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!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Suzuki Forenza Gets Thumbs Up from

Since reviews for the Suzuki Forenza are rare now that the car has been out for years without major changes, I'm always on the lookout for a review. made an unusual move of combining two different vehicles together into one review: The Forenza and the recently introduced all-wheel-drive SX4. Overall the review was positive for the Forenza, not so much for the SX4. Here are some noteworthy quotes:

"Suzukis are popular vehicles in the Hispanic market."

"The Forenza comes through with what seems like oceans of legroom. That and a surprisingly smooth ride lets the Forenza travel long distances in relative comfort."

"SX4 lack cruise control and that's good. It's not a highway cruiser. It's a city commuter with scant inside room. The driver and passenger are very cozy and the backseat offers less room."

"Like SX4, the Forenza also serves plenty of notice if it's driven too hard into curves. Yet it feels livelier in traffic than the 10.5 seconds 0-60 would indicate."

One complaint about the Forenza from the article that I agree with is the lack of ABS standard. This can be forgiven somewhat since the Forenza has disc brakes all around. But the problem is not just that it isn't standard equipment, its that the Forenza can't be ordered with ABS in conjunction with any other package, apparently. To get ABS you have to get a base Forenza, forego the cruise control and other Convenience Package & Popular Package luxuries, and get ABS as a rather pricey separate option. Its a bit bizarre - like ABS cannot coexist with some of the other options for some reason.

That said, I've driven plenty of cars without ABS and never thought a thing of it. And all of them had rear drum brakes. With the Forenza you get so much standard that something like this really stands out, perhaps more than it should. I'm thinking that it's not going to matter in the end, from the mouths of Forenza owners at who say they've never felt their Forenzas were unsafe during hard braking.

But back to the review. Anyway, its good to see the Forenza still winning kudos after having been on the market for so long. KIA and Hyundai are now offering some stiff competition, however, and aside from the still very affordable "long" wagon (as opposed to the hatchbacks some companies are passing off as "wagons" these days) the Forenza is due for an update to stay in the game.

Forenza sales were down recently after carrying Suzuki's sales for some years now, and are not setting the kinds of records they were before, and I can only think that this is due to the new product from KIA/Hyundai. Unfortunately for Suzuki, as this review shows, the SX4 while new is not a good "replacement" for the Forenza, and I fear the SX4 sedan will also be more of an Aerio replacement.

It will be interesting to see how the Forenza fares in the months and years to come, and whether or not it will get any upgrades from GM Daewoo.

Source for full article/review

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