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Suzuki Aerio Wagon



  • estoesto Posts: 136
    I did a test drive in a 5-speed Aerio SX a little while back, and the thing that most stuck in my mind was how the shifting felt - very "clunky". Have any of you out there driven a 5-speed, and if so, were you left with the same impression? I'm also trying to like the SX, but there are a few things that bug me too.

  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    From the company that has sold 30,000,000 vehicles in the past 40 years; is marketed in 190 countries and has had the best selling car model in Japan for 5 years straight (the Wagon R), not a Honda or Toyota, we now get the Aerio. I have tested them and will buy one as soon as I sell my Focus or the old Saab. Previous models they sold were thin and tinny but were always extremely reliable and they have had very few re-calls. I like the direct ignition and love the timing chain over the cheap timing belt most cars have. The Aerio body is built like a tank, the doors have a solid thud to them, the cross member braces extend up into pillar areas and into the roof structure which will support a 3000 pound load. It is far sturdier and with better fit and finish. Both the SX hatch and sedan are zippy, will get up to 80 mph cruising speed in no time. The SX is practical with very good load space and lots of rear storage compartments and the ice chest pail is neat. I found the digital instruments easy to get used to and my wife and I both liked the interior. We saw a 6 foot 7 inch man get in and he had head room and leg room and said his big Buick was cramped compared to the Suzuki. The price is right for what you get. The local dealer here has dolled a couple of them up with 45 series tires, 17 inch wheels, graphics on the sides, limo tint and cat back hot exhaust system. I have owned 3 Suzuki products in the past and really trust them. The Vibe and Matrix are over-priced, the Mazda P-5 has smaller load space. I am glad I took a second look and drive. Some people think Suzuki has old fashioned technology but over the years that is what makes them reliable.
  • 5port5port Posts: 395

    I have no problem with Suzuki reliability. I used to own a Chevy Sprint Turbo. That was one of the most fun cars I have ever driven. No It was not refined...but man that power to weight ratio was perfect (1600lbs - 70hp). Dead reliable.

    Timing chains in Suzukis are nothing new. My friend's 2000 Esteem has a timing chain.

    I think the Aerio is a step-forward for them. If not in performance than in design. Its obvious they are appealing to the younger crowd (factory fog lights,dams,spoilers)but I still think the digital dash was a bad idea. I've had my share of them.

    The thing that makes me laugh is you mention other cars as competition to it...yet you never mention Hyundai. For $14,500 the Elantra GT is a direct competitior loaded with leather and yet it doesnt even get an honorable mention. Thats OK, us Hyundai owners are used to that.
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    Sport, I have driven the Elantra GT and like it very much except for the fact that the rear window is so slanted that the hatch wont load tall upright bulky objects as in the Aerio. I am really impressed with all the good positive things and progress that Hyundai has made in the last two years. It makes me very angry when most of the major auto publications snub both Hyundai and Suzuki as second class citizens. For the price and value, I like them both. I have owned 74 vehicles from all over the world so it is easy for me to make comparisons. I just want some over due recognition for Suzuki. They would really take off if they would offer the 100,000 mile warranty of the Korean cars. Enjoy your GT.
  • 5port5port Posts: 395

    I agree with you that Hyundai and Suzuki are improving. My friend has owned the Esteem Wagon and Esteem Sedan and I'm impressed with them both.
    Suzuki engines are excellent performers. They certainly gave the Aerio enough power (141hp). Thanks for the props on the GT.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    It's funny to hear what people think of this car. Clunky shifters, cheap fabric. Too much body roll???

    I test drove the Porcshe 911 and it stank. All that money and I couldn't fit luggage for me the wife and the kids to go to disney land for the week.

    Yes that was a sacrcastic remark. Cars have purposes and they're getting mixed up.
    This cars goal is to be an economical, practical and easy to live with It does all of this well. It is not goint to handle like a Porsche, it is not going to be as plush as a benz, and it's not going to be as sexy as a Jaguar. And they never meant it to!

