Full 2007 Suzuki Forenza Review
What's New for 2007
The 2007 Suzuki Forenza carries over largely unchanged.
Introduced in 2004 into the highly competitive economy car market, Suzuki's Korean-built Forenza is a modestly stylish, value-oriented alternative that appeals to buyers on the margin, with a somewhat responsive four-cylinder engine, a roomy interior and a low price of entry. Further sweetening the deal, Suzuki tries hard to set the new Forenza sedan and wagon apart with European-inspired styling by Pininfarina, a host of standard features and a seven-year, 100,000-mile drivetrain warranty.
Under the hood of the 2007 Suzuki Forenza rests a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 127 horsepower -- much less motivation than in its similarly priced sibling the Aerio or other competitors. Despite the power deficit, we find the Forenza manages satisfactorily when shifted with the manual transmission, but feels burdened and underpowered when saddled with the four-speed automatic. Unfortunately, it's not particularly fuel-efficient or refined either -- with mileage ranging from 22 mpg/city to 31 mpg/highway, the Forenza is one of the least economical economy cars on the market.
Over-the-road manners and overall refinement are other weak areas -- the Suzuki Forenza exhibits soft, rubbery handling and poorer ride quality than many of its competitors, as well as excessive wind noise at times on the highway. Inside, more compromises await: Although even the standard Forenza is equipped with most of what you want and its attractive cockpit is among the roomiest in this class, it loses points with inconsistent/poor-quality materials that detract from an otherwise inviting environment.
At a glance, the well-equipped 2007 Suzuki Forenza appears to offer rewarding value. Unfortunately, its unrefined nature, labored automatic-equipped acceleration, poor fuel economy and sloppy handling dynamics place it far behind the leaders in the compact segment. Unless you really need the extra space of its available wagon body style, we recommend that you instead shop one of its more worthy competitors such as the Mazda 3 or Pontiac Vibe.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Suzuki Forenza is a compact car available as a sedan or wagon. The car comes in a single trim level with available packages of grouped extras. Standard on all are body-color bumpers, four-wheel disc brakes, tire-pressure monitoring, a height-adjustable driver seat, air-conditioning, powered accessories and an eight-speaker stereo with CD player and steering-wheel controls. An optional Convenience Package adds cruise control and remote keyless entry, and a Popular Package adds those items plus a sunroof.
Powertrains and Performance
The Suzuki Forenza is powered by a modest 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with only 127 hp and 131 pound-feet of torque; it performs reasonably well when mated to the standard five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is optional on all models, but does slow things down a bit. EPA-estimated fuel economy is below average for such a modestly powered compact, too, returning just 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the automatic.
The 2007 Suzuki Forenza offers standard front side-impact airbags and the stopping power of four-wheel disc brakes. For added security, ABS is optional. In NHTSA frontal-impact crash tests, the Forenza earned four stars out of five; the independent IIHS gave it an "Acceptable" rating for frontal-offset protection and a "Poor" rating for side-impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
The cabin of the Suzuki Forenza is compromised by inconsistent materials quality and an overall lack of refinement and execution compared with the leaders in its class. There's better news out back, though, with lots of rear legroom for adults and a 60/40-split-folding seatback for extra utility. The Forenza sedan's trunk capacity is a reasonable 12.4 cubic feet, and the wagon offers a useful 62 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded.
The standard 2007 Suzuki Forenza has little difficulty keeping up with traffic, unless it's equipped with the optional automatic transmission -- in which case acceleration weakens and highway maneuvers take a little planning. Compared with other compact/economy cars, the Forenza's suspension and ride quality are also unimpressive -- although somewhat soft and compliant, we found there's little control over bumps and ruts. Handling around corners is loose and unsure too, as the hardware allows excessive body roll and cheap rubber exerts minimal grip.
One bright spot are its four-wheel disc brakes, which provide short stopping distances despite a slightly spongy pedal. Overall, though, we find the Suzuki Forenza to be a compromised, marginal player struggling just a bit too much to keep up with better-bred rivals.