1999 Suzuki Esteem Base 1.6 from North America


It's a cheap, reliable, sporty car with great gas mileage


The manual trans. is a little noisy. Also the air vents don't stay in place.

General Comments:

Not having the car for very long, it's a peppy little ride. With gas prices over $2.50 a gallon, its well worth it.I've gotten on average 28-city 34-highway mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th October, 2005

1999 Suzuki Esteem sedan 1.6 from North America


This car seems to be a lemon shined up to look like a great deal


The timing belt had to be replaced at 32000 miles.

The transmission is now having to be replaced at 45102 miles with no warning what-so-ever.

The rear side-light covers have faded dramatically and to be replaced at $236 for the pair.

The air conditioning vent in the center console does not stay in place, it constantly tips downward blowing air on the ground.

General Comments:

I have no general comments as I can't think of anything nice to say about this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th July, 2004

22nd Feb 2005, 20:40

That's a pity, as my Esteem wagon has, and continues to work quite well, all things considered.

13th Mar 2007, 10:01

My 99 Suzuki Wagon

For 167,000 miles of service here is the list of broken parts.

2 Door Handles

3 Axle shafts

1 heater core

1 rear hub

1 A/C clutch

These are things that I wouldn't expect to replace. Still all in all this car is a great value for the money. I do run her 75 MPH on the open road often for hours at a time. All you have to do is change the oil and it will keep on ticking!

7th Dec 2010, 07:04

December 7, 2010.

1999 Suzuki Esteem Wagon 1.8, automatic transmission - chain timing belt - a mechanic told me to run the car until it breaks, that it does not need changing - is this true?

116,000 miles - repaired so far.

- A/C fan motor (easy to repair yourself)

- Two front axles (expensive if you go somewhere like $150 each, I watched them do it, if you can lift each side and get under the car, you can do it yourself)

- Engine oil seal (another one you could do it yourself if have right tools, Suzuki part is like $28)

- Have to replace front passenger door handle and rear left door handle, driver door handle is beginning to give me trouble to unlock - still working on these.

- Shakes a lot because needs all new three motor mounts (major project, about $300).

This little car with a made in Japan engine performs well and is excellent value. Very nice looking wagon too, and very practical, but the interior workmanship is poor.

1999 Suzuki Esteem Sedan 1.6 liter 16v OHC. from North America


The first Asian car that I have truely loved to drive


Aside from regular maintenance (spark plugs, oil, tires, etc.) the only things that have gone wrong with the car are:

Oxygen sensor.

Water is getting into the trunk.

The transmission has a weird lurch during deceleration that is very random and rarely happens.

Driver's side door catch no longer holds the door open.

General Comments:

The car handles very well, it can take corners 10-15 MPH faster than the posted road signs, after installing "Aqua-Tread" style tires it handles extremely well on wet pavement. At speeds above 70 MPH the car is so smooth that is feels like a jet going through minor turbulence.

The engine is one of the best 4 bangers I have ever owned, it accelerates extremely quickly for a non turbo engine that runs on 87 octane gasoline, I did not realize it when I bought it that it had 16 valves.

The AM/FM/CASS (no CD) stereo is the factory stock four speaker setup, but is VERY loud with a LOT of base without resorting to a sub woofer, the rear speakers are made by Clarion, the front ones I don't know yet. It can store 12 FM and 12 AM stations in four separate banks of channels.

The interior is your basic blue/black/gray design and looks very nice for a four door family car, the only thing that has worn out is the cover for the storage compartment between the bucket seats. The dash and all the controls are logically arranged and are easy to use.

A nice feature is that the back seat folds down, boards up to 7 feet can be put in the car without making the driver uncomfortable and still being able to close the trunk, longer boards can be loaded if the front window is rolled down and the passenger seat is all the way forward and down.

The body styling is very nice and what was originally attracted me to the car, something that another poster here on this website mentioned is that the car at first glance looks like a BMW, the car has a lot of character which is something that appeals to me (I'm a fan of old 1960's muscle cars), I can't stand boring "cookie cutter" cars.

The only maintenance/repairs I have had to do on this car so far is:

Air filter

Spark plugs

Front tires

Front brakes

Oxygen sensor

Regular oil changes.

Gas/Fuel mileage:

Advertised: 27 City / 33 Highway.

Actual: 27 City / 36-38 Highway.

It has been a very reliable car, I would recommend it to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2004

10th Mar 2004, 15:05

Good review. I have a factory spoiler on the back of my Esteem and have found several people (looking at the back) have made the mistake of thinking it was a Mustang GT. Your mention of muscle cars reminded me.

26th Feb 2006, 07:20

Did you fix the "water into the trunk" issue? how?

1999 Suzuki Esteem GL Wagon 16v 1.6 from North America


Highly reliable and versatile car


The six disc CD changer jammed, it had to be serviced by the dealer. They fixed it under warranty without any hassle. That's it for problems.

General Comments:

Three outstanding qualities of this car; reliability; fuel economy; and versatility. The 1.6 liter motor puts out plenty of horsepower for this size car. Although you sacrifice torque for up to 40 miles per gallon. Two of these cars put together would carry more passengers, cost less, and burn less fuel then any one full-size sport utility vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd July, 2001

1999 Suzuki Esteem from North America


A cheap commuter car by a rude manufacturer


Manual transmission went out at 13,000 miles. They refused to consider it under warranty. Warranty was 12,000 miles. The dealer and Suzuki both handled it horribly.

The headlight went out after 6 months.

The trunk windows don't seal really tight.

The air conditioning vents won't stay pointed in a fixed position.

General Comments:

This car is exactly what I expected. A cheaply made commuter car. The thing I did NOT expect was the horrible warranty and customer service put forth by Suzuki.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th April, 2001

14th Aug 2001, 09:11

I think the car is crappy, it is a health hazard and is dangerous to anyone and anybody on the road.

23rd Sep 2004, 05:39

I really liked my Esteem while I owned it. It gave me great service and made to two coast to coast trips without incident.