I averaged 50K miles a year since I bought this car brand new. No problems until I had to replace the lifters at 110K, not bad. Suzuki recommends timing belt replacement at 60K but I pushed it to 100K and then 200K. It ran great to 260K, it proved to be extremely reliable. There were a few electrical problems, the passenger's air bag light came on pretty early on and the headlight switch shorted out at about 150k. Also, suzuki charges a lot for parts and the two mechanics I took it to knew nothing about these cars. Other than that, it was a surprisingly durable car that got me back and forth from work for almost 5 years.
I was driving it for some time ... so far I have to be in the dealership once every 4 months ... something is wrong and needs fixin. I'm used to Nissan QUALITY!!! Now I understand why this thing is so cheap! I'm disregarding the airbag light all together - after a dealership it's off for about a month ... then on again. Do I have to pay $300 each quoter or do I ignore it ... transmission is another common problem ... If you want to see a lot of lights on the dashboard all the time - this car is for you, if not - choose a different manufacturer.
Did not stall on a freeway ... yet.
QUALITY ... don't spend $$$ on the design! Spend it on QUALITY!!!
In the 3 years since I have bought this car I have had the front headlights fail, the battery die, the tread come off the two front tires, the oxygen sensor replaced and now I'm dealing with a blown head gasket which blasted a hole in the cylinder head compromising the coolant system. By far the worst car I have ever owned.
As I take the Forenza to the shop AGAIN, I ask myself if I would buy this one again. No. Not likely. This car has cost us more in the time we have owned it (purchased new) than any other we own or have owned. MPG says 21-22. Have RARELY gotten 20 (more often 16-18). DON'T try to drive in slippery conditions (rain or ice), because you will likely need to be pushed out of the way. I have had equivalent Toyotas in the past, and NEVER had a question about use in winter. Not so, the Forenza. Also, tires are NON-STD size ($$), 7yr/100k warranty is severely limited. It drives ok, but would I get another Suzuki product based on our experience? Sadly, and very disappointedly, No.
Styling isn't bad. Adequate leg room.
N/A since this model has disappeared from the fleet, but otherwise, I would figure out why it is so BAD in adverse weather. I would put a more gas-stingy engine under the hood. Short of that, it would be not a good deal.
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