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.
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