to find more vehicles in the stable of Suzuki as this automaker from Japan embarks
on a five-year mission to triple sales in the American market. Once
regarded as the builder of itsy-bitsy economy cars fitted with tepid powerplants,
Suzuki in recent years has focused on a trio of sport-utility wagons plus a subcompact
called Aerio in conventional sedan and unconventional four-door hatchback format.
for 2004 Suzuki rolls out a curvy new four-door sedan featuring sensuous Italian
styling points and standard V6 powertrain. Named Verona, after the Italian city
where Romeo once courted Juliet, the new sedan for the mid-size class will become
the flagship for Suzuki's fleet.
will be joined by another new sedan, this one
of compact dimensions, called the Forenza. It
too shows Italian influence in curvy sheetmetal
surfaces and premium appointments for three well-equipped
trim variations. For Aerio a stronger four-cylinder
engine drops into both the sedan and crossover
wagon, while the sedan also earns more standard
three of Suzuki's sport-utility vehicles - Vitara,
Grand Vitara and XL-7 - appear in 2004 editions
with changes in trim designations, new cabin fixtures
and more equipment available. The XL-7 gains a
new five-speed automatic transmission and push-button
operation of the four-wheel-drive (4WD) system,
with four trim levels including two with third-row
seat in place.
Vitara with V6 power comes in the well-equipped LX trim and loaded EX, and both
are available with two-wheel-drive (2WD) or 4WD traction and the option of a new
power tilt-and-slide sunroof. Vitara Four-Door gets a power boost from a V6 engine
and switches the nameplate to Vitara V6 as a reflection of that change, but Suzuki's
Vitara Two-Door soft-top rig fades away.
front-wheel-drive (FWD) flagship sedan from Suzuki fits in the mid-size class
and supports a spacious five-seat passenger compartment loaded with luxury features.
an Italian name, Verona shows sleek exterior styling in the manner of premium
European touring sedans with foglamps in the front bumper and twin-light halogen
headlamps on the prow. Sensuous body sculpting was developed by Italdesign of
Italy, while Porsche of Germany contributed to the design of the aluminum in-line
six-cylinder engine, which has dual overhead cams and a 2.5-liter displacement.
It produces 155 hp and mates with a four-speed adaptive automatic transmission
with step-gate shifter.
has three trims -- S, LX and EX -- with features
building to the level of a luxury car. Standard
equipment includes air conditioning, power windows
and door locks, a keyless entry system and cruise
control, plus in-dash CD and cassette decks with
list of options extends to an automatic climate
system, leather seat upholstery, a power tilt-and-slide
sunroof, four-wheel anti-lock brake system (ABS)
with traction control system (TCS), eight-way
power controls for the driver's bucket and 16-inch
aluminum alloy wheels.
our Review: Suzuki
new FWD sedan from Suzuki fits into the compact class and brings premium equipment.
It carries an international pedigree with exterior styling from Italy and assembly
in South Korea from GM Daewoo Auto and Technology (GMDAT).
comes from a twin-cam 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that achieves 119 hp and
teams with a five-speed manual or four-speed-automatic transmission. Three trim
levels -- S, LX, EX -- increase the equipment load in stages. All contain standard
gear like four-wheel disc brakes, speed-sensitive power steering, heated exterior
mirrors, a tilt steering wheel, air conditioning, power windows and door locks,
plus a stereo AM/FM radio with CD player and eight speakers.
adds such options as a power tilt-and-slide sunroof, aluminum alloy wheels, four-wheel
ABS, fog lamps, leather upholstery and cruise control.
subcompact series provides an interior package where so much space has been carved
out of such a little car. Both sedan and hatchback share a chassis, powertrain
and mechanical hardware.
the sedan has two issues, a price-leading base model Aerio S and deluxe Aerio
GS, which has equipment that matches the sole hatchback, Aerio SX. The cabin layout
includes a pair of bucket seats up front and two bolstered seats sculpted into
a rear bench divided by a fold-down armrest.
Aerios stock a new dual-cam 2.3-liter engine that develops 155 hp. A short-stick
manual five-speed is standard for Aerio SX hatchback and Aerio S sedan, but an
electronic automatic four-speed transaxle is available on SX and GS models. In
addition, Aerio GS sedan and SX hatchback with the automatic shifter offer a version
with all-wheel-drive (AWD) for traction on slick pavement.
Beige Metallic is a new color for the sedan, but Cosmic Blue and Brilliant Yellow
shades work for the hatchback.
pint-size four-door hardtop SUV sports a new 2.5-liter V6 engine that makes 165
bumpers and fender flares with integrated mud guards also go to the one trim,
LX, which comes with 2WD or 4WD traction.
equipment extends to air conditioning and power windows/locks/mirrors, a keyless
remote entry system, tilting steering wheel and in-dash CD player.
wagon in the compact class is a deluxe treatment of the Vitara V6. It totes the
same 2.5-liter V6 but adds unique exterior dressings and interior equipment. For
2004, there are two trims, LX and EX, both in 2WD or 4WD. The latter puts a two-speed
transfer case in the four-by mechanism for shift-on-the-fly convenience when running
at highway speed.
appointments range from air conditioning with automatic climate control to power
windows and door locks and mirrors, cruise control, a CD deck in the dash with
seven speakers, and a keyless remote entry system.
largest SUV carries as many as seven riders on three rows of seats in a cabin
that stretches about a foot longer than the Grand Vitara. The exterior design
appears more sophisticated and serious, as interior appointments rise in tone
designations change for 2004 to include multiple tiers. The LX is a five-seat
version with five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission in 2WD and
4WD. LX III offers the third-row seat option to raise cabin capacity to seven
passengers. EX loads appointments in five-seat configuration, while EX III does
the same but brings the third-row option. It also stocks rear air conditioning
and side-step running boards.
for all stems from a 2.7-liter V6 that generates
INFORMATION FROM SUZUKI]