2004 Suzuki Aerio S 2.3
I had low expectations
- O2 sensor.
- Rear wheel alignment.
- CD player.
Cheap and tough. I bought this car as a left over as the '05's were being rolled out. Bargained hard, as I had not a penny extra to spend on a reliable car for my wife. Bought the absolute stripped S model 2WD.
Initial impressions: pretty nice radio, strong engine, tidy handling (but no sports-car), interior noise a bit high, funky digital dash, very tall, which seats you very upright, lots of glass and a very useable back seat - like for adults, OK for long trips except for the noise.
Around town 24-26 MPG. Highway only a little better - maybe 30. Driven like a school marm - 34.
Aside from being a bit thirsty - it is cheap to operate. Nice things - chain to drive the cams (no belt replacement at 60K), hydraulic valves (not tappets to adjust), stainless steel exhaust.
At about 40K the check engine light came on. Needed an O2 sensor.
The original tires were made of recycled water bottles. The rears lasted 'til 30K - the fronts only a little longer. Wore out a second pair of rears in short order and went back to the dealer, who took NO responsibility for the factory not setting the rear alignment properly. That made me angry. A local tire shop told me the rear alignment COULD NOT be set properly with the adjustments available??? The tire shop did finally fix the problem by modifying the rear suspension!!! Tire wear is now normal.
At 120,000 miles I have NOT had to do a brake job, have not had to replace the clutch, have not had to replace the exhaust, have not had to replace a half shaft. Just air and oil filters, regular oil changes, tires.
More interesting is that it has its share of minor scratches and bumps... and the rust cancer just doesn't seem to get a start on this car... I hate rust.
Suzuki is gone from the US market and it's a shame. This stinky little cheapo car compares well with my Mazda Protege I drove to 192,000 miles.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st September, 2013
One reason Suzuki got phased out of the US is that auto insurers stopped insuring them. I'm not sure if that was because they didn't believe in the safety or something of them, but I know for sure a handful of companies excluded Suzuki vehicles.
Would a bit of rust really be worse than having to replace an expensive O2 sensor or do a rear wheel alignment? Did you jump a curve or something to throw off the alignment?
Most people still think of Suzuki for making motorcycles and boat engines, I think, rather than cars.
Yes, rust would have been worse than a $300 02 sensor.
Jumping curbs would result in a bent rim. No - rear alignment is a known issue with this car.
As to the insurance issue... you have to SELL a few cars before the insurance industry can "decide" not to insure it. Progressive was only to happy to take my money.
Specifically which insurance companies refused to insure a Suzuki?