The Automotive Amanojaku

This is where you'll find news, random car-related thoughts and personal views from a rabid car nut. "Amanojaku" is Japanese slang that means "person who is deliberately contradictory". I've always found myself drawn to the less appreciated car makes - the "underdogs" if you will. Suzuki, Pontiac, GM Daewoo and Holden, are among my favorite brands to watch and comment on. Let me hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

2007 Suzuki Forenza Wagon Still Looking Good, Despite some Decontenting

So I took a trip down to my local Suzuki dealer today after reading glowing reviews of the new SX4. I was fully prepared to like it.

Side by side on the dealer lot were two cobalt blue vehicles - the Forenza Wagon and a new SX4.

Unfortunately the "small station wagon" as it is called on its sticker, was just a bit TOO small. While it appeared to have ample headroom and stands a bit taller than the Forenza, the paper specs I'd read on the Forenza being larger inside were proven noticeably correct. The cargo area without the rear seats folded in the SX4 is almost non-existent. "Station wagon", indeed.

The Forenza looked huge by comparison. And the stick-shift SX4 actually gets worse highway fuel economy (not that I was looking for a stick, but still) than the Forenza Wagon automatic. The SX4 auto is supposed to get better fuel economy --- funny, I'm used to seeing that the other way around.

After a little research at regarding the Forenza Wagon, I found to my dismay that the 2006 model had more valuable features standard on some trim levels, such as ABS and standard alloy wheels than 2007 models. It seems all Forenzas come with rather obvious plastic wheel covers now that are only attractive from a distance. ABS cannot even be had as an option on higher trim packages - only on the base model now for some strange reason. At least that's according to the website, I'll check with the dealer when I order mine. On the plus side, the 2007 model has MP3 CD compatibility and a tire pressure monitor, and no doubt is a more solid vehicle after years of production now. And I did intend to order the optional SWT gunmetal wheels anyway.

Yes, I'm swinging back to my 3-year long Forenza fetish. I just love the styling, the price, and the wagon versatility that much. And if for any reason I need to sell my Bonneville, the Forenza wagon could step in and do that duty. The SX4, while a great little car, simply isn't up to the task for a family man like me. It looked like a baby seat would eat up a full half of the rear seat. And the side curtain airbags that looked so great on paper almost seem like a must have in such a small vehicle.

But given that TrueDelta shows the new Forenza as being worth 900 dollars less than the 2006 model due to lost expensive features, I'll be looking for another 500 dollars on the hood of incentives. Even if that means waiting until early Summer when incentives usually rachet up.

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