I've just now finished using my 2004 Aerio Sedan and will now pass it to my daughter.
I bought it brand new and put almost every single mile on it myself.
Other than utterly routine stuff, I've done virtually nothing to this car.
Even the routine repairs may well be more due to my driving style than defects in the car.
As a matter of fact, I think I'm still using the original batter on the thing.
This has been a super car in almost every way that matters.
My favorite feature is also, ironically, almost the only negative about the car.
The high windows and spacious feeling of this car makes it feel incredibly roomy even though it is a tiny car.
Yet the high ceiling and windows also leave the car frequently blown around the highway in high wind conditions.
My only complaint would be driving in high wind conditions.
You definitely feel it.
Other than that - this has been a truly wonderful little car.
And I've now owned several little cars.
I purchased my 2004 Suzuki Aerio S in 6/04. From week one I have had nothing but problems with the suspension. My car creaks and clunks in the front and rear. I took it back to the dealer several times for service and was always told the carriage bolts were loose and were tightened. This went on about every three months. Next was the noise from the brakes, then the radio went out and was replaced, gas peddle stuck and throttle was replaced. My car's suspension is still making all these noises and dealer states again all Aerio's do this. For some reason, the radio does not work when rear defroster is on. Now the car's front wheel bearings had to be replaced. The suspension still makes all kinds of noises. I have a lawyer handling my car as a lemon.
Only things that are nice about this car are the good gas millage, getting in and out, and the comfortable seats.
Give it a better suspension and a quieter engine. The rear defroster and radio should work at the same time. The windshield wipers need to be improved so you do not have to get out and remove snow from them. They are too weak.
A significant improvement over the 2000 Esteem which I traded in. So far: 7000 smooth, fun/peppy, trouble-free miles. As smooth as a Camry and quieter than a Civic sedan on highway. Solid handling even in inclement weather. Handling in high gusty wind is manageble and not troublesome. I have the off-white pearl color which hides dirt well. So far, no paint issues. Stereo is hi-fi quality, not sizzly/boomy. AC cooling is adequate. Engine tends to ping in hot weather (85% plus) under load conditions (hills with AC on, or steep hills in general). 89 Octane alleviates problem. Otherwise runs fine on 87 octane. Why are the critics so down on this car? I wonder if they've actually driven the sedan
Smooth engine and ride. High, comfortable seats, spacious feel. Smooth shifting with easy clutch pedal. Huge trunk. Great sightlines. High seating position lowers anxiety amidst SUV's, large cars, and trucks. Very quiet ride around town. High crash test scores. People like its appearance too!
Raise front air dam for improved clearance. Make the wiper intermittent control variable (Currently it has 3 steps). Lighten the interior color to a grey so it absorbs less sun and heat. A little less body induced noise over rough highway pavement. A little better gas mileage. Otherwise a winner.