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Suzuki Aerio Wagon Test Drive - What Did You Think?

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
edited March 2014 in Suzuki
Post your test drive review here!


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    njsocnjsoc Member Posts: 4
    I test-drove the SX AWD and amost didn't buy one because it seemed pretty sluggish. In the end, I bought the auto FWD version on faith and have been driving it for a few weeks now. It has plenty of pep, much more than the AWD. The auto shifts so smoothly I almost can't tell when it does. I can't see any reason to pay more for AWD and get less cargo space, worse milage and more complex mechanical systems.

    Gas milage is very sensitive to driving habits. Drive smoothly and it's pretty good. Pretend you're doing NASCAR and watch it hit the toilet.
    For a quick lesson in how NOT to drive the Aerio, set the cruise control for 35mph and watch it make all the wrong decisions as you steer around a winding hilly road.
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    malibu_jackmalibu_jack Member Posts: 75
    A friend and I went out to take an Aerio for a test drive last weekend. A couple points....

    -Found it quite spacious
    -comfortable front seats
    -dash not as bad as I thought it would be
    -Great sound system (CD & cassette)
    -From a view point, it felt like I was driving a minivan....great view of the road.

    -The car buffetted a fair bit on the windy highway
    -Engine noise and wind noise were quite loud...found that we had to yell to be heard when talking (driving about 110KM on the highway)
    -There is no Temperature gauge on the digital dash (how can you monitor the engine temp?)
    -We noticed a fair number or buzzing/rattling noises in the test car (only had 57 Km on the Odometer),
    -was not too impressed with the dash materials (all hard plastic)
    -on the sedan, when folding down the seats, the opening to the trunk was smaller than my current 01 sentra (wich is also quite small)...also, the bottom of the back rest took about 5 inches of pass through space.

    Just my two cents.
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    wellsvwellsv Member Posts: 3
    We drive a Toyota Matrix and Corolla but are looking to replace the aging Corolla with possibly an Aerio. I test drove a front wheel drive SX that was stickered for $16500. Hoping to get that down quite a bit if we buy. Loved the car in the test drive. Only things that stood out that made it different from the Matrix was the fact the engine was a little louder and it seemed a little smaller on the inside, but the steering on the Aerio was better, as was the driver's view and seating position. It also was better equiped than the base Matrix we have, for about the same money. Oh, it had less blind spots the Matrix has and the gauges, well, LEDS are better than the red things we have in the Toyota. Don't get me wrong, the Matrix is a great car and has been reliable.
    So...being that there is only one other Suzuki dealer within 70 miles of this one, how well-equiped are these dealerships with parts?

    Are the wear items like brakes and rotors standard and available at a Midas or Monroe? What about the oil filter? If my alternator bites it can I grab a similar one at Autozone, or is this car too unique to be able to service in Anytown-USA?

    I am looking to drive something different, and not join the hundreds of Focuses and Cavaliers and Camrys I see on the road every morning, but at the same time I want to be confident in the Suzuki name that I can maintain it properly.

    Also, are you finding that at your dealerships you have well-versed Suzuki mechanics? The one I am looking at seems to indicate Suzuki is their smallest nameplate in terms of sales...and the place is mainly Pontiac...so I wonder who will be working on the car?

    Thanks for any responses. I do want the Aerio!
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    craigmricraigmri Member Posts: 243
    Been looking for an affordable wagon type vehicle for a new work car since I'm a field service engineer. I rarely carry people but frequently carry tools and test equipment. With the rear seat folded flat the cargo carrying capability is impressive. I absolutely love the entry and exit of this vehicle. Its the perfect height and the door opening is excellent! Seating is very comfortable and appears to be well put together. The drive was really nice with the auto but I really want a 5-speed manual since I just prefer that kinda sporty drive. I have to admit however after reading up in this thread I see many posts about problems. Is the alignment issue still an issue on new ones or has that been hashed out? Should I consider spending an extra grand or two on the Honda fit? Would you buy one again(Aerio)?

    Finally, I want the Aerio SX Premium with 5-speed manual. Is $14,000 plus tax, tag, title a good target?

