Introduced early in 2004, Suzuki's premium compact sedan actually began its life as a Daewoo vehicle. Like the company's midsize Verona sedan, the Forenza is a product of General Motors' investment in the bankrupt Daewoo organization of South Korea. GM owns a stake in Suzuki.
Both the Forenza and Verona target value-oriented buyers. Three Forenza trim levels are available: base S, midrange LX and upscale EX.
The Forenza was partially designed by Pininfarina, and its 2.0-liter four-cylinder is rated at 126 horsepower. Rivals include the Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla.
For 2005, seat-mounted side-impact airbags are installed in all models. A Forenza Wagon joined the sedan for the 2005 model year.
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Suzuki touts the Forenza's "gracefully curved roofline and uniquely free-flowing silhouette," noting that it provides maximum visibility. European-style dual cylindrical halogen headlights are complemented by clear, oversized taillamps, and the side molding is color-keyed.
Speed-sensitive power steering and all-disc brakes are installed. Fog lamps and a power tilt-and-slide sunroof are standard on LX and EX models. Measuring 177.2 inches long overall, the Forenza rides a 102.4-inch wheelbase and stands 56.9 inches tall. Steel or aluminum wheels hold 15-inch tires.
Up to five occupants can fit inside the Forenza. The instruments are rimmed with metallic silver accents, and the panel emits a jade-green glow for night driving. Equipped with three head restraints, the 60/40-split rear seats fold flat.
Height and lumbar support adjustments for the driver and a tilt steering wheel are included. The padded front center armrest contains a storage compartment.
Standard features include heated mirrors, and power windows and locks. A standard in-dash cassette/CD stereo system includes eight speakers, and the steering wheel has integrated stereo controls. Uplevel editions have a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshift knob, remote keyless entry and an anti-theft device. The EX features leather seating surfaces. Trunk space totals 12.4 cubic feet.
Under the Hood
The Forenza's 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 126 hp at 5,600 rpm and 131 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. A five-speed-manual or four-speed-automatic transmission can be installed.
Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are optional on uplevel models. Side-impact airbags are standard. Each rear occupant gets a three-point seat belt. �
Late in 2004, a Forenza Wagon joined the original sedan in Suzuki's lineup. Like the sedan, the new wagon uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that develops 126 hp and 131 pounds-feet of torque.
All-disc brakes, side-impact airbags, air conditioning, an eight-speaker cassette/CD stereo and a 60/40-split folding rear seat are standard. Upper trim levels have a sunroof, alloy wheels, remote keyless entry and fog lamps. Leather-trimmed upholstery goes into the EX wagon.
Except for a couple of ergonomic annoyances, including the steering-wheel radio controls, the Forenza Wagon is enjoyable to drive. Performance with the automatic transmission is satisfactory � even a bit spirited � though acceleration yields typical small-car engine blare.
Ride comfort is quite nice and generally smooth � even in the city � with few unpleasant motions. Steering and handling are typical compact-car, but visibility is excellent. The seats are comfortable, and there's plenty of space in front. Backseat room isn't bad, either. Cargo space is ample, and items are easy to load. Back to top