2006 Suzuki Reno 2.3 liter from North America

Summary:

Crappy

Faults:

My head gasket blew at 50,000 and it's been sitting because the dealership won't fix it. Everything else had been good on it.

General Comments:

The car is quick.

It handles good.

I like the leather seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th April, 2013

2006 Suzuki Reno Base 2.0 gas from North America

Summary:

Decent

Faults:

No problems till about 76000 miles, when the engine light came on and the car started running rough. The mechanic diagnosed a blown head gasket, which Suzuki is fixing by replacing the entire engine under the 7 year/100000 mile powertrain warranty.

General Comments:

Yes, this is a Daewoo made car badged as Suzuki in the US, and Chevy (Lacetti) elsewhere in the world, including Canada. The engine for the US model (a 2.0L gas) is actually made in Australia by Holden, a GM subsidiary, and is the only junky part in this car IMO.

Given a pretty crappy selection of hatchback models in the US (what can you say when the Golf is considered the top of the line in this segment), the Reno is not such a bad choice. It's roomy inside, while compact on the outside, making it easy to fit in a typical city condominium garage. The interior is pretty modern and neat, and seems to be very well put together. Absolutely no creaking after 6 years and 76K miles on the car. The car handles well, and with Blizzaks on November through March, I zip by 60-grand 4 wheel BMWs and Audis with performance rubber, trying to make it up or down the hill with no problem.

My only big complaint about the car is the engine, which is nothing special in terms of power/acceleration, while still being pretty heavy on gas at about 23 miles per gallon in mixed driving (~10L/100km). It also has a very strange habit of seemingly continuing to sip fuel with the gas pedal completely released, providing for pretty much zero engine braking, a pretty big deal for a car with a manual transmission in my view. The dealer says - that's just the way those Reno’s are.

The engine also seems to be the cause of most big problems with the car, particularly the head gasket that looks like has a tendency to blow around 70-80K miles. This has just happened to me. I took the car to the dealer, and they told me Suzuki was going to pay for putting a new engine in under their 7 year /100K warranty without a fuss. Wow! That warranty played zero role in my purchasing decision, but it came in pretty handy it turns out. Skeptics will of course say that a decent car should not blow the engine at 70K. True, but ours has not had an easy life, with mostly short hauls around town, oftentimes on cold mornings. Keep in mind also that the engine was not designed or manufactured by either Suzuki or Daewoo. This piece of technological miracle is a product of GM's hard work, proudly made in Australia by Holden, a GM subsidiary, folks who are probably not very used to making engines for cars that drive on the right.

Would I buy another Suzuki? Maybe. Certainly if they offer a US hatchback with a better fuel economy than the current SX4 (which actually IS made by Suzuki in Japan, having rather been designed, and not made, with Fiat's participation, unlike someone here has suggested). C'mon Suzuki, bring a diesel SX4 4WD to the States, and I will be the first one to shell you 20 grand (or maybe even more depending) for it here. Keep the 7 year/100K warranty though. I like getting a new engine for free every now and then :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th September, 2012

22nd Nov 2012, 11:43

The engine is made in Australia by Holden?!?! Considering the fact that up until 2012, Holden didn't make any 2.0L vehicles in Australia, I highly doubt that... They only produced the Commodore in Australia, which started at 3.0L.

6th Apr 2013, 08:51

To the above comment, I'm guessing you didn't realise that GMH actually make engines for export, including 4 cylinder and V6 types, of sizes that are not available for sale within Australia.