1999 Suzuki Esteem Wagon 1.6


It's a great little wagon


I have had the transmission rebuilt twice. Second gear was the main problem.

Oxygen sensor needed to be replaced.

Mostly just normal maintenance and the usual things after many miles - tires, brakes, shocks.

General Comments:

I went from a 1988 Nissan Sentra wagon (240,000 miles) to the Esteem wagon.

I love its roominess for the cargo space and smallness outside.

Easy to park and good gas mileage.

Wish they still made this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th July, 2010

1999 Suzuki Esteem GLX Wagon 1.8


Low-cost, reliable, spacious for its category, not great comfort, but a good buy!


Occasionally water leaks into the fuse box area and the car behaves funny, turning lights on or (more embarrassing) honking by itself.

Ball joints/control arm (they come together) replaced on both sides and getting worn again. They are a little fragile.

Alternator replaced (170 000). Not sure if that was done before or not. Rest was just maintenance (brakes, etc.)

Heater fan broke. It turned out a mouse had crept into it. Can't blame Suzuki for that, unless you want to request a mouse-sealed fan compartment...

General Comments:

The car is great value due to mileage vs space. Some parts are less sturdy than you might hope for, but replacements are reasonable.

One great asset is the use of a timing chain that does not need replacement like a belt.

Generally inside finishing and materials are far from VW quality. If you are looking for a fancy or luxury car, forget it. If you are looking for a means of transportation at lower cost, this is what you need.

Not all wagons have the same kind of space in the trunk, due to length of the roof. This car has a very reasonable one.

A lot of wind noise while driving on the highway. Also don't expect to handle curves at high speed with this car. Keeps up fine with traffic though.

As far as I know I am the only one with the electrical problem. In general the electrical equipment is not that reliable. All necessary equipment is doing fine, though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2009

30th Dec 2009, 12:49

Update 190 000 km:

Electrical problems continue to develop. For some reason low beam headlights won't function anymore - only high or day time automatic lights will turn on. Mechanic and I are still trying to figure it out. Otherwise still very solid. Engine and mechanical parts great.

1999 Suzuki Esteem


Very reliable car



General Comments:

Very reliable car.

Nice looking. It doesn't look it is nine years old.

Cheap in gas.

It burns much less than half of a quarter of oil every 5000 km.

The engine runs like new even though it has 230000 km.

The transmission is very smooth.

I take the car to the garage every 6 months for a check. I do normal maintenance. The only extra was the alternator and cleaning some electrical connections. Nothing else.

For one or two people the car is big enough.

It is the best car I have ever had.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th June, 2008

15th Aug 2009, 15:26

I wrote this review around two years ago. The car has now 260000 km and still running like new. I do normal maintenance on it.

1999 Suzuki Esteem GL Wagon 1.8L


Great car for a family, but keep it up to date at the garage


Check engine comes on and off once in a while.

Alternator and battery had to be changed this Christmas.

Cross member, universal block left & right side has to be changed due to rust and Montreal harsh roads.

Cost = 1500 CAD! ouch!

General Comments:

I love driving my car, when I have it!

But I highly recommend getting it rust-proofed!

If not watch for the possibility of the cross member breaking. Every repair shop I got a quote from to fix this car told me that it was the first part of the gar "to go". By the way, the second they said was the transmission.

The gas mileage is about standard for in town driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th February, 2007

23rd Feb 2007, 03:53

I also have a '99 Esteem Wgn that I bought new 5spd w/AC. Still have it (2007) and has never been in any garage. I just do the usual preventive maintenance on the vehicle (using synthetic oil is a big plus) which is always the big lifesaver in any vehicle. It's just great as a good little commuter car, but not on the open roads doing freeway speeds-engine (1.6l) gets whiny when doing freeway speeds, otherwise, well satisfied with this purchase.

21st Mar 2009, 19:14

Small update since February 2007...

Man this car got expensive quickly!

December 2008 after stalling and causing major traffic jam on highway, alternator & belt had to be changed =$500.

January 2009, starter (the original 99) had to be changed =$250.

February 2009, wheel bearings on both back tires, front brakes pad & drums, pad on back wheel (drums recuperated) & oil purge on tires, oil seal broke (major loss of motor oil) = $835.

February 2009, the next day more exactly, had to go back to the garage to get the master brake cylinder changed, seal broke and all the brake oil leaked into the vacuum... = $250.

Last week (march 2009) the headlights decided to STAY ON... had to take out the fuse so the battery wouldn't die.

Lesson learned... get rid of this car AS SOON AS the stuff starts falling.

Yes, I am getting a NEW CAR that comes with a rock solid guarantee, and then change every 5 years... no more used car problems... I HOPE.