1999 Suzuki Esteem Wagon 1.6 from North America


When I bought the car, the catalytic converter was busted and the valve oil rings were leaking as well.

A screw in the lower subframe was stripped somehow, making the control arm loose, and as a result, the passenger's side suspension bushings were completely screwed up and I got knocking when going over bumps.

Other than that, nothing has gone wrong on the car since I've bought it.

General Comments:

The 1.6L motor is very punishingly slow to drive with an automatic, and I would try to find a 1.8L motor version of this car. This car had a 1.8L badge on the back, and the hood emissions label stated it was a 1.8L, but it was not. When I bought the car, I thought that the lack of power was due to the catalytic convertor being clogged, but it was not...

The car has multilink suspension on the front and rear, which is odd for an econobox like this, but the handling of this wagon is actually very good! Not a BMW, but not an understeering, wobbling mess like many other econoboxes in its class.

The interior is basic and spartan, but quite roomy and not so bad. The visibility is excellent on the car as well, and it is probably the lightest wagon made during this model year, so if you're shopping for a late 90s/early 2000s wagon that handles like a compact car, this is the one.

Parts are *incredibly* cheap for this car and there are not many parts to break. It's a very basic car.

If you strip the interior somewhat, there is weight to come off of the car, and that will take the acceleration from pitiful to acceptable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th November, 2015

1999 Suzuki Esteem Wagon 1.6 from North America


It's a great little wagon


I have had the transmission rebuilt twice. Second gear was the main problem.

Oxygen sensor needed to be replaced.

Mostly just normal maintenance and the usual things after many miles - tires, brakes, shocks.

General Comments:

I went from a 1988 Nissan Sentra wagon (240,000 miles) to the Esteem wagon.

I love its roominess for the cargo space and smallness outside.

Easy to park and good gas mileage.

Wish they still made this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th July, 2010

1999 Suzuki Esteem GLX Wagon 1.8 from North America


Low-cost, reliable, spacious for its category, not great comfort, but a good buy!


Occasionally water leaks into the fuse box area and the car behaves funny, turning lights on or (more embarrassing) honking by itself.

Ball joints/control arm (they come together) replaced on both sides and getting worn again. They are a little fragile.

Alternator replaced (170 000). Not sure if that was done before or not. Rest was just maintenance (brakes, etc.)

Heater fan broke. It turned out a mouse had crept into it. Can't blame Suzuki for that, unless you want to request a mouse-sealed fan compartment...

General Comments:

The car is great value due to mileage vs space. Some parts are less sturdy than you might hope for, but replacements are reasonable.

One great asset is the use of a timing chain that does not need replacement like a belt.

Generally inside finishing and materials are far from VW quality. If you are looking for a fancy or luxury car, forget it. If you are looking for a means of transportation at lower cost, this is what you need.

Not all wagons have the same kind of space in the trunk, due to length of the roof. This car has a very reasonable one.

A lot of wind noise while driving on the highway. Also don't expect to handle curves at high speed with this car. Keeps up fine with traffic though.

As far as I know I am the only one with the electrical problem. In general the electrical equipment is not that reliable. All necessary equipment is doing fine, though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th August, 2009

30th Dec 2009, 12:49

Update 190 000 km:

Electrical problems continue to develop. For some reason low beam headlights won't function anymore - only high or day time automatic lights will turn on. Mechanic and I are still trying to figure it out. Otherwise still very solid. Engine and mechanical parts great.