If there is one thing that Suzuki does not do very well, it is economy vehicles. Somewhere, engineers think that economy means you can throw refinement right out the window. The 2008 Suzuki Reno demonstrates this.
Although the 2008 Suzuki Reno might look like it could be a contender with its long list of standard features, its long warranty, and one of the more powerful economy engines on the market, it has plenty of faults that more than negate the qualities of the vehicle. The performance remains mediocre, with poor fuel economy, and the safety features are a big (and dangerous) let down.
Although you may be tempted to purchase the 2008 Suzuki Reno because of its rock-bottom price, try out some of the competition and compare performance before making a purchase.
Body Styles: economy four-door hatchback
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Suzuki Reno
The 2008 Suzuki Reno makes few changes for this model year. Adding to the low quality of this vehicle, Suzuki downgrades the eight-speaker audio system to a four-speaker stereo.
The 2008 Suzuki Reno classifies as a compact, four-door wagon. Styling of the Reno looks, to put it mildly, uninspiring. The Reno has a silhouette like a vehicle from the 1990s. Very little elicits excitement. Standard features include 15-inch steel wheels, power and heated mirrors, a rear defogger, a rear window wiper, and daytime running lights. The Convenience