Used 2008 Suzuki Forenza

2008 Suzuki Forenza
List Price Estimate
$1,857 - $3,224

Pros & Cons

  • Low price, spacious cabin, available wagon model.
  • Below-average fuel economy, leisurely acceleration on models with the automatic transmission, sloppy handling, lack of refinement, discouraging crash test scores.
Suzuki Forenza years
Suzuki Forenza for Sale

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2008 Suzuki Forenza falls short of just about everything else in the highly competitive economy car class.

Vehicle overview

On the British automotive TV show "Top Gear," celebrities get the chance to bomb around a track in a "reasonably priced car" to see who can achieve the best lap time. Watching Simon Cowell or Helen Mirren taking high-speed corners in a car so dreadfully unsuited for such an environment is quite hilarious and hardly a ringing endorsement for the car chosen for its inherent comic appeal as a cheap penalty box. The "reasonably priced car" in question is essentially the 2008 Suzuki Forenza, a Korean-made sedan that is also sold around the world as a Chevrolet or a Daewoo. Although we know you'll never take the reasonably priced Forenza to a track (we hope), we're not sure you'd want to take one home either.

Introduced in 2004 into the highly competitive economy car market, the Suzuki Forenza sedan and wagon are value-oriented alternatives intended for 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 Forenza apart with a host of standard features, a seven-year, 100,000-mile drivetrain warranty and styling by Pininfarina. However, just one look at the Forenza will make you wonder if that's Al Pininfarina, and not the famed Italian design house that has penned such beauties as the Maserati Gran Turismo and countless classic Ferraris.

Under the hood of the 2008 Suzuki Forenza rests a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 127 horsepower -- less motivation than in its similarly priced SX4 sibling 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 19 mpg city to 28 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 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 disappointments 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.

On paper, the well-equipped 2008 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 like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda 3. Even if 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, Pontiac Vibe or Scion xB. The Forenza may be reasonably priced, but it's not much of a car.

Suzuki Forenza models

The 2008 Suzuki Forenza is a compact car available as a sedan or wagon. It comes in a single trim level with available packages of grouped extras. Standard on all Forenzas are 15-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, air-conditioning, powered accessories and an eight-speaker stereo with CD player. The optional Convenience Package adds cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls and remote keyless entry. The Popular Package adds those items plus foglamps and a sunroof. Bluetooth is a dealer-installed accessory.

2008 Highlights

The 2008 Suzuki Forenza features very minor changes from last year, including chrome inside door handles and available Bluetooth.

Performance & mpg

The Suzuki Forenza is powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with 127 hp and 131 pound-feet of torque. It performs reasonably well when mated to the standard five-speed manual transmission, but the optional four-speed automatic slows things down a bit. EPA-estimated fuel economy is below average for such a modestly powered compact, too, returning just 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway for an automatic-equipped sedan.


The Suzuki Forenza offers standard front side-impact airbags and the stopping power of four-wheel disc brakes. For added security, ABS is optional with Convenience Package-equipped Forenzas. In government frontal-impact crash tests, the 2008 Suzuki Forenza earned four stars out of five. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a second-best "Acceptable" rating for frontal-offset protection and a "Poor" rating for side-impact tests.


The standard 2008 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 tires exert minimal grip. Overall, we find the Suzuki Forenza to be a compromised, marginal player struggling too much to keep up with better-bred rivals.


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.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Suzuki Forenza.

5 star reviews: 22%
4 star reviews: 30%
3 star reviews: 18%
2 star reviews: 20%
1 star reviews: 10%
Average user rating: 3.4 stars based on 40 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • fuel efficiency
  • value
  • appearance
  • warranty
  • comfort
  • spaciousness
  • climate control
  • wheels & tires
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • driving experience
  • dashboard
  • ride quality
  • transmission
  • maintenance & parts
  • engine
  • interior
  • lights
  • doors
  • sound system
  • handling & steering
  • road noise
  • seats
  • oil
  • towing
  • acceleration

Most helpful consumer reviews

4 out of 5 stars, Great for a Student/ or someone on a budget even
Cherron White,
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car used at 90k miles, the only problems I had the first year was one of the headlights (easily fixed not a big issue), year two the car is now at 137k miles, I have only had to do the regular with this car occasional oil changes, one alignment (due to me), new tires ( because as I said I bought it used and the tires were pretty through). The most expensive issue I've had with this car was the alternator, which is not really expensive compared to other issues that could have arisen. As far as comfort this car is extremely roomy for someone who not too tall or too overweight, it's not made to be a family car in my opinion( for a big family at least...get an SUV or mini van if that's what you're looking for) However, I can comfortably fit five people in my car with enough space for everyone. The trunk space is perfect, and the interior space is as well granted I don't have a back seat full of car seats. When it comes to the sound system, I have the original still in mine because it sounds just fine.

