Bought this car with 85000 miles and am now up to 117000 miles with NO problems. I averaged 41 MPG on a trip across the country and have not had to spend money on repairs. I change the oil, filters and belts when needed. Great car. Radio and speakers are cheap and problematic, but overall car is very dependable and economic.
Great gas mileage. Bought car new, but then the interior lights start burning out at 1 year. Interior starts fading, poor material. Air flow modulator went out costing 1000 dollars for just the part. Has 2 catalytic converters, but don't know which one to replace. Can't get it inspected because computer can't tell what is wrong with it. Will not buy another Suzuki after this disaster.
Everything to do with repairing or replacing parts. Maybe that's why they quit making it.
Bought it used (5 speed, wagon) and never had any issues whatsover. With the rear seats folded down, it had very good usable cargo space. You can fit stuff in there you can never imagine in a sedan. Wonder why people still prefer to buy sedans over wagons.
I just traded in my Esteem. Broken-hearted. A fantastic vehicle. I used it for courier deliveries. Back seats fold flat and the cargo space held everything! Handled very heavy (500 lbs) loads without too much complaining. Lots of jackrabbit starts (deadlines you know) and sudden stops. But the reliability was great. Never even changed a headlight until 260,000 km. Several things (rad, control arm, CV boots etc) went this week. But now that its got 365,000 km (228 k miles) I can't really complain.
Unbelievable reliability. Nice handling, maneuverability, easy to park, etc. Solid at highway speeds.