The Honda Fit costs about as much as the Aerio and offers only about 70% of the Aerio's power and hardly any of its amenities. Forget about leather wrapped steering wheels, maintenance free timing chain and climate control. Not to trash the Fit, but it is no match for an Aerio, only a downgraded copy of it.
First of all, the Element is a small SUV, while the Aerio is a compact sedan/hatchback. And secondly, I think the Aerio holds up extremely well to the Matrix and is built just as well.
The Honda Fit is not in the same class as the Aerio. It costs a good $2,500 more and offers half the features of the Aerio with a tiny 109HP engine.
The Aerio is not priced aggressively because it is about to be scraped. It has always been cheap, along with all other Suzuki cars. Why? Because Suzuki cars do not have the reputation of a Honda or Nissan. Suzuki bikes have great reputation in the U.S. and cost just as much as a Honda or Yamaha, but the cars have yet to gain ground the market.
Once people become familiar with the brand and begin to associate it with quality, prices will go up, along with profit margins, and you'll pay as much for a Suzuki as you pay for a Honda.
Another difference between brands is niche targeting. Suzuki gives you a lot of equipment and power for little money, Honda has superb engineering and fuel economy, Toyota has great quality control and Nissan sells powerful cars with big, sporty wheels. Each brand targets a different personality.
The bottom line is, the Aerio is a steal, especially the slightly used cars. The Japanese Big 3 don't even sell anything this cheap, and their warranties are not transferable, so used cars from them are not much of a bargain.
If I were buying today, I might shell out more cash for a new Civic because the 2006 model is such a superbly designed and engineered car, but it would cost me a lot more than an Aerio.
Hmm...Honda Fit "costs a good $2,500 more" than the Aerio, eh?
Let's see, MSRP of the 2007 Honda Fit is $13,850, while the MSRP of the 2006 (there will not be any 2007) Aerio is...$13,999.
Of course, after saying how great Suzuki vehicles are and what a great buy they are, the previous commenter says he would sooner buy a Honda, go figure.
I don't know why the new civic is so popular, it looks more rounded and egg shaped than ever. Kinda ugly. And certain rims, that come standard on it look ridiculous...
Which one would you rather own in 5 years when you are trading it in for something else, and the appraiser is about to tell you what they'll give you for it?
The Honda or the Suzuki?
Suzuki cars have no resale values during the first 5 years. That's why I recommended the purchase of a slightly used Aerio. You should be able to get a 2006 SX with AWD, premium package and most of the warranty for 12-13K. That is a killer deal!
Once you bought the car, however, you have to drive out the first 5 years or loose money when you sell. After 5 years, you get pretty much the same deal as with any other Japanese small car. You get a few grands if it looks good or a few hundred if it is a piece of crap.
Well, the 2005 Suzuki Aerio I bought turned out to be a piece of crap as soon as I drove it off the lot...1 yr later and all I have done is constantly have it fixed. While all has been done under warranty, it has generated hundreds of miles and cost hundreds of dollars in fuel, because the nearest dealer is 50 miles away. Can hardly wait until I can afford to trade it for a Honda.
The Suzuki Aerio and the new SX4 is every bit as good as the Honda & Toyota models it competes against. It prices out for less money & has a better warranty.
Just wait until Suzuki's resale values are competitive with the others (it won't be long) & all of those Honda & Toyota loyalists, might just be singing a different tune.
It isn't likely that Suzuki will ever come close too Honda or Toyota in quality. The 2005 Aerio that I bought was a piece of junk, and got rid of it 15 months later. It was assembled in China... The SX4 is a joint venture with Fiat (Fix It Again Tony), and it is assembled in Hungary, doubt it will be any better.
2005 Aerio made in China? First I've heard of that -- where was it made? Also, the SX4 for sale here is not made in Hungary, it is made in Japan. The Hungary production serves the European market.
Right now, I've got a couple of 2002 Suzuki XL7s, their largest SUV (a small seven seater). I also currently have a Honda Accord. In the past I've owned a Toyota Celica, a Toyota minivan, and a Mercedes.
There has been no discernable difference between the Japanese cars in terms of quality. The Toyota minivan had considerable electrical problems and got rusty. The Celica got rusty. The Accord had interior parts falling off of it, and many post-warranty problems. I've had no such problems with the XL7s, though on one the weatherstripping paint has faded. Come to think of it -- so did the Celica's weatherstripping deteriorate and come to be replaced.
Notably, Suzuki manufactures small cars of Suzuki design for Nissan in Japan. Nissan plate, Suzuki manufacture.
I've test driven the Aerio. Great car, just a bit too different in appearance for my wife. Else we'd have one of those too.
Prior to 2005 the Aerio seems to have been a good car from what posts I have read... however after that they are riddled with defects and poor quality. Why would quality decline so sharply in the third year of production? It typically improves over time. This coincides with the same time assembly was moved to China...
I have a 2005 Suzuki Aerio with manual transmission and I only made 3 oil changes in a year. I buy it brand new and the first year I run the first 12K miles without any maintenance done, on 25K miles next regular maintenance done, on 39K next maintenance done and never have a problem with the engine. That means, this car hold what ever you do, I make a very bad use of the car for a year, I drive 56K in a year with a 3 oil changes without a problem. Just the radio that the CD changer get bad and they change it. In my opinion, perfect car for the perfect price. Comfort, power, space, luxury, style and price. It only need a sun roof. The best buy that I ever made. I use a lot of different brands like Volvo, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Hyundai and the Suzuki is one of the cheapest and one of the best. and the resale price, forget about that, I will never sell that car no matter if I buy a new one.