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A low price and a standard six-cylinder engine may make the 2006 Suzuki Verona appealing to bargain hunters, but a few competitors offer just as much value and vastly superior performance.
Low price, comfortable ride quality, strong brakes, attractive interior design, simple controls.
Weak acceleration, sloppy handling, lots of wind noise, some low-grade interior materials, mediocre crash test scores, no side curtain airbags.
Available Verona Sedan Models
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Antilock brakes are now standard on all Veronas, and Suzuki has consolidated last year's trim levels into base and Luxury models.
Although new to the American market in 2004, the Suzuki Verona was already sold as the Daewoo Magnus in other parts of the world. The Verona represents the largest Suzuki car in the lineup, and it's being marketed as a less expensive alternative to more mainstream sedans like the Camry and Accord. Penned by Italdesign in Turin, Italy, the Suzuki Verona sports smooth, uncluttered lines that are neither awkward nor overly distinctive. In terms of size, the Verona comes in a shade shorter than the Accord but about equal in width and height.
One of the Verona's main selling points is a standard six-cylinder engine. At 2.5 liters, it's on the small side (about the same size as most four-cylinders found in this class) but Suzuki touts the inherent smoothness of its inline design. We can confirm that the engine does indeed deliver its power in a smooth manner, but overall acceleration is weak, even when compared to competing four-cylinders. Unlike most import brand offerings in this segment, however, there is no available manual transmission or more frugal four-cylinder engine.
Inside, the Suzuki Verona aims to trump its competitors with a long list of standard features that defies the car's cut-rate price. Base models are packed with standard items like a CD player, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and cruise control. A higher-line package adds amenities like automatic climate control and leather seats -- clearly not the kind of equipment you would expect to find on a budget sedan.
The Verona isn't an eye-catching standout but it does offer a smooth power plant, a roomy interior, a low price and a long powertrain warranty. When compared side by side with existing price leaders, the Verona still isn't the most inexpensive sedan in the family sedan segment, but it's close. However, in its current form, the 2006 Suzuki Verona faces a serious struggle, mainly due to its weak engine performance, sloppy handling and mediocre crash test scores. While bargain hunters may find its package of amenities enticing, we think they'd be better off with a Sonata or Fusion.
The midsize Suzuki Verona sedan is offered in two trim levels, base and Luxury. Standard features include power windows and door locks, heated power mirrors, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, keyless entry, a tilt steering wheel, a six-way adjustable driver seat, air conditioning, a CD/cassette stereo and floor mats. Step up to the Luxury model and you'll get automatic climate control, a power sunroof, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an eight-way power driver seat and traction control.
All trim levels come with a 2.5-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. The front-wheel-drive Verona comes standard with a four-speed automatic transmission. A manual transmission is not available.
All models come with four-wheel antilock disc brakes and side airbags for front occupants. Neither full-length side curtain airbags nor stability control is available. In NHTSA crash testing, the Suzuki Verona earned three out of five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. In side-impact tests, the Verona earned four stars for front-occupant protection and three stars for rear occupants. Frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS returned a rating of "Acceptable," the second highest. Side-impact tests on the Suzuki car, however, resulted in a rating of "Marginal," the second lowest.
Inside, the Suzuki Verona offers a pleasing two-tone ensemble not unlike that of the Accord. The material used on the dash and door tops has an upscale grain pattern and is soft to the touch. White-faced gauges light up in a soothing lime-green color that matches the readouts for the automatic climate control and stereo head unit. Unfortunately, not all of the materials return an impression of quality, as various plastics feel glossy and cheap. Both the front and rear seats provide passable comfort for adults, though taller passengers may find the legroom a bit tight in the back.
The driving experience is the least enjoyable aspect of the 2006 Suzuki Verona. The trouble begins under the hood, as the car's 2.5-liter inline six isn't able to summon forth the requisite energy for quick bursts of acceleration. Power delivery, at least, is smooth, and the four-speed automatic does a commendable job with gear selection. Overly soft suspension tuning yields a cushy highway ride that any grizzled commuter will appreciate, but the trade-off is a Suzuki car that feels weak-kneed around twists and turns. The brake pedal is also on the soft side, but stopping distances are short.
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