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.