The Suzuki Esteem made its debut in 1995, but after two years on the road, it is still struggling to gain a foothold in the market. While this economical sedan is well equipped and stylish enough, its price tag is better fitted to a car much higher up on the ladder than the modest Esteem. This imbalance has kept it from finding its place on America’s highways. Yet apart from the price, there’s really nothing not to like about the car itself. The engine is strong enough for its size, and plenty of features are offered at both of the two trim levels. In this day and age, however, there are simply too many other well-performing, economically priced small sedans on the market for the Suzuki Esteem to truly warrant a look.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Suzuki Esteem GL, Suzuki Esteem GLX
The 1997 Suzuki Esteem does not carry over any noteworthy changes.
The 1997 Suzuki Esteem is cute and well designed, if not exceptionally different from other cars in its class. Standard exterior equipment includes a rear window defroster, intermittent windshield wipers, and daytime running lights. The upgraded GLX trim also provides power exterior mirrors.
The 1997 Esteem’s cabin is comfortable enough and very roomy. The GL trim comes with air-conditioning, a fold-down rear seat, cloth seating, and AM/FM/cassette audio system. The upgraded GLX provides an improved cassette stereo, power windows, a split-folding rear seat, tachometer, and bigger tires. An optional ABS package, including cruise control, is also available for the GLX model.
Performance & Handling
The 1997 Suzuki Esteem's 1.6-liter, inline-four engine is rated at just 98 horsepower and can hardly be called powerful. For a car of this ranking, however, it does just fine. The machine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission, while a four-speed automatic is also optional. Smaller bumps in the pavement are masked by the Esteem’s four-wheel independent suspension.
Inside the 1997 Suzuki Esteem, airbags are included for the driver and front passenger seats, though no side or rear airbags are available. Child safety door locks are provided on both models. A four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) is also available as an option with the GLX.
EPA Fuel Economy
Suzuki Esteem GL manual transmission: 26/34 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Esteem GL automatic transmission: 23/31 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Esteem GLX manual transmission: 26/34 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Esteem GLX automatic transmission: 23/31 mpg city/highway
- Good fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Pricey for an entry-level economy sedan
Not the best bang for the buck.
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