Traded my gas guzzling Blazer for this car. This is the second esteem I have owned. the first was a 1999. The CV axles are only good it seems for 100- 130k miles. Comfortable, not a powerhouse by any means but good on gas and the A/C is freezing cold. I have almost 150K on it currently and have had really good luck with Suzuki products as a cheaper alternative to Honda with the same reliability. Folks, keep up maintenance to make it last. Simple. Regular oil changes, tune ups etc. That simple. Fun to drive, I have a bad back at age 33 so the firm seats are great. The factory CD player isn't working but the radio does. I really have no complaints. GREAT ON GAS.
I don't know what the other reviewers are doing to their cars, maybe abusing them, but I have had nothing go wrong with this car whatsoever. My parents had this same car (wagon version) and they had no troubles either. This is not a hot rod car. It's a car to get around town, and it does that very well. By the way, my parents were so impressed with the Esteem, when they traded it in they bought another Suzuki, and have had no trouble with it either.
I was so happy when I heard Suzuki was discontinuing this model, it was the most intelengent decision made regarding this car, as oppose to mine. This car is a good way to throw out $10,500. ( New) or $16k which is how much it has cost us to maintain. I have nothing positive to say regarding this auto. Except, I am glad we have three years left.
This car runs very good and has been very reliable. The car came fully loaded with the aero pkg, kyb sport spsn, yokohama advan's and sportline alloys. This was a limited edition. At 67k this car runs and handles very well, I use castrol syntec 5w30 in engine and royal purple in tranny. I wash the car with meguires and wax with zymol. The color is deep space blue. I turned the front rotors 2x and replaced the pads also. I change engine oil and filter every 4k miles, since tranny does not have a filter I change tranny fluid every 15k miles, mpg highway avg 28 (advan 15" tires) mpg city 24 avg
I've owned my Esteem for 5 years and have never had any major mechanical problems with it and it handles like a champ. I like my little car and it's great in city traffic and tight spots. I moved from Florida to Chicago and was curious to see how it would handle in ice and snow since it is very light and can be hard to handle in high winds. In snow/ice, it slides a lot in turns. The engine can be noisy but I always have the radio on, so it's not an issue for me personally. I replaced the factory CD player because mine stopped reading CDs and my intermittent windshield wipers gave out soon after purchase and now I've noticed that my wipers don't reset themselves when they turn off.