The Forenza, which targets value-oriented buyers, was partially designed by Pininfarina in Italy. Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder is rated at 127 horsepower, and rivals include the Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla.
Seat-mounted side-impact airbags were installed in all models for 2005. Fresh front-end styling, a new wheel design and a revised interior marked the 2006 Forenza. A tire pressure monitoring system and warning light were added as standard equipment for 2007, and remote keyless entry with remote trunk release was optional. For 2008, the Forenza is mostly unchanged, other than added Bluetooth connectivity in both the sedan and wagon body styles.
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Suzuki touts the Forenza's "gracefully curved roofline and uniquely free-flowing silhouette," noting that it provides maximum visibility. Clear, oversized taillamps complement European-style dual cylindrical halogen headlights, and the side molding is color-keyed.
The Forenza features pull-out door handles, and fog lamps are available. Speed-sensitive power steering and all-disc brakes are installed. 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. Trunk space totals 12.4 cubic feet.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning with micron air filtration, heated mirrors, and power windows and locks. A standard in-dash CD/MP3 stereo system includes eight speakers. Suzuki's Convenience Package adds cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, and an antitheft alarm. Suzuki's Popular Package adds front fog lamps and a power sunroof. Antilock brakes are optional.
Under the Hood
The Forenza's 2.0-liter four-cylinder produces 127 hp and 131 pounds-feet of torque. Either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission can be installed.
The Forenza is estimated to get 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution are optional. Seat-mounted 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 wagon uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that develops 127 hp and 131 pounds-feet of torque. Cargo space totals 19.3 cubic feet with both rear seats up.
All-disc brakes, side-impact airbags, roof rails, air conditioning, an eight-speaker CD/MP3 stereo system and a 60/40-split folding rear seat are standard. Wagons can be equipped with either the Convenience or Popular option package.
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 touch 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 the front. Backseat room isn't bad, either. Cargo space is ample, and items are easy to load. Back to top