1998 Suzuki Esteem 4 cylinder. from North America


This is has been a very reliable car for me


I can't say that anything noticeably bad happened with this car.

I had noticed a tendency from time to time for the transmission to rev up as if it had shifted down suddenly. I took the car in to get it checked out, but the problem didn't happen when the guy test-drove it, so it wasn't fixed. There seemed to be no particular pattern or reason for this problem, but it's possible that I'd just worn out the transmission a little. Who knows?

The seats are incredibly uncomfortable, especially over long trips.

General Comments:

The car has had no mechanical problems.

It gets great gas economy.

It has handled many long distance trips very well.

Great handling.

A very reliable car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th February, 2007

1998 Suzuki Esteem GLX 1.8 from North America


Buy It


Timing belt needed to be changed around 180,000 miles amd the CV joints needed changing around the same time.

The stock battery lasted for 120,000 miles.

General Comments:

The car is not sealed very well. I live in Portland, OR and it rains here more than the average city. After several years of ownership, the car began to mildew.

Despite the problems listed above, the car is fantastic. Handles great and saves a ton on gas.

I take very poor care of the car (late oil changes, etc) and it runs great.

The engine has gotten noisier since I bought it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th January, 2006

12th Mar 2006, 16:59

Not fair to call the timing belt needing to be changed at 180,000 miles a problem since they are usually changed every 60,000 miles in regular maintenance. Same thing with the battery that is usually has a warranty for only 36-48 months at best.

27th Sep 2007, 19:31

180000 miles??? This is really good.

7th Dec 2010, 01:41

I got my 1998 Suzuki Esteem in 2000, it had 28,000 on it then, and I have it to 181,000 now. Intend to get it to 250,000. Still gets about 28 mpg city, 33 mpg highway. Have had to repair only a few things on it --- the CV joints years ago, the catalytic converter, the A/C and, recently, the alternator. Never had a radiator leak, doesn't use much oil even after 181,000 miles.

The Esteem isn't much to look at on the road, but this car gets me everywhere I want to go. It is extremely dependable. I thought I was was having transmission problems with it a couple of years ago, but when I changed the plugs and wires myself, it had all the old power it used to have.

On the freeway, it easily flies along up to 85 mph and the car doesn't labor at all. I am religious about oil and fluid changes, and so far have had no problem with the radiator or tranny. The most annoying problem I have now is that the key is having problems opening the doorlocks and trunk lock. May just have to get new locks all around, and a new key for them.

When this Esteem finally has to be retired, I intend to get another Suzuki. Extremely dependable cars.

1998 Suzuki Esteem GLX 1.6L V4 SOHC from North America


Inexpensive yet reliable family car with no muscle


Both Oxygen sensors failed at 90k miles.

Currently at 97k miles the transmission feels like it's going to need work soon.

General Comments:

The engine produces an incredibly weak 98 horsepower stock, so going up hills involves taking overdrive off and mashing on the pedal : (..

There are no performance parts for it other than a K&N air filter I found for $50..

Finding parts has been difficult for this car, and the price has been outrageous - $110 for the front oxygen sensor, $200 for the rear.. $400 to get a new tie rod installed..

Overall I wouldn't reccomend buying a Suzuki sedan if performance is your thing, however they are an excellent value, especially used.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2005