Overview & Reviews
At some point in their lives, most people find themselves in need of a small, inexpensive car that gets them around with minimal hassle. While the names "Civic" and "Corolla" come up in most every small sedan buyer's research, the trouble is that you often pay dearly for these household names. In hopes of attracting people on a tighter budget, Suzuki offered the Forenza from 2004-'08.
This value-oriented compact came in sedan and wagon body styles. It boasted a low price of entry, a roomy interior, European-inspired design, a host of standard features, competitive power figures and a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
At a glance, the well-equipped Suzuki Forenza appeared to offer terrific value. But in our evaluations, we found that it fell short of the segment leaders in terms of performance, fuel economy, handling and interior refinement. Unless you really need the extra space of its available wagon body style in a used car, we recommend that you focus on one of its more worthy competitors.
Most Recent Suzuki Forenza
The Suzuki Forenza debuted in 2004, with the wagon model following in 2005. The Forenza was actually built by the Korean automaker Daewoo and rebadged as the Forenza for the American market. It was offered as a four-door sedan or wagon in a single trim level with various available packages. Standard equipment included four-wheel disc brakes, air-conditioning, front seat side airbags, full power accessories and a CD/MP3 stereo with steering-wheel controls. Notably, ABS was an extra-cost option.
The Forenza was powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 127 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. This engine performed adequately with the manual transmission but felt burdened and underpowered when saddled with the four-speed automatic. To make matters worse, it wasn't particularly fuel-efficient or refined, either.
The Forenza's cabin was something of a mixed bag, too. It was spacious, with lots of stylish metallic accents, but this was offset by inconsistent materials quality and an overall lack of refinement and quality compared with class leaders. If you can get past that, there was lots of rear legroom for adults and a 60/40-split-folding seatback for extra utility. The sedan provided 12 cubic feet of trunk capacity, with the wagon offering nearly 62 cubic feet of space with the rear seat folded.
On the road, the Suzuki Forenza exhibited soft, rubbery handling and a poor ride quality compared with its competitors, as well as excessive wind noise on the highway. Although it was compliant enough, it exhibited little suspension control over bumps and ruts. Handling around corners was loose and unsure, with excessive body roll and minimal grip from the tires. When merging into traffic, automatic-equipped Forenzas accelerated weakly, and any such maneuver took some advance planning.
Changes were slight during the Suzuki Forenza's run. For 2005, side impact airbags became standard for all Forenzas. The Forenza was freshened up a bit for 2006, receiving a new front fascia, redesigned seats, new wheels and revised trim levels. Bluetooth became available for 2008.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 426.00
The ForenzGetAboutIt :( - 2006 Suzuki Forenza
By Sucker - December 16 - 4:46 am
Or, more aptly titled, the "Suzuki Piece of Junk." I bought the car in mid-May 2006. It was trouble free for roughly 600 miles. It has been in the shop consistent every month since then for no crank issues, transmission, dropping the entire subframe, plus a host of others. I already have a hefty file going on repairs, etc. There is not enough room here for all of the problems and issues involved with the car. What a farce! I just picked it up from the last go around. The shop had it for a month and the car is still not fixed. I would very strongly recommend checking out other comparable vehicles in this class if you actually want to own a new car that runs and is reliable. It looks pretty, but mechanically I give it a rating of zero on a scale of 1 to 10.
Not a Good Car - 2007 Suzuki Forenza
By Matt - December 7 - 12:03 am
I bought this car used with 13K miles on it. Now I have 29K and I am really beginning to hate it. In the last year I have replaced 3 door handles, 2 sensors for oil pressure, and the tachometer just quit working. My overall thought on the car, it was a good attempt but it stinks. If you are looking into buying a car like this, my best advise to you would be dont buy it. P.S. Tires are ridiculously hard to find and are very expensive!
Stay away from this car - 2006 Suzuki Forenza
By nick131 - November 26 - 10:11 am
This is the worst car i have ever purchased. The transmission control module had to be replaced every 6 months. Loud engine. I bought the car with 6000 miles and at 30k miles head gasket went out. Struts had to be replaced 3 times. So last week i decided to sell it for only 1000 dollars. I lost 8000 dollars but i am so happy to get rid of that piece of junk. Suzuki makes motorcycles NOT cars. Please do not spend your hard earned money on a Suzuki. Good luck finding a dealer for parts, they all closed their doors.
Completely Dissatisfied - 2006 Suzuki Forenza
By HORRIBLE CAR! - November 19 - 2:00 am
My Forenza has been nothing short of a nightmare. I have had to take it into the dealership 4 different times for the same transmission problem not to mention a brake light switch burning out. My computer panel falling out of its brackets leaving it dangling by my feet, my rear view mirror coming out of its mount, and having both the passenger and driver side door handles complete snap off. I only have approximately 45,500 miles on my car, and I have had to put up with all of these problems. The warranty is great, but when you have to take the car into the dealership at least once every four months, it's not worth it. I am definitely trading it in for something that is not a piece of crap.
good car - 2004 Suzuki Forenza
By beauttafly23 - November 11 - 10:00 am
I like the car.....its really nice
Competent, but uninspiring - 2005 Suzuki Forenza
By aposak - October 30 - 10:34 pm
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.
Smile 'cause it's cheap! - 2006 Suzuki Forenza
By scott777 - October 19 - 10:50 pm
People that complain about this car need to either remember they got a great deal on it, or they need to negotiate better next time they purchase. I believe that Suzukis in general are "decent" cars, not at the same level of say Toyota or Honda, but same or perhaps better than American "small" cars. I was in the market for a Corola, but found the price too high. I paid at least 20% less, so I can live with the compromises. I purchased a fully loaded 5-speed and enjoy the performance once I get out of 2nd gear. The "get up an go" from a dead stop is too slow and so is the 1st to 2nd gear shift, once you're shifting out of 2nd it's a rocket! Gas mileage is unacceptably low (22-26mpg).
Wonderful Little Wagon - 2005 Suzuki Forenza
By kc5yti - October 17 - 9:46 am
Our third Suzuki. I have grown to love them since I bought the 2002 XL-7 that I still have now. Now we have replaced our 2002 Vitara with the Forenza Wagon. My wife drives it most of the time, and loves it. It has been on several long trips and fuel economy averages 26mpg. 22-26 city and 29-34 on the highway. The styling is great. The seats are confortable, and the back seat has plenty of room for our 3 kids. It nearly has the same amount of cargo space as my XL-7, but with better fuel econ. BTW, lookunder the cargo platform in the back, and you will find a spare and more storage space. Amazing. Bravo Suzuki
Excellent Vehicle!! - 2007 Suzuki Forenza
By Kelly - October 13 - 10:26 pm
My boyfriend and I bought our Suzuki Forenza about a week ago and I love it! Although ours is a 2008, it's still similiar to the 2007. It's a great vehicle. The exterior design of the car is excellent, and the interior has more than enough room. We have two small children and we are both still young ourselves, so the exterior and interior fit our needs very well. It's a great vehicle and I would recommend it to anyone!
Two Forenza family - 2005 Suzuki Forenza
By tedrik - October 11 - 1:46 am
I am writing this review for my wife who was smarter than me and bought a 2005 Forenza LX for less than my 2006! Oh, well -Suzuki had better discounts on its closeouts! Anyway, the car rides and handles like a larger sedan - it is very quiet with and attractive design in and out. it has a great sound system that is usually an option in higher priced cars (140 watt CD / Cassette system). I am totally happy with my purchase.