    . If you want refinement and performance, it is readily available for some extra cash. but it seems wacky to me to point out nonsense that doesn't matter.
  • lespacelespace Posts: 9
    I for one didn't expect the Aerio to be anything more than an econo-wagon, but I did expect it to match the competition or at least be a better value - it isn't. Many of its flaws would be considered flaws for any car.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I too find some of these comments about interior cheapness a little overexaggerated. I will reserve my final judgement until I see the car in person, but I don't see what people are comparing this car to or why they expected so much. Maybe they aren't looking at the total picture. The way I see it is this: The Aerio is one of the few Japanese cars still built in Japan. Logic dictates it costs them more money to build it there and send it over here. Keeping that in mind and then looking at its quite low sticker price, I would expect the interior plastics to be of cheaper quality. This car is quite a bit cheaper then the Civic, Corolla, Lancer, and Protege with the same equipment. There had to be a compromise somewhere and we know it wasn't in the engine or exterior styling departments. If the interior plastic is no better then the nicely styled but cheap plastic used in the Elantra, I wouldn't be surprised in the least. It's only marginally more expensive and yet it costs a whole lot more to build it. It would also make sense that the digital display costs more then traditional guages. As far as body roll is concerned, this car will roll more because it's so tall.
    The Aerio was a great effort by Suzuki. I applaud them for pricing the car aggressively and giving it a more realistic MSRP. You could pay sticker on this car and not feel bad because there is only a $500 markup. The only thing that kills the car for me is its funky dash design and the digital guages. The exterior grabs my attention just as much as the Matrix. I hope to test drive one soon and see if the interior is really as bad as everyone makes it seem.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    It's true, there isn't a single decent material used in the car. But it is screwed together tightly.
    The biggest problems I found - the very high seating position combined with the usual steering wheel placement makes for a drive reminicent of a bus, and down the street is a Nissan dealer that offers the much more refined Sentra with the same equipment for only 2k more.
  • gerrixgerrix Posts: 7
    Ingtonge, how can you compare the Aerio with the Sentra ? The Aerio has much more useable space, especially for the rear passengers.
    The very high seatings position will certainly not suit everyone but I loved it. It makes for a great visibility amplified by the big outside mirrors.
    The ride is smooth and the cabin is quite quiet, even at cruise speed.
    I will buy one very soon.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I never compared the Aerio to the Sentra. I think that was meant to be directed towards freddy_k. The Sentra is a cramped car and doesn't even deserve to be mentioned anymore.
  • gerrixgerrix Posts: 7
    Sorry, I Meant "freddy_k" and not you Ingtonge18.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I agree with you. I just visited my Suzuki dealer and sat in a red SX. Very nice car! The room is amazing and so is the visibility (the rear window could have been wider). The seats were very comfortable to me. The dash materials were better then I expected and I thought the seat fabric was nice. I even think I could live with the digital display. It was very bright and easily visible, though the car was under the building overhang and it was 7pm so who knows how readable it is in sunlight. The engine sounded muted enough to me, and felt smooth when revved. The only disappointing parts about the car was a hollow tinny sound to the door when slammed, the steering wheel was thin and not leather wrapped, and the fabric used on the door was rough to the touch (at least it's there instead of hard ugly plastic). The ice chest in the rear was a neat feature and all the little bins is pretty cool. I walked away quite impressed with the car. I didn't have time to test drive it as the dealer was closing, but all of them were automatics anyway and I want a manual. The Aerio SX, along with the Matrix, is high on my list for my next car. I personally think the Aerio is a great deal. Seemed worth every penny to me.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Didn't you just get a new Lancer? How many new cars can you afford? :) Just kidding.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I'm looking to replace my 2000 Hyundai Accent in the next 2-6 months. That's my main car. My partner drives the Lancer. The Accent has been a good car but I'm sick of having no power when using the AC and having no power amenities.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Be warned that your Accent is not going to net alot on trade-in. Hyundais don't hold their value well at all. They are the worst, along with Kia and the Dodge Neon.
  • jeff186jeff186 Posts: 95
    MSN auto review (Jedlicka) gives the Aerio a "6", with points lost for the digital instrumentation and unknown resale value. Overall, he had good things to say re: power and interior.
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    We bought our Aerio SX recently after 3 road tests and checking out the Matrix and Protege 5. We love it more each time we drive it. This SX has more load space (63 cubic feet) than the others, better seats than the others, I like the direct ignition and timing chain set up, the vision in all directions is exceptional, well put together and it is really zippy. The digital speedometer is fantastic and the interior is very nice. Great value. Zero defects. Not a Lexus perhaps but...
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    The Suzuki "Wagon R" has been the best selling car in Japan for 5 years and now Nissan is going to buy 4,000 a month and put a Nissan badge on them as they have never had a car in the popular low tax mini car class. Obviously, Suzuki is well thought of in Japan. They just arent well known in the USA but that could change. Many older folks with motor homes use them as tow vehicles. Now they need to appeal to more young people. I forgot to put a Title on my new Aerio in post # 80.
  • 5port5port Posts: 395
    Motorweek did a review of the Aerio this week and was quite pleased with it. It did 8.3 sec to 60 and was very well behaved in the slalom. Brakes stop from 60 in 128 feet (ABS). They liked the interior and the digital dash. Tremendous headroom inside. They also said the engine is a bored-out version of the Esteem 1.8 liter engine.
    Not bad since my friends Esteem really hauls ***. All in all a very good review.


