1997 Suzuki Esteem 4 cylinder from North America


A good small car


Air conditioner broke at 50,000 miles. Not repaired.

Left Headlamp cracked and leaked at 120,000 miles. (Not Repaired)

Windshield Cracked (Not Repaired)

Drivers seat is threadbare.

Plastic Dash Cracked.

Leaking / Burning Oil.

Shifter sometimes skips (started at 110,000)

Engine often stalls in cold weather.

Small leak in coolant. Car has overheated twice. Not Repaired.

Power windows stopped working. Motors burnt up. Not repaired.

Knob on radio broke off.

Engine revving VERY high at idle.

Vent lever stuck, so we have to settle for the vent/floor setting. Not Repaired.

Rear tailights are wired incorrectly, as a result, the right turn indicator light comes on whenever I break.

When it rains, water leaks into the floor well, and also comes in around the doors.

Leak in the exhaust (not repaired).

Radio doesn't work on rainy days any more.

Dash panel lights have a short in it.

Dome light got hot and melted the plastic slightly. Not a big problem.

Tachometer doesn't work regularly.

Interior door handle broke off.

Rear driver's side door jammed shut.

Rust pitting up in rear wheel wells.

Car takes awhile to start.

General Comments:

This is a pretty good car. It's had its problems, but they're more recent.

I put a lot of highway miles on my car, so it's bound to have some problems here and there.

I like the texture of the fabric on the seats a lot. It's good on the eyes, and the seat itself is good for long trips especially.

The Interior decor is very pleasing. The dash is logical and functional, although not very stylish.

The car does look upscale. I bought the loaded model, and it doesn't feel like a cheap car.

I often take my kids around in this car. When I lost my last job, I had to find some economical yet decent transportation, and despite its problems, I feel this car has lived up to it. I miss my Acura, but I like the Esteem's efficiency.

I think it's quite impressive that such a little car has lasted so long. I wish the dealer nearby didn't close down though, because I don't know where to get it serviced.

But still, I think I'll drive this car until it is dead. I don't have to sink a whole lot of money into it to get it from point A to point B comfortably, and that is what counts.

The engine has a bit of pep in it, and it handles nicely.

Overall this is a nice car, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for good transportation that will keep running.

There may be better alternatives, but I still think like this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2002

1997 Suzuki Esteem GL 1.6 SOHC from North America


Good, cheap car


My transmission blew out at 83,000 miles. 10,000 miles after I bought it used.

My clutch was also shot.

Interior pieces are kind of cheap.

General Comments:

Good gas mileage.

Comfortable seats.

Easy to hook up a new stereo.

It has a big trunk with lots of room.

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

Review Date: 30th July, 2001

10th Feb 2004, 21:33

You say that the stereo is very easy to change, please tell me how to get the face plate off of the control panel so I can do it myself with out having to pay a huge instalation fee. Thanks.

10th Mar 2004, 15:19

To change the stereo remove the round large head philips screw above the cup holder. Remove the fan and temp adjust knobs. Pull the top of the round faceplate forward and the bottom should snap out. Then you'll see the cage that the stereo and cupholder is mounted in. Remove the screws holding in the cage and disconnect the antenna and stereo connector from the back of the stereo. If your new stereo has the same type of connection you'll be fine, otherwise you'll need to do a cut and splice job. Good Luck!

1997 Suzuki Esteem 1.6 SOHC from North America


Affordable, reliable, economy car


Oil leak at the distributor repaired twice (minor).

Center arm rest broken mounts.

OEM tires too small (excessive tire noise and poor cornering), installed max recommended tire size.

General Comments:

Excellent fuel mileage (650-700km/42L) highway.

Peppy, but don't try to pass up an incline.

Cross-winds on the highway can cause significant wander at speeds in excess of 100km/hr.

Better seats and more comfortable than any Tercel or low end Toyota.

Not enough room, typical economy car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2001

1997 Suzuki Esteem from North America


Reliable, comfortable and peppy


Electrical system is touchy. Kept blowing fuses with the factory installed radio. New install required extensive ground wire replacement, but is not a problem now it's done.

Fading and breakage of plastic interior parts. Kept outside in Arizona though. Probably not a real defect.

General Comments:

This car is very peppy and reliable.

It's comfortable and roomy like a larger car, handles easily like a smaller car.

I do serious commuting and did not expect such comfort and reliability.

I'm looking for another Suzuki for my husband to add to our family.

I'm disappointed in seeing some negative reviews of the newer models.

The overdrive makes it very responsive in an emergency or in merging on the highway. It drives like a 6 or 8 cylinder engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th June, 2001

24th May 2004, 14:20

I have a 1996 Suzuki Esteem and the interior plastic parts are breaking as well. However, I keep my car parked in a garage so, I don't think the weather has anything to do with the parts breaking.

23rd Jan 2005, 09:48

What parts have broken? our 1996 has had no interior problems.

1997 Suzuki Esteem from North America


Reliable and inexpensive



General Comments:

This car is extremely reliable and I've put lots of miles on it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st October, 2000

11th Nov 2010, 11:44

Where did you buy your parts from? I can't seem to find a good reliable website that I can find good parts at a decent price.