2001 Suzuki Esteem Wagon GLX+ 1.8
Decent wagon for a commuter/work car
Driver's side door handle on the outside had broken a plastic clip; replaced with an eBay part for 10$ shipped.
Tensioner pulley seized up and broke the serpentine belt; replaced with Rockauto parts on the cheap.
Sunroof motor died, never used it. Just put it in the closed position and pulled the fuse.
Driver's window guide bent out of shape, bent back and lubed; works fine ever since $0.
Driver's side CV joint boot tore and sand got into the joint, ruining it; replaced both sides at the same time (the pair on Rockauto was 69$ so why not).
Passenger tie rod end boot is gone, no problems yet, but will replace once it's warmer.
Bought this car locally from an older gentleman knowing that Suzuki had pulled out of the US market. The low miles and excellent shape of the car is why. Have used it as a daily driver to get back and forth to work the past 2 years (30 miles round trip).
Never been a huge fan of wagons, but the utility it gives has grown on me; with the seats folded down there is a great amount of room back there. Plenty of room in the backseats for my 2 young kids. The car handles well in the snow with decent tires and the ABS isn't overly aggressive like some cars I've driven. Gas mileage is OK; not great for such a small engine (1.8 I4). I get approx 25-30 on the highway. The car has always started and not left me stranded as of yet; I plan to drive this thing until the wheels come off.
Parts for these Suzukis are getting scarce, and once they're gone, they're gone. These things are the budget cars from Japan and it shows in the cheap plastic interior and lackluster styling. But you do get some of that legendary Japanese reliability. It's too bad there won't be anymore Suzuki cars in the states, because I would more than likely buy another one.
For anyone that does their own maintenance, this 1.8 engine likes copper spark plugs and synthetic oil. The Aisin 4-speed transmission is a bit sluggish and you need to punch it to get power to pass on the freeway. All in all, I am satisfied with this car and the price was right for me ($2200) for a 13 year old wagon.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 2nd January, 2017