5 out of 5 stars, Great car if you know how to take care of one!
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

Always great! Bought in 08, 130,000 miles. Great on gas. Regular maintnence. Cheap parts!!

5 out of 5 stars, Love my Suzuki!!!
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought my 08 Suzuki Forename in 2011 at 40k miles and love it!! Has been very reliable vehicle for me and my family the past 5 years now! As long as you keep regular maintenance like changing oil every 3,000 miles and so forth the car is worth it!! Has never left us stranded great little car and great on gas!! Still running strong at 112k miles!

1 out of 5 stars, Great on gas.. Horrible on everything else
Krystal E,
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I've had this car 2 years, bought at 60k miles. My engine has always stayed on. Transmission continuously slips. Door handle paint chips. Speakers blown out. And for some reason, it won't go out of park as of today. I've had nothing but headache out of this car and if you Google it, its just a common trouble car.

Write a review

See all 40 reviews

Features & Specs

4dr Wagon features & specs
4dr Wagon
2.0L 4cyl 4A
MPG 19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
127 hp @ 5600 rpm

4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package features & specs
4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package
2.0L 4cyl 4A
MPG 19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
127 hp @ 5600 rpm

4dr Wagon features & specs
4dr Wagon
2.0L 4cyl 5M
MPG 19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
127 hp @ 5600 rpm

4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package features & specs
4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package
2.0L 4cyl 5M
MPG 19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
127 hp @ 5600 rpm

See all Used 2008 Suzuki Forenza features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver4 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Side Barrier RatingRating
OverallNot Rated
Driver4 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Roof Strength TestNot Tested
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test


Is the Suzuki Forenza a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2008 Forenza both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Suzuki Forenza fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Forenza gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Forenza has 19.3 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Suzuki Forenza. Learn more

Is the Suzuki Forenza reliable?

To determine whether the Suzuki Forenza is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Forenza. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Forenza's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2008 Suzuki Forenza a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2008 Suzuki Forenza is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2008 Forenza is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2008 Suzuki Forenza?

The least-expensive 2008 Suzuki Forenza is the 2008 Suzuki Forenza 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $15,389.

Other versions include:

  • 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A) which starts at $16,489
  • 4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package (2.0L 4cyl 4A) which starts at $16,989
  • 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M) which starts at $15,389
  • 4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package (2.0L 4cyl 5M) which starts at $15,889
  • 4dr Wagon w/Popular Package (2.0L 4cyl 4A) which starts at $17,689
Learn more

What are the different models of Suzuki Forenza?

If you're interested in the Suzuki Forenza, the next question is, which Forenza model is right for you? Forenza variants include 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and 4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package (2.0L 4cyl 5M). For a full list of Forenza models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2008 Suzuki Forenza

Used 2008 Suzuki Forenza Overview

The Used 2008 Suzuki Forenza is offered in the following submodels: Forenza Sedan, Forenza Wagon. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Sedan w/Convenience Package (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Sedan w/Popular Package (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package (2.0L 4cyl 4A), 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Wagon w/Convenience Package (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 4dr Sedan w/Convenience Package (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and 4dr Wagon w/Popular Package (2.0L 4cyl 4A).

What do people think of the 2008 Suzuki Forenza?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2008 Suzuki Forenza and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2008 Forenza 3.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2008 Forenza.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2008 Suzuki Forenza and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2008 Forenza featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2008 Suzuki Forenza?

Which 2008 Suzuki Forenzas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Suzuki Forenza for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2008 Suzuki Forenza.

Can't find a new 2008 Suzuki Forenzas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Suzuki Forenza for sale - 9 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $19,866.

Find a new Suzuki for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $14,357.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2008 Suzuki Forenza?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Suzuki lease specials