For basic transportation and cargo hauling, this car is great! It has been rock-solid reliable at 135k miles. Anything over basic transportation, though, and you should look elsewhere. Although a lot of nice features and afterthoughts are included, Suzuki overlooked many of the basics. The lower dash and doors are soft plastic, which scratch and mar easily. The seats aren't particularly comfortable, though they feature several adjustments. Handling, acceleration, and braking are competent, but feel disconnected. I've averaged 24-26mpg combined throughout the life of the car.
I nead headroom, so my choice of cars is limited. The Forenza wagon fits me just right. Loads of features for not a lot of cash. Nice styling. Great interior. Decent handling. Great stereo. Very practical. Dealer is super helpful. I'm really picky and found a couple of small problems that were fixed easily. It's made from very proven parts from the world wide parts bin, so it should hold up well. Some people complain that the engine sounds like a 4 cylinder and that the car doesn't handle like a Porsche. The same folks would complain if they bought a cheeseburger and it didn't taste like a t-bone steak. This car is a very tasty cheeseburger indeed.
I bought this car for my daughter to drive to college in Tampa while living in Tampa. She put 150 miles of highway driving every day for four years. She graduated and gave it back to me after graduation with 102K miles. There were a couple of highway accidents, two recalls and all the required maintenance checks, but overall this car is outstanding for the price I paid. If it had Bluetooth technology, it would walk on water. I am convinced that this car could not do better for its price tag. Yes, there's that Air Bag light issue, but hey, nobody's perfect. I rate it five stars. Too bad they discontinued making it. It was a great little station wagon with all the comforts of a luxury sedan.
I bought this car one year ago. My car is 5 speed and I don't have any problem at all. For the price I paid the car has a lot of features. In the city it makes 24 MPG and on the freeway it makes 30 MPG.
I averaged 50K miles a year since I bought this car brand new. No problems until I had to replace the lifters at 110K, not bad. Suzuki recommends timing belt replacement at 60K but I pushed it to 100K and then 200K. It ran great to 260K, it proved to be extremely reliable. There were a few electrical problems, the passenger's air bag light came on pretty early on and the headlight switch shorted out at about 150k. Also, suzuki charges a lot for parts and the two mechanics I took it to knew nothing about these cars. Other than that, it was a surprisingly durable car that got me back and forth from work for almost 5 years.