    You are shouting (ALL CAPS). I drive the Elantra GT and think its a great car. Go for it.
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    We have had our Aerio for 3 weeks now and love it more each day. Got rid of a Focus and checked out 5 other brands. Great in the city and on the highway. Many people have asked us about it and they seem impressed also but a few mistook it for a Matrix but this was $3000 cheaper. It felt broken in after just 200 miles. The gas mileage is better than anticipated already after a few tanks and I thought it would take a few thousand miles to get to that point. 700 great miles to date.
  • artdechoartdecho Posts: 337
    Glad you like your new Aerio. How is it for road/wind noise and what's it like on windy days.
    My wife & I were originally shopping for a CRV to replace our Sidekick (wife's daily driver) but are shifting our focus and may check out the Aerio for her instead. Then, a few years down the road, we may replace my Altima with something CRV-like. Anyway, we would be interested in how the Aerio is on the highway, as we would probably use it for camping/trips when it's more practical than the Altima. BTW, what model/colour did you get? And were the dealers willing to deal?
  • guickgguickg Posts: 19
    I purchased a Suzuki Aerio S sedan a month ago. This review is based on my experience with the car over that time. The car has many pluses, but also a few minuses. In general, this car is very well suited for city driving and parking. But I would strongly recommend an SX wagon over the S sedan even though the wagon costs about $1,000 more. The car's engine exhibits good pickup with automatic although it loses some luster with AC on (it applies to any other small car, including the venerable Toyota Corolla). The engine is also somewhat gruff and loud during acceleration but settles in otherwise. The brakes feel strong enough, but the brake pedal has felt somewhat soft at times. My brakes (without ABS) have locked up on me a couple of times on wet roads (that's the first minus). So ABS is a must and should remedy this situation. Most dealers have these cars without ABS but I would insist on it. Auto transmission shifts nicely. The car is very spacious with a lot of headroom and legroom in front and rear. The seats are the most comfortable of any small car I've tested (including Focus, Protege5, Prizm/old Corolla etc.) The seating position is mini-SUV tall, and the visibility is great to the front and sides. The second minus of the sedan is poor visibility to the rear because of the very tall tail. The SX wagon would remedy that situation. Side mirrors are large and folding (a great feature for city driving/parking). The trunk is huge for a small car. The stereo system is more than adequate. The car does not feel cheap inside; sure it's plastic but well put together. If you are expecting chrome and natural wood, shop Jaguar. The SX wagon adds power door locks and larger alloy wheels which the S sedan does not have. The car definitely looks better with larger wheels as its body is short and chunky and makes the S sedan wheels look small. The car has a very tight turning circle and is very maneuverable (another great feature for city driving/parking). Handling is good, and I have not noticed excessive body rolling or leaning (but Porsche it is not). The car feels tight in moderately aggressive turns, and steering feel is a little light but the car does not wonder all over the road. The car does bounce a little over road imperfections (it's short), but not more so than other cars in this class. The tires on the S are low grade, but the SX has upgraded tires. Overall, I would give the Aerio an 8 (out of 10) based on my experince with it so far. If you live in a large city as I do, there is even more of a reason to buy this car. I don't know firsthand about Aerio's reliability, but I've checked the NHTSA website, and other Suzukis have had very few recalls over the years (unlike the Focuses, for example).
  • pulgopulgo Posts: 400
    If you are interested in a CR-V like vehicle, you could wait until September when the AWD version comes out. It has higher clearance than the normal car, it's heavier and probably ride a little better than the 2WD version. In Germany magazine testers didn't like the car very much but there it sells with 1.3 and 1.6 liter engines, way to weak for this type of car.
  • artdechoartdecho Posts: 337
    In addition the awd version, a reviewer in the Mississauga News hinted at a stretched wagon version in the not-too-distant future. (I guess Ford has their Focus 5-door hatch + wagon, so why not Suzuki!) Anyway, don't think we can wait that long, as the Sidekick is due for it's emissions test in Aug. and I want to trade it before then.
  • frenchcarfrenchcar Posts: 247
    My Aerio SX wagon is white with dark tinted glass which keeps it much cooler inside here in Arizona. Saw a black one with limo tint, 17 inch wheels, a high performance exhaust and neat graphics on the sides. Sharp. There is almost no road noise but mine has a little wind noise at high speed but not objectionable and you can still carry on a conversation with no difficulty. The first one I drove had no wind noise. Good highway car, fast and stable, relaxing, great vision. It takes a pretty good wind gust to knock it off course. Perfect vehicle for city, highway, camping. My dealer was really dealing. The sedan is more stabke in a cross wind but that is always true over wagons or SUV types. Try it out.
  • artdechoartdecho Posts: 337
    yeah, we plan to test drive this weekend......not a great supply of SX wagons from the dealers I've checked out....think it's the most popular model here. Have seen green, silver and yellow SX wagons on the road + a yellow sedan......the green SX wagon had a roof rack & looked really sharp. I'm sure it'll seem "lexus-like" compared to our old Sidekick (has been incredibly reliable, if a bit crude to drive).
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Posts: 865
    Where are the rebadged Wagon R's going to be sold? I've become a big fan in the last couple years, and would buy one in a second if it was available when I get back to the states.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Is your SX a manual or automatic? If it's a manual, what are the rpms at 70, 75, and 80? What is your fuel economy so far? Thanks for any input.
This discussion has been closed.