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:
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.
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:
Regular oil changes.
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
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.
Did you fix the "water into the trunk" issue? how?