2001 Suzuki Esteem Wagon GLX+ 1.8 from North America


Decent wagon for a commuter/work car


Driver's side door handle on the outside had broken a plastic clip; replaced with an eBay part for 10$ shipped.

Tensioner pulley seized up and broke the serpentine belt; replaced with Rockauto parts on the cheap.

Sunroof motor died, never used it. Just put it in the closed position and pulled the fuse.

Driver's window guide bent out of shape, bent back and lubed; works fine ever since $0.

Driver's side CV joint boot tore and sand got into the joint, ruining it; replaced both sides at the same time (the pair on Rockauto was 69$ so why not).

Passenger tie rod end boot is gone, no problems yet, but will replace once it's warmer.

General Comments:

Bought this car locally from an older gentleman knowing that Suzuki had pulled out of the US market. The low miles and excellent shape of the car is why. Have used it as a daily driver to get back and forth to work the past 2 years (30 miles round trip).

Never been a huge fan of wagons, but the utility it gives has grown on me; with the seats folded down there is a great amount of room back there. Plenty of room in the backseats for my 2 young kids. The car handles well in the snow with decent tires and the ABS isn't overly aggressive like some cars I've driven. Gas mileage is OK; not great for such a small engine (1.8 I4). I get approx 25-30 on the highway. The car has always started and not left me stranded as of yet; I plan to drive this thing until the wheels come off.

Parts for these Suzukis are getting scarce, and once they're gone, they're gone. These things are the budget cars from Japan and it shows in the cheap plastic interior and lackluster styling. But you do get some of that legendary Japanese reliability. It's too bad there won't be anymore Suzuki cars in the states, because I would more than likely buy another one.

For anyone that does their own maintenance, this 1.8 engine likes copper spark plugs and synthetic oil. The Aisin 4-speed transmission is a bit sluggish and you need to punch it to get power to pass on the freeway. All in all, I am satisfied with this car and the price was right for me ($2200) for a 13 year old wagon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd January, 2017

2001 Suzuki Esteem GL 1.8L from North America


Basic reliable transportation


Been a very reliable car for the most with a few minor repairs. Had to replace CV joints, clutch, battery and alternator.

General Comments:

Get good gas mileage (33mpg). The 1.8L with the five speed is pretty peppy. Have owned Esteems with the 1.6L and found them to get better mileage but sluggish performance.

Car is not very comfortable, trunk is fairly small and folding down the back seat won't help much. But if you need something economical and reliable the Esteem is a good bet. Japanese quality that costs a lot less than a Honda or a Toyota.

Most common comment I get is that the car looks "Cute".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2009

2001 Suzuki Esteem 1.8 from North America


This car is wonderful!


This has been an excellent first car. I am the third owner of this vehicle, so I didn't expect perfection. Major problems have been few.

A problem I did not expect, though, was for the sub frame to rust out and collapse. Apparently this has happened to the years surrounding and including mine, and it has not been recalled. Thankfully I was near home when it happened and was able to get there safely. I know of others who were not so fortunate though.

Not equipped with ABS, you need to be extra careful because the back end can have a mind of it's own when you need to slam on the brakes.

I've recently had issues with the brakes, but I believe it's related to poor maintenance by previous owners. The drum brakes are easy to work on yourself though.

General Comments:

I love this car!

Very comfortable, easy to drive, has a lot of pep for such a small engine, handles well.

Easy to maintain, relatively cheap as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2009