    Thanks in advance.

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    craigmricraigmri Member Posts: 243
    Spent the last couple of weeks testing alot of compact cars.

    Honda Element-I like it but pricey, poor gas mileage and the wife hates it.

    Scion XB-I like it, wife hates it more than satan and it is dorky.

    Scion XA-I like is but very small, engine is weak at best kinda pricey for what you get.

    Hyundai Accent(new design)-Love the new interior however the lathargic noisy engine sucked(sorry just the best way to describe the lack of engine refinement).

    Mazda 5-We loved it,drives like you expect a mazda to drive. It was the car of choice however with no rebates and little dealer money it is a pricey ride.

    Focus ZX5-Been a Ford guy half my life. But the Focus seems like its put together by a high school shop class. Not even close to Asian quality. Couldnt wait to get back to the dealer to get out of it!

    That leaves the Aerio-Where most econo 4 cylinders leave you wishing for a V6 this one is on par with the four found in the Mazda 5. Same size engine with very similar engine performance. The Mazda "might" have had a tighter better quality steering feel, the Suzuki holds its own in almost every aspect of the drive. I really like the way its put together, the design, features and most of all price! Havent bought yet but the dealer quoted me for a new 2006 Aerio SX Auto w/ premium package $15,490 minus $1250 rebate plus $140 tag and title plus $499 dealer fee plus sales tax.

    I understand the Aerio is a dead product so no more are being made at the factory according to the dealer. They claim the last of the Aerios are soon to arrive by ship. After these, they're done. Should I hold firm for an even better price?

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    chrisducatichrisducati Member Posts: 394
    That is a tough question. Both cars are fun to drive and very practical. I love the european styling and the great power of the Suzuki. if you have to have a five speed I would most likely go with the Fit. The Suzuki has more power and seems IMO to have a nicer interior, BUT, Suzuki has always had problems with the 5 speed they use in this car and its parent car the Esteem. While it most likely will not be a problem when the car is new more often than not the transmissions fail at higher mileage. The automatic on the other hand is an Asian which also sells transmissions to Toyota among others. If your going to trade the car in for a new one before the 100K warranty is finished then go ahead and buy the Suzuki. If your looking to keep the car for 200k miles then either buy the honda or get the Suzuki with an auto gear box. Those are just my thoughts. In the end you need to buy what you like best.
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    craigmricraigmri Member Posts: 243

    I ended up buying the Aerio SX Automatic with Premium package. Of all the small 5-door vehicles, the Suzuki had the best combination of quality, features, performance and price. Basically the best value in my mind. Depretiation and curtain airbags(lack of) were the only faults I could find. After driving so many cars and comparing the "value" of the Aerio, it became clear this was the car for us. Would I have bought it at full sticker price? Probably not. At the price I paid though it was a no brainer.

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    chrisducatichrisducati Member Posts: 394
    Congrat's. Hope your Suzuki gives you years of faithful service like ours has. :)
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    thiegsthiegs Member Posts: 2
    Just test drove a Suzuki Aerio and the new Honda Fit. I was surprised as how much smoother the Aerio drove. The Fit seemed a little "buzzy?" to me. I'm really struggling trying to decide between the two cars. I've never been a new car buyer so this is new territory. I realize that this is a Suzuki forum so responses may be slanted but does anyone have an objective Honda v. Suzuki advice?
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    thiegsthiegs Member Posts: 2
    Did you compare the Aerio with the Fit? (Your wife really hates the Element and the Scion?? Huh! I'm trying to convince my husband to ditch his Ford Ranger for an Element. NO carpet- brilliant!)
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    craigmricraigmri Member Posts: 243

    When we bought our Aerio SX the Fit just came out. At the time the Fit price was full sticker and no negotiating. I thought about it and in the end I decided that the 155hp engine, Warranty, price and unique-ness of owning a Suzuki(I've owned Suzuki Motorcycles for years)helped me decide. Either car would be a fine choice but I like having something a little different than everyone else.

This discussion has been closed.