The 2008 Suzuki Forenza serves as a prime example of the cheaply built car made for mass production. The Suzuki Forenza is the disposable paper cup of cars: cheaply made, available in abundance, and easy to discard once finished.
This may be a bit harsh, the Forenza classifies as an economy vehicle, but it offers little to love, especially when you compare it to other economy vehicles in its class that offer so much more.
Suzuki has tried hard to make the Forenza stand out. It has a great warranty, and the Italian design house Pininfarina, the same house that designed the Maserati Gran Turismo and Ferrari vehicles, handles the styling.
However, the Forenza still fails to elicit any excitement.
Body Styles: compact sedan, wagon
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Suzuki Forenza sedan, Suzuki Forenza wagon
The 2008 Suzuki Forenza shows very few changes from the previous year. Chrome enhances the inside of the door handles. Bluetooth connectivity also becomes available this year.
The 2008 Suzuki Forenza comes as a compact sedan or wagon. The exterior styling looks a bit bland, especially considering the design house that makes it. The Forenza looks more like a vehicle from the 1990s than something from 2008. Exterior standard features include 15-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, and daytime running lights. A Popular Package also adds fog lamps and a sunroof.
The interior of the 2008 Suzuki Forenza fails to illicit excitement. It displays an ocean of cheap plastic. Not only that, the plastic feels poorly put together, adding a brittle feel to the cabin. Other economy vehicles in this class offer significantly better interior design.
There is a ray of sunshine in the rear of the vehicle however. The back seat provides plenty of legroom for passengers. The 60/40-split back seat provides a lot of storage space. The trunk alone offers 12.4 cubic feet and cargo space totals 62 cubic feet.
Standard features in the Forenza include a height-adjustable driver’s seat, air-conditioning, power accessories, and an eight-speaker stereo system with a CD player. The optional Convenience Package adds cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls, and a remote keyless entry system. Bluetooth provides a dealer-installed option, but it costs a bit too much.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Forenza comes equipped with a two-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 127 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque. The engine performs best when mated with the five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic transmission also provides an option, but it slows the Forenza down considerably. For a small engine and a light vehicle, the engine does not get great fuel economy. In fact, the 2008 Suzuki Forenza uses more fuel than the average economy vehicle.
The Forenza drives well for an economy vehicle, keeping up in traffic with little difficulty, unless it uses the four-speed automatic transmission. The automatic causes significant power loss, requiring you to think ahead when passing on the freeway. The suspension and ride quality of the 2008 Suzuki Forenza also falls below average when compared to other economy vehicles in the same class. It handles fine as long as you don’t ride over any large bumps in the road. When you do, the steering loses all its manners, sending you whipping into other lanes. Handling when turning corners also makes for a hairy endeavour.
Bringing all the faults to a head is the poor safety equipment installed in the 2008 Suzuki Forenza. The Forenza offers front side-impact airbags and four-wheel disc brakes. Anti-lock brakes remain optional with the Convenience Package.
The 2008 Suzuki Forenza does not perform well in crash tests. Although it earns four out of five stars for frontal impacts from the NHTSA, the IIHS gives it an “Acceptable"" score for front impacts–its second best–and “Poor"" for side impacts–its worst score. Safety needs a bit of work, especially if you have a family.
EPA Fuel Economy
Suzuki Forenza sedan: 20/28 mpg city/highway
Suzuki Forenza wagon: 19/27 mpg city/highway
- Large cabin area
- Sedan and wagon body styles
You Won't Like
- Mediocre fuel economy
- Poor acceleration
- Weak automatic transmission
- Bad crash test scores
An economy vehicle that doesn’t hold up in a flooded economy vehicle market.
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