Esteem is the Suzuki Swift's bigger brother, a larger car with more interior space and more-powerful four-cylinder engines, including a new 1.8-liter. Unlike the Swift, which Suzuki shares with Chevrolet, the Esteem is exclusive to Suzuki dealers. Also unlike the Swift, which is built in Canada, the Esteem hails from Japan.
All models seat five with the usual two front buckets and a folding rear seat. Standard equipment includes some items not expected in this price range: air conditioning, a cassette player and rear defogger. GLX models add power locks, windows and mirrors.
The Esteem sedan is 166 inches long, 17 inches longer than the Swift but 9 inches shorter than the Honda Civic sedan. The Esteem also is wider than the Swift by nearly 4 inches and 4.5 inches longer in wheelbase. GLX models differ from base GL versions with standard alloy wheels and 15-inch tires instead of 14-inch. Esteem also is available as a station wagon.
Under the Hood
At the start of the model year, Esteem came with a 1.6-liter engine with 95 horsepower. Starting on Nov. 19, a new 1.8-liter with 122 horsepower became standard. Both engines are available with manual or automatic transmission.