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2005 Suzuki Reno

$1,245 — $5,393 USED
Hatchback
5 Seats
26 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 3 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?
(4.2) 5 reviews

The Good

  • Standard features
  • Generous warranty
  • Roadholding
  • Driver's seat height adjustment
  • Four-wheel disc brakes

The Bad

  • Fuel economy
  • Acceleration
  • Rear visibility
  • Body roll
  • Shifter feel

What to Know

about the 2005 Suzuki Reno
  • Styling by Italdesign
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • Five-speed manual
  • Four-speed automatic option
  • Antilock brakes option

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Watch MotorWeek on PBS. Check your local listings for time and channel.

by Joe Wiesenfelder - Car enthusiast magazines are quick to point out — with now-it-can-be-told delight — that the Reno, from Japanese Suzuki, is actually assembled in South Korea. Scandal! Further, it's a product of General Motors and Daewoo. Gasp! It even has a GM engine from Australia. Shazam!

OK, so the Reno is an international puzzle. That alone would be a bad reason to dislike a vehicle. Sad to say, for the Reno there are some very good ones.

Puzzler No. 1 is the Reno's fuel economy, an EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg in city/highway driving. The table compares fuel economy among the Reno and several other small four-door hatchbacks, aka five-doors.

EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy (city/highway, mpg)*
In order of efficiency, best to worst
Toyota Matrix30/36
Ford Focus ZX526/35
Hyundai Elantra27/34
Kia Spectra525/33
Mazda Mazda325/32
Kia Rio Cinco (tie)25/31
Suzuki Aerio (tie)25/31
Suzuki Reno22/30
*All vehicles are five-doors equipped with manual transmissions

Note that even Suzuki's own Aerio, a larger vehicle, has better fuel economy. Oftentimes when a car is less efficient than others in its class, the upside is faster acceleration. Unfortunately, that's not the case here. I evaluated a Reno with the standard five-speed-manual transmission, and its power was merely decent. The engine is smooth and the torque is well distributed across the engine's rev range. If only there were more of it. ...

The gearshift lever is longish in both height and throw, and a little rubbery. The ride q...
by Joe Wiesenfelder - Car enthusiast magazines are quick to point out — with now-it-can-be-told delight — that the Reno, from Japanese Suzuki, is actually assembled in South Korea. Scandal! Further, it's a product of General Motors and Daewoo. Gasp! It even has a GM engine from Australia. Shazam!

OK, so the Reno is an international puzzle. That alone would be a bad reason to dislike a vehicle. Sad to say, for the Reno there are some very good ones.

Puzzler No. 1 is the Reno's fuel economy, an EPA-estimated 22/30 mpg in city/highway driving. The table compares fuel economy among the Reno and several other small four-door hatchbacks, aka five-doors.

EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy (city/highway, mpg)*
In order of efficiency, best to worst
Toyota Matrix30/36
Ford Focus ZX526/35
Hyundai Elantra27/34
Kia Spectra525/33
Mazda Mazda325/32
Kia Rio Cinco (tie)25/31
Suzuki Aerio (tie)25/31
Suzuki Reno22/30
*All vehicles are five-doors equipped with manual transmissions

Note that even Suzuki's own Aerio, a larger vehicle, has better fuel economy. Oftentimes when a car is less efficient than others in its class, the upside is faster acceleration. Unfortunately, that's not the case here. I evaluated a Reno with the standard five-speed-manual transmission, and its power was merely decent. The engine is smooth and the torque is well distributed across the engine's rev range. If only there were more of it. ...

The gearshift lever is longish in both height and throw, and a little rubbery. The ride quality is so-so. The car's steering is well executed and roadholding is rather good, though it exhibits a good deal of body roll. Standard four-wheel disc brakes are a bonus in this class. ABS is an option, kindly available a la carte for $500.

The interior isn't bad at all. The ubiquitous faux-aluminum trim is present and inoffensive. The driver's seat has standard cushion-height adjustments, which is good, but the visibility to the rear isn't great due to a chunky D-pillar and a high belt line.

The slope of the roof makes backseat ingress an exercise in caution for tall folks, but they'll be surprised at the room once inside. Headroom is good and legroom is decent, though I found my knees raised more than I'd like by the height of the floor. There's a center floor hump, but it's not very high by today's standards.

The shape of the Reno's rear end makes its cargo volume smaller than average behind the rear seats, but with the standard 60/40-split, folding backrests lowered, the maximum cargo capacity is more competitive. Just as important, the seats fold in one easy step, requiring no cushion flip or head restraint removal.

The Reno's best attributes are probably its list of standard features and its generous warranty: a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty that is deductible-free and stays with the car if it's sold. The bumper-to-bumper coverage is for 3 years/36,000 miles. Also included is three-year roadside assistance coverage and a courtesy vehicle program.

Hatchbacks might not get the respect in this country that they get in Europe and Asia, but the number of models on the market suggests the tide is turning.

Or is it? Does an increase in the number of hatchbacks on the market suggest acceptance? Five-doors such as the Pontiac Vibe, Scion xA, Subaru Impreza and Toyota Matrix seem to appeal to younger buyers. Dodge plans to replace the Neon model exclusively with a five-door, and Chevrolet already sells a five-door version of its midsize Malibu, called the Malibu Maxx. Among affordable compact and subcompact cars, hatchback versions of the Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, and Kia Rio and Spectra are holding their own. In this increasingly crowded field of what isn't exactly an enthusiastically embraced body style, the obvious question is, do we really need another one? More to the point, do we need the Reno?

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Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.2
5 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(3.6)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(3.6)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.8)
(4.0)

Hitting the 100,000 mile mark soon...

by bz from PA on June 16, 2011

I bought this car new, but in '06. It rides great. I drive an hour to work 5 days a week in all types of PA weather. My gas mileage is only 25 mpg though. I have close to 99,000 miles on it. It was in ... Read full review

(5.0)

Great little car for the price

by Working Lady in California from Palm Springs, CA on July 30, 2010

I bought the car new & now have 45,000 miles on it. Dealership has been excellent. Handled a recall with no problem. Only in for oil changes & replaced engine belt. Heat in the Desert is murder on ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2005 Suzuki Reno currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2005 Suzuki Reno has not been tested.

Latest 2005 Reno Stories

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All Model Years for the Suzuki Reno

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Reno received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker