I have owned my Aerio LX AWD for about 8 months. It gets great gas mileage, I average about 29 mpg in combined city and highway driving. The climate control works perfectly. The six disc in-dash Clarion CD changer and seven speaker stereo (including subwoofer) make up a high end system for such an inexpensive car. The Aerio has decent power (155 hp), but I do wish that they offered the AWD version with a manual transmission. Dry weather handling is very good, I have improved the handling of mine with a larger than stock rear swaybar.
The 2005 Suzuki Aerio is a danger on the highways because the front axles may suddenly break without warning!! In July 2011 while in a parking lot about to make a left turn from a stopped position, the left front axle broke. The dealer's shop replaced Control Arm only. Two weeks later, went someplace else & had wheels aligned because car vibrating badly. Found CV joint damaged & boot ripped. CV joint replaced Sept. 2012. Oct. 2012, while stopped at a corner about to make a right turn, the right front axle broke. Called Suzuki in Calif. but they aren't interested in the danger. Owners should stay off of highways and have front end carefully checked at once under strong light.
My husband and I have owned two Aerios. The first we bought used, and bought the second when we traded in the used Aerio because we wanted some of the updated features it had. The Aerio has been nothing but reliable. It had great acceleration and is agile and superbly handles city and highway traffic. It's easy to back out and park like a small car but has almost the interior space of a touring sedan. It's more attractive than much of its competition and offers a comparable or better engine to boot.
This car is junk. At less than 100,000km the paint began to chip, the muffler and exhaust rotted completely, went through 2 sets of tires, and im pretty sure my rotars are long overdue. At 105,000km, I had the engine replaced because of a manufacturers defect. A Piston rod snapped firing the remaining pieces through my block, into the oil pan. At 120,000km, My transmission goes (M.T.). My synchros is finished causing severe grinding when decelerating during a downshift. The stock battery is terrible. I left my stereo on for 10 minutes while the car was off. DEAD. My airbag light came on at 85,000km. The road noise is terrible, the electrical motors in the windows are failing. enuf said?
Our car eats tires. We also lost our AWD. Our dealer has fixed the viscous coupler joint and aligned the tires. We still have a serious vibration at 55 mph and above. Our current tires are wearing fast.