The 2000 Suzuki Esteem provides an elegantly designed but budget-friendly subcompact in sedan and wagon forms. Both versions seat five passengers, but the wagon offers a substantial boost in cargo space.
For 2000, the Suzuki Esteem comes in four four-door trims: the GL, GL 1.8, GLX, and GLX+. While well-equipped with amenities, the Esteem has trouble keeping pace with the competition in terms of performance. For families looking for an attractive and affordable alternative to the traditional wagon, however, the Esteem may warrant consideration.
Body Styles: sedan, wagon
Engines: 1.6-liter four-cylinder, 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Suzuki Esteem GL, Suzuki Esteem GL 1.8, Suzuki Esteem GLX, Suzuki Esteem GLX+
Most notably, all 2000 Suzuki Esteem models now offer a new 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine. Only one trim level, the sedan version of the GL, still comes standard with the line’s original 1.6-liter inline-four. Two paint colors, Midnight Black and Mars Red, retire from the Esteem’s palette. In their place, Suzuki adds two new shades: Cassis Red Pearl and Black Pearl.
The 2000 Suzuki Esteem appears more luxury sedan than subcompact, thanks to features such as a standard chrome-rimmed grille and elegantly curved lines. Standard exterior equipment on the base GL and the GL 1.8 includes 14-inch steel wheels, all-season tires, tinted glass, multi-reflector halogen headlamps, intermittent windshield wipers, a rear window wiper with washer, a rear window defroster, remote trunk release, and, on wagon models, integrated roof rails. The GLX and GLX+ add 15-inch alloy wheels, larger tires, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, and a keyless entry system. In addition, GLX and GLX+ can upgrade with optional two-tone paint and a power-operated sunroof.
The Suzuki Esteem measures 172.2 inches in length, 66.5 inches in width, and 55.9 inches in height. It sits on a wheelbase of 97.6 inches and reaches a ground clearance of 5.5 inches. Available exterior colors for millennial models include Black Pearl, Polar White, Silky Silver Metallic, Grove Green Metallic, Deep Space Blue Metallic, Sky Blue Metallic, and Cassis Red Pearl.
The interior of the Suzuki Esteem looks notably less elegant than the exterior. As in many small compacts, much of the cabin uses cheap-feeling, hard plastics. In addition, the Esteem’s seats and steering wheel lack the adjustment features available in many modern rivals. The 2000 Suzuki Esteem comes in one interior color scheme: a soft gray.
Standard interior equipment on the GL includes cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, a rear folding bench seat, air-conditioning, power steering, and an audio system with a cassette player. The GLX and GLX+ add a tachometer and optional cruise control.
Sedan and wagon versions of the Esteem provide front occupants with 39.1 inches of headroom, 42.3 inches of legroom, and 50.8 inches of hip room, and rear passengers get 37.2 inches of headroom, 34.1 inches of legroom, and 48.2 inches of hip room. When it comes to cargo space, the wagon offers a significant advantage. While Esteem sedans provide just 12 cubic feet of cargo space, wagons offer 24 cubic feet with seats in place and an impressive 61 cubic feet with the seats folded. Additionally, the wagon’s standard roof rack holds up to 100 pounds of cargo.
Performance & Handling
The Suzuki Esteem offers two engines. The base GL comes equipped with a standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder, producing 95 horsepower and 99 lb-ft of torque, while the GL 1.8, GLX, and GLX+ get a new 1.8-liter four-cylinder, generating 122 horses and 117 lb-ft. Both engines pair with a five-speed manual transmission, though a four-speed automatic remains available.
Opting for the larger-displacement engine provides the Esteem with significantly more pep, but still not enough to keep up with much of the competition. While the 1.8-liter inline-four accelerates well to cruising speeds, it suffers from noticeable engine noise when merging and passing. Neither transmission feels smooth, but the available automatic transmission suffers from especially rough shifts. As may be expected for a station wagon, the Esteem seems more utilitarian than sporty. Though the 2000 Suzuki Esteem maneuvers adequately during city driving, it can lose grip around tight turns. Wagon buyers interested in a more exciting driving experience may prefer a sport-oriented vehicle, such as the Subaru Legacy or Volkswagen Golf.
Standard safety equipment on the 2000 Suzuki Esteem includes dual front airbags and daytime running lights. Anti-lock brakes remain optional for GLX trims, but unavailable for the GL. Traction control and stability control do not show up in any of the models. Crash test data remains unavailable for the 2000 Esteem.
EPA Fuel Economy
Suzuki Esteem GL: 26/33 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Esteem GL 1.8: 24/32 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Esteem GLX: 24/32 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Esteem GLX+: 23/30 mpg city/highway
- Elegant design
- Available wagon
- Long list of features
You Won't Like
- Cheap-feeling cabin
- Mediocre performance
Attractive styling, but suffers from weak performance.
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