Bought the car with 2 miles on it.
Drove it until she had 108,547 miles when the timing belt and pulley system broke taking along some valves and pistons with it while on a road trip.
Worth more to fix than the cars value so I decided to junk it.
This was the only "necessary" major repair work I had to do on the car.
In 7 years I never had to change out the brakes, the clutch or anything else.
Replaced the serpentine belt once and the battery just once.
The only negative I have was the paint was faulty and the interior door handles broke very easily.
For a base model it came pretty loaded.
Larger on the inside than you would think for a small car.
Can't improve when the company is out of the auto manufacturing business.
Bought The Frog, a Desert Green Base model 5-speed 2006 Forenza, when it was a year old with only 4000 miles for a bargain, only $9900. In only five and a half years I drove it to over 141,000 miles. The exhaust, cooling and A/C systems required no attention. Paint maintained original appearance and the car would not rust. Maintenance included changing the oil, synthetic only, filters and the rear brake pads. Suzuki also replaced a fried splice pack for the headlights, under recall. No other service or repairs were required! Everything else, including the battery, was original. I could have replaced the timing belt and continued trusting it indefinitely.
The manual transmission is the easiest I have ever used. The 8-speaker stereo sound quality was far above expectation on a base model. The car was 100% reliable.
Avoid low-profile (55) tires as standard and the only option specified. They are overly expensive and do not protect the wheels from potholes and such.
After driving it for a week, the clutch plate was slipping according to them so they fix it for free of course. Since then, the car has been great. I now have 95,000 miles and I literally have done nothing to it expect oil changes! My battery lasted until 94,000 miles! Sure I have issues...need rear shocks replaced, leaking a little antifreeze but hey, I ain't paying for it if I don't need to. I actually prefer a small antifreeze leak, it saves me from spending hundreds of dollars flushing the system. I love driving this car with a manual. Those of you burning through tires, I do too but that's bc I like driving rough. You can get different tires with more tread if you're concerned.
Well, we got the Forenza 6 months ago with 29,000 miles. It now has 36,400 miles and only "problem" was one bent rim, which was no cost to us, the dealer even put a new tire on it for us =) I think its fun to drive, we have the 5speed manual. The design is really awesome, it beats the boring civic or corolla hands down. It has proven reliable so far. It seems like you get a really bad Forenza or a really good one. Ive read the reviews, after we bought it, if i would had read them before we bought it, honestly i probably would not have purchased it, but i dont regret purchasing it =)
Looks very stylish and stands out in the parking lot. The materials quality is great in the interior. My personal opinion is you get more than what you pay for!! the brakes are great (4 wheel disc). The acceleration is good for a car of this size(with the manual tranny) i like the speed sensitive power steering, it makes the steering kind of sporty if you ask me.
The paint on the plastic rim covers comes off in the car wash over time, but those can be replaced for a decent price. The paint on the door handles comes off easy. The suspension is a bit mushy and squeaks some, but i must say it does have a nice ride =) Overall i think you get more than what you pay for. But save yourself the headache and buy a Forenza with the manual transmission, the automatic is slow and breaks down alot (read the reviews) A lot of the reviews of this car really stink, but people do seem to dwell on the bad points and forget to write about all the good things.
Hope this review helps =)
I just put on the fourth set of tires in three and a half years. Just spent $1400 on struts and alignment. Door handles broke off at 50K miles. Power steering pump went out at 70k miles. I have spent enough on repairs to buy a new car, and I am still paying on this one. This $11,000 car is now a $16,000 car. I will never buy another Suzuki product of any type.