Used 2005 Suzuki Forenza Consumer Reviews
We absolutely love this car! And I hate cars (where's those jet-packs that those futurists said we'd have by now?). Anyway, after extensive internet research, my wife and I decided this was it (first ever new one). It looks great, drives great, feels great, and it didn't break the bank. Though it's only got 30,000 miles on it, it has not let us down once nor has it been in a shop except to get oil and tires changed. It has plenty of room (hauls an upright bass just fine), has great safety features, has a decent stereo., and has plenty of power. It's a superb, solid highway cruiser! Folks, if you want an inexpensive wagon that sure doesn't look and feel like one, the Forenza is it! O.K., here's an update after driving the Forenza wagon for these last 15 years. 207,000 miles and the engine still doesn't use any oil unless it's pushed hard (i.e. 80-85 mph across Montana in mid-summer), but still doesn't use much even then. With regular maintenance, it still feels solid and runs great. No leaks, no noise, everything inside still works...it is impressive. However, and this is a big however....it's a clutch-eater. And I've driven sticks since the 70's so I'm confident to say it's not operator error. It is now on its 4th clutch, which includes the one from the factory. And that only lasted 94,000 miles. The second clutch went quick, and I suspected mechanic incompetence with that one. But other than that, I'm still happy with it. It's just a great, no-frills car that has never left us stranded regarding the engine or the electrical system. Luckily when the clutches went, we weren't out in the middle of nowhere. Other than that, can I still recommend one of these? You bet. Even with a manual transmission as my problems may have been a fluke. I can't vouch for the automatic transmission, though, although I have read some mixed reviews. You can pick these up cheap with reasonable amounts of miles on Craigslist and such. But I'm driving this thing until it totally and finally gives up the ghost. And it looks like that may be a while! Looks like the good folks at Edmunds would like me to update my last update! Well, since Covid hit, the car has only been driven about 5,000 miles more (I get to telework) and it still runs like a champ. So at 212,000 miles, I can still say I'm pretty darned happy with its performance. Simple and reliable (clutch still doing fine), good gas mileage, still doesn't seem to use oil unless I push it hard for a long period of time (as mentioned earlier....80-85 across Montana on a 100 degree day with just a teeny level drop on the dipstick). I'd take this car anywhere without hesitation. I think what's really helped is I just do simple maintenance like checking and topping off fluids, changing the air filter, changing oil (5,000 miles), keeping the battery clean, keeping tires rotated (at the tire shop).....just basic stuff like that that doesn't take a lot of effort. And I can barely use a screwdriver so I don't/won't try to do anything more. Fortunately I have good, honest mechanics for that. I'd still recommend this car for good, simple and cheap transportation. Like I mentioned earlier, you can find these for reasonably low prices on Craigslist. However, for disclosure, we did buy ours new and have kept up with all recommended maintenance from Suzuki (well, pretty much). And I can't vouch for the ones with automatic transmissions. However, if you can find a wagon with a stick for cheap (and preferably with reasonably lower miles), do give it some serious consideration, as I think these cars are vastly undervalued and underrated. And that's a big plus for anyone shopping for a car (especially a wagon) with limited finances.
A lot of features is standard in the car, as a 4 wheel disk brakes, power mirror, windows and lock, roof rack. 24 MPG in the city and 30 MPG in the freeway, I did many travel on this winter and the average was 30 MPG (5 speed).
I have had my Forenza now for 2 years. No major problems except for the seat fabric keeps coming off. Fuel mileage is poorer than expected. Ride is ok.
At first I doubted Suzuki's quality but I was wrong. This car has been for the most part reliable. I've had few minor issues but nothing major such as recalls but other than that not much of anything. I found out GM Daewoo created these cars for Suzuki and I guessed there's a pile of junk but I've seen much improvement through Daewoo. For the price you get a decent car with a good amount of features.