......ABS worked great, love the
    heated side mirrors, heater warms up quicky (though floor output is a bit
    weak), with some Nokian NRW's, we got through a particularly nasty winter
    despite the low ground clearance, and it can really swallow a lot of stuff
    (once you remove the cargo cover). There still isn't anything on the market
    that can touch it for the price........with a little more attention to
    detail, it could be even more competitive.

    On a side note, frenchcar......interested to see you're looking for a used
    Sidekick.......as I mentioned, we replaced our 1993 4 door JLX with the
    Aerio. Saw some home video of one of our camping trips in the
    Sidekick.....made me really miss that vehicle......200,000 kms and nothing
    broke......still had the front half (cat-forward) of the original exhaust
    system.......even the original muffler lasted over 7 years! Really just did
    oil changes and routine maintenance...still had original
    shocks/struts........got 100 kms out of each set of tires......never any
    alignment or brake problems........all the "power-everything" still worked,
    never any 4WD issues or problems, in other
    words---bulletproof!........while the Aerio will hold more stuff, it's not
    as "happy" doing it as the rear suspension sags somewhat.....Sidekick, even
    fully loaded was always level.......even with 2 or 3 bikes hanging on the
    back.........had to leave the bikes at home with the Aerio! And while the
    Aerio with the snows was virtually unstoppable this winter, I missed the
    ground clearance of the Sidekick and wasn't able to get into a stormwater
    pond "skating rink" that would've been a piece of cake with the Sidekick.
    Something to consider for our next vehicle purchase, I guess! Cheers!
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    Hi Michael, we enjoyed your comments about your Aerio experience. Very informatice and honest and I agree with you. What part of Canada are you in? My wife has several relatives in Canada and was born in Ontario. Question: did your old 93 Sidekick use much oil as the miles built up and did you change the timing belt? How often. I just got backmfrom driving a 93 Tracker, 2 wheel drive convertible, 8 valve automatic. 121000 miles but drove beautiful, better than all the others I have tried out. Brand new tires, top is in good shape, body and bumpers near perfect and the inside is clean with no wear. Everything works and the AC is very cold. One defect- the blower fan switch only works on 2 positions and the other 2 are broken. I think this is a cheap plastic switch that is a Suzuki problem. This one is a wild Pink Mystic Magenta color with matching interior. I am interested but $4000 seems like far too much for a 93 but they wont come down. This is the only one I have found that doesnt need anything. I would appreciate an answer to my questions. You can e-mail me at twma@earthlink.net Tom Thompson
  • artdechoartdecho Posts: 337
    Tom, we're in Markham, just outside of Toronto.
    Our Sidekick didn't seem to use much oil at all,
    only a slight top-up (maybe 1/2 a litre) between oil changes which I tried to do every 5,000 km.
    (sorry, we're metric up here!) Pretty sure we changed the timing belt around the 100,000 km mark and I guess it was due again when we traded
    @ 196,000 km. Ours was a gun-metal grey 4 door JLX. These weren't perfect vehicles from a NVH perspective and at only 96 hp, not exactly rockets either. Nevertheless, it never let us down or left us stranded.....seat material held up well, a/c and all the power locks/windows/mirrors all worked flawlessly etc.
    The ride was pretty harsh and strong crosswinds seemed to pull the tops of the door/window frames away from the body with much accompanying wind noise, so it was a bit tedious on long trips but sometimes I wish that we'd kept it.We were rear-ended 3 times, 2 of them causing no more damage than a bent tow hook.....the cars that hit us hit the bumper straight on, below the spare, thankfully. The other one was a different story, with a 5 ton tow truck hitting us from the side at the rear....just clipped the bumper (small dent in left corner of bumper) but then contacted the spare (from the left side), ripping it right off the door (& breaking the rear glass, of course) and actually spinning the whole vehicle around. My son had a small bruise behind his ear where he contacted the other rear seat tha was reclined slightly forward(to make more cargo room) but other than that, we were ok. If it had hit us broadside instead of just clipping the rear (mainly because of the tire) it probably would have been a different story. Anyway, good luck with your search, and continued good luck with your Aerio. I'm taking my snows off this weekend (was going to do it last weekend but we got hit with a major ice/snow storm) and will need to give it a good wash/wax pretty soon.
  • HankrHankr Posts: 100
    because in spite of all the positive attributes you mentioned, their crashworthiness still leaves a bit to be desired.

    All these cars are so small that the one attribute that was "must-have" for me was good crashworthiness (within its class).

    Your other points are well-taken, Hyundais have come a long way and Kia is not too far behind.
  • davidd5davidd5 Posts: 79
    I will take my 2003 SX in next week to the dealer for the clunk noise in the brakes. Hopefully they can fix it.[Seems by the other posts I may be wasting my time.] Also has the rattle/buzz in the RF door. And the noise from the timing chain on cold start up. Sounds like the tensioner loses its prime over night. Has anyone else had this? Read one post that did. Today for the first time ,I was driveing with and rear seats down in the rain. My god it was loud back there. Sounded like the windows were open. will let you know how it all turns out.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Well, I tried to unload my 03 SX and it wasn't pretty. I was going to buy either an 03 Mitsubishi Outlander or an 03 Hyundai Tiburon V6. I only tried to deal with the Hyundai dealer as the sports car fit me best. If this dealer is any indication of what everyone else pulls, everyone in here is in for a rude awakening when they try to trade their Aerio. I started out by making an offer on the car, which threw the salesman for a loop because he had never had that happen before and I made it clear I would buy at that price today. After at least 7 trips back and forth to the sales manager, they offered me $10,600 for an 8 month old car with 9300 miles and wanted me to pay full sticker for the Hyundai. They made it seem like they were giving me an awesome deal because at the "auction" the car is only pulling 8500-9600. Of course, I told them I didn't care what the auction prices were. Those aren't realisitic prices the public pays for the car. They also tried to state Suzuki resale values (as well as Mitsubishi since they knew I was interested in their cars; they also said Mitsu motor finance company is going out of business which I highly doubt) are dropping so bad that many banks won't even finance them so they would have trouble selling the car to people with below average credit. In other words, they played all the dirty tricks they could and the sales manager simply walked away. I guess he wasn't interested in making a sale. I would have settled for 1000 less than what they offered but he wouldn't budge. I'm disappointed because I really did want the car, but I'm proud of myself for not getting screwed like I have in the past. Well, unless the right deal comes along, I guess I'm stuck with this car. Be forewarned though, Suzuki's have no resale whatsoever, even with their improved warranty.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    All I can say is WOW!! I should have waited a few months and got an Outlander. I know it costs more than the Aerio (though a base one costs about the same as an AWD SX) but since they are both four cylinder front drive wagons, I think it's fair to compare them. The Outlander is strikingly quiet compared to the Aerio. The engine is smooth as silk and had excellent pickup, much more than I thought it would with an automatic and 5 less hp than my car. The ride seemed even firmer than the Aerio and yet somehow managed to feel more comfortable and composed. Manueverability was just as good. Handling was about the same. The available sunroof was nice and dash and door materials were much higher quality. The only downsides I noticed was a squashed windshield that didn't have as good visibility as the Aerio and the rear seat was mounted lower which made it a little less comfortable. Front seat comfort was good however. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. The Outlander is a nice wagon worth serious consideration for those who can afford a little more in their payments.
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