By KBB.com Editors
The compact Suzuki Forenza offers a high level of standard equipment, a low base price and a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Though not as refined or fuel-efficient as the more expensive models from Honda and Nissan, the Forenza is certainly capable of taking on challengers from Hyundai and Kia. With an exterior penned by the famed Pininfarina Design Studio, the Forenza holds a certain European flair considered attractive by many buyers. Although quality and reliability reports appear favorable, the low-cost Forenza still lags behind its peers in offering such safety features as side-curtain airbags, as well as traction and stability control.
If you're looking for an alternative to the higher-priced Japanese imports, as well as a hint of European flavoring both inside and out, the Forenza deserves a good look. Add a seven-year/100,000-mile transferable warranty and the Forenza becomes a penny-pincher's joy.
If you're looking for the latest safety and stability-control advances, the Forenza doesn't offer them. The Forenza's resale values fall far from the marks set by Honda and Toyota, and its 2.0-liter engine is not as refined or powerful as most in this class.
No major changes for 2007
Driving Impressions The Forenza feels fairly solid on the road, with good steering response and a smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission. The 2.0-liter engine is not big on power, but if it's just...you and one other person onboard, the Forenza's acceleration should be enough to get you down the highway and around traffic.
Color-Keyed Heated Exterior Mirrors
The Forenza's standard heated mirrors are rare in this price range.
Attractive Metal Trim Dash
Attractive brushed-metal trim and steering wheel-mounted controls are standard.
Quality plastics, tasteful trim and large legible gauges highlight the Forenza's handsome interior. Little touches, such as the double-seam stitching running along the armrest, show an attention to detail not found in other compact cars. We were impressed by the long list of standard features, which included a height-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar support, a nice audio system capable of reading an MP3-encoded CD and a relatively comfortable rear seat. Interior sound levels were lower than expected, adding a quality feel to the Forenza when cruising at highway speeds.Exterior
The Forenza looks as though it might be a new Italian import rather than a Japanese entry-level car. The Forenza's stylish exterior was designed in Italy, which explains the strength of the design as seen in the pronounced wheel arches, curved rear pillar and short deck. Color is an important factor in bringing out the car's design. It was our observation that, in white and silver, the Forenza appears rather generic but, in red, blue and green, it truly stands out.
The Forenza features a 2.0-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes, front side-impact airbags, rear defroster, dual heated power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player and eight speakers, power windows, power door locks, tilt steering wheel, split-folding rear seat, variable wipers, rear window wiper/washer (wagon) and full wheel covers. The Convenience Package adds cruise control and remote keyless entry with alarm, while the Popular Package adds a power sunroof.
The only available options are an automatic transmission and anti-lock brakes; oddly, the anti-lock brakes are available only on the base model.
The Forenza's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is not the smoothest engine we've experienced, nor is it very powerful. There is some vibration upon hard acceleration and better fuel economy might be expected from an engine this size.
2.0-liter in-line 4
127 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
131 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 (manual sedan), 22/31 (automatic sedan), 22/30 (manual wagon), 21/30 (automatic wagon)
By Tansy on Thursday, March 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,018overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "reliable, good looking"
Cons: "It has no gps but most people use their phones.."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had my car for almost ten years now and since I work from home, I have low mileage. But this car rides smoothly and has only had a battery change in all this time. I love the design and it is large enough for comfort. It has a cargo rack on top and the back can be let down to accommodate long and large packages. I usually keep my cars for twenty years and it looks like this will be just fine for another eleven years. I would recommend this car to anyone."
By lucky12 on Wednesday, March 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,812overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handles good in speed and curves"
Cons: "Not enough tech and under valued"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have bought this car when it had already 93,000 miles on it. It sounded a bit rough from the start, but I was able to have it back to good running order. I didnt replace a whole lot of mechanical parts other than the gasket seal and the transmission switch control. I like this car and I feel it is really under estimated from the value that most of these companies take it for. It rides real nice on curves because of its smaller design and handles really easy on the steering wheel when you go at least 90mph which I tried a few times. It does have a little bit of a lag when you go from 0-60..which for me, it takes 18 seconds but onces it gets pass 40 it takes off. I feel you would get more for your money if you buy this type of car than buying a brand that has ads all over the net and TV because I personally feel cars that are not well known from ads, are the best kept secret to own because they do not cost as much as a car that is too well known and that gives the company a way to jack up the price because everyone wants it. Overall, i feel this car is worth the money if you keep it up like any other car. Just only put Shell or Chevron Supreme gas, dont make it a habit of going over 70mph, and give it its daily tune up with higher graded stuff like Double plated spark plugs, Castrol GTX Oil, and K&N Air Filter. This is a fun car to drive with curves, no shaking of the steering wheel when hitting high speeds, and it does have enough leg room. Im 5ft 10 inches, and im able to lay my leg out comfortably. I would prefer this car to someone that is looking to down size, but wants a car to have fun in. I do think they could have done better job with the driver seat with power seats. It also has bucket seats which makes it a climb getting out because when you do sit in the car, it feel comfortable like your laying down."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By KB on Thursday, October 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I love my Suzuki. It is a zippy little station Wagon that had done me well. It gets decent gas mileage, can carry my drum set around, and is super comfortable. I have an hour drive to work and it is a great car to be in for the drive. We have had to use our extended warranty a couple of times for some minor mechanical problems."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By David on Thursday, September 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of convenient options are standard."
Cons: "A little gutless when AC is on."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Have it since new, Not one problem yet. I've got the manual transmission version. I'm amazed how good it's been. Sad Suzuki is pulling out the U.S. market, parts may be a problem in the future."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By J4 on Monday, August 12, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive"
Cons: "City mpg is not the greatest."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Great car especially for trips. It has a smaller tank for gas, so it is relatively cheaper to fill. Great mpg as well. Keep it clean under the hood and it will last for years."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Billabong on Thursday, August 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Cons: "all the above.."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Front end destroyed. Multiple problems with transmition. Exost leak on block. sheered off bolts on manfold and need to remove the block to fix. Not cost effective for repair. Better to trade in or sell and get a new car."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful