I bought my Esteem in 2000 used and have had literally no problems with it. Outside of the standard stuff (brakes, tires...etc) my Esteem has been the best. The key I find is to take proper care and do the oil changes regularly. I now have 130,000 miles on it with no sign of it giving up. It is great on gas but a little under powered with the 1.6L engine. A K&N air filter helps slightly with the power. The A/C is still working although I do re-charge it every year to lube the seals. After 6 years I am just starting to see slight signs of rust, which up here in Canada (we use salt on the roads in winter) is remarkable.
The fairly good cargo area. The back seat holds two baby seats and my 9 year old in the middle. (He prefers the van...lol)
I've had my 1999 Suzuki Esteem for five years and it's been wonderful. I had some problems with the CV joints (axles had to be replaced twice) but otherwise never had any kind of problem, other than regular wear and tear stuff like tires and wiper blades. It's fun to drive and is really peppy. It's easy to accelerate onto the highway. I was rear-ended once, and it took the hit well and was fixed back up to perfect shape. It's a very basic car - no cruise control or power anything, but inspite of that, it's a great car. It's a perfect first car for a teenager. Oh, and you wouldn't believe how much stuff you can fit in that trunk when you pull the back seat down!
This car is really peppy and well built. It has great A/C (I live in Arizona and the A/C does well even in the hottest summers!) and the back folding down is a real plus. It gets great gas mileage!
Improve the CV joints. Maybe mine was just goofy or maybe the first person who replaced them didn't know what they were doing, but I think going through two sets of axles in five years is a little much.
I bought this '99 Esteem in '04 with 114k miles on it and have put about 10k miles on it in 5 months. I'm really amazed at this car, it has alot of technology packed in, and gets great gas mileage, and can carry alot of stuff. It's needed some minor repairs, wheel bearing, and tie rod end, and sputters @ low rpm under hard acceleration, but those are livable. I am tall and this car feels a little like a go cart, and lacks any real comfort on long trips. W/o cruise control my leg tends to cramp after a couple of hours of continious driving. And it's hell getting in and out. I'm not sure I even like this car but it was the right price and keeps running.
Excellent on gas, handles well in the snow w/ front wheel drive. Fun to drive in traffic, zips in and out, easy to park. Decent payload in trunk and back seat area (folds down). Modern styling of interior exterior.
Lacks any real punch during excelleration. No luxuries inside like cruise, power windows, etc. Expensive hard to find parts. Uncomfortable unless your 5' tall.
Car of limited range. Builders had
economy in mind with this car but the
price commensurates. Car performed
admirably to 60k miles when
transmission needed to be replaced.
Repair cost 1/10th of purchase price.
When I bought the esteem wagon, I was
just looking for a beat around town
car on that got good gas milage, But
what I got was an excellrnt Family car
that had room inside, was easy to get
in and out of, and drove far better
than the large car that i own also. I
had heard so many good things about
the Suzuki line of cars, but You
really have to experience it first
hand. I'm sure you will feel like do
also. The Suzuki Esteem wagon is the
best small car I have ever had the
pleasure to drive. The only draw back
I have found in the car is that when
it is cold it is very sluggish in
changing gears, but other than that
everything else works great on the
There is no one special feature that
is fun on the car, except for maybe
the Radio. It has an outstanding
Radio, and speakers for the average
I would suggest a larger fuel tank for
less frequant fill ups. Thats the only
fault i find in the vehicle. It comes
with a 10 gal tank, and although you
get excellet gas millage (34 town...45
Highway) it still tends to go fast
because of the small fuel cell.