1998 Suzuki Esteem GL Wagon 1.8L gasoline from North America


It's a good car, as long as it doesn't go below freezing!


This car has run well for me, and started every time.

I spilled a 500mL bottle of water on the passenger seat and it made a really ugly stain.

It's now -40C outside (that's equal to -40F?) with 4 feet of snow. This is not your winter car. It handles excellently with winter tires, but you have to scrape the ice from the inside of the windows, as well as the outside. It takes a LONG time to warm up, usually around 10 minutes. If you're looking for a winter car, this isn't it. It's every window, not just the front window.

This car is ALWAYS going to run for you, and starts for me every time. But when it gets cold? Get yourself a new battery!

General Comments:

Look, this is a good car, as long as it does't drop below freezing. It handles well in deep snow, it speeds up quick, and it'll ALWAYS start for you. I'd buy another if I could! Get this car, it's worth the trouble. Take it easy!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2004

1998 Suzuki Esteem 1.6 from North America


A cheap to get, cheap to use automobile


A side window no longer wants to close properly

The CV joints need replacement.

General Comments:

This is a solid, reliable car. It provides remarkable comfort for such a small car, which allows for long trips as well as for city driving. The large trunk also helps in that respect. The layout of the dashboard is sober and pragmatic, which basically applies to the entire car. All buttons and levers are on the right spot. The driving position is somewhat awkward, I find the seating position somewhat low, or the steering wheel somehwat high, depends how you look at it. Also, the driver's seat is a bit short, which may lead to a slightly painful behind after a couple of hours.

The engine is reasonably strong and fuel economy, even with the automatic transmission, is good. The transmission changes gears quietly and at the right time. The car has sufficient power to swim with traffic and to join the highway without sweating. The brakes work well, although there is some "fading" on downhills.

Besides the good AC, the standard equipment is Spartanic. No electric windows in this version, even the mirrors require (manually) lowering of the windows.

Our standard radio was no good, but the speakers are reasonable. Replacing the radio requires tiny fingers, bring lots of band-aid.

The material of the seats is a bit cheap and absorbs stains and keeps them, whatever you try.

That's all the negative I could find. The bottom line? A good investment, worth considering.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2004

1998 Suzuki Esteem DLX 1.8 DOHC from North America


Ga$ saviour..


Nothing yet... it's running like new...

General Comments:

The car is good, and it goes very fast off the line...

It's little hard to find parts in Canada for this model, but it's OK...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th January, 2003

1998 Suzuki Esteem GL 1.6L from North America


Reliable economical car


Recall on block heater when new.

Console cover tore off after 3 years.

Horn failed.

Noisy (squeaky) wheel covers.

General Comments:

Lots of pep.

Starts easily even after sitting outside in temperatures of -30 to -35 C.

Engine valves are very noisy until the car warms up (started around 80,000 km).

Feels road bumps.

Lots of interior room.

Great gas mileage (over 45 mpg (imperial) ) on highway with auto transmission.

Optional radio controls are small - doesn't pick up a major local FM station very well.

Could use tires bigger than 13 in.

Was about $5000 (Can) cheaper than the Japanese competition.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2003

1998 Suzuki Esteem GL 1.6 gasoline from North America


Great inexpensive car


Steering wheel vibrates at idle. The problem disappears as soon as the RPMs go higher.

Engine is noisy.

Lots of wind noise at highway speeds.

Cheap interior. Grey plastic scratches easily. Interior parts feel fragile.

The ride is bumpy.

The stock sound system is mediocre, with small buttons and confusing controls.

Brakes are way too noisy for the first 10 minutes or so.

Parts cost above average and are hard to find. Service is dealer- dependent with short scheduled maintanance intervals.

Buy an upscale GLX model for many features like rear spoiler, power windows, ABS brakes, alloy wheels, sunroof and more.

General Comments:

The car handles great. Too much lean on turns though. Steering is precise, but there is virtually no road feel.

The engine is peppy for its size. It is responsive and provides plenty of low- end torque.

The interior is spacious with 4 adults seating in comfort. The declining rear seat is handy when transporting cargo.

The car looks as good as any Civic or a Protege, and costs much less.

Great fuel economy, at least 45 mpg. I managed to get 5.2 L/100 km on a regular basis, which is quite impressive.

Keep changing the oil every 5,000 km and the car will last for many trouble free miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2002

29th Dec 2002, 16:26

I have a 98 Esteem GLX and all I have to say is: get an extended power train warranty. Around mid November 2002 my clutch started to fail, and when I brought the car to my mechanic, he said I had more serious problems than just installing a new clutch kit.

I haven't mistreated this vehicle and I'm extremely disappointed that the manual tranny has failed. I've had the car into the transmission shop once already and I can still hear that the clutch isn't fully disengaging the gears while shifting. I'll have to bring it back again and hope they do it right next time.

I'm paying dearly for this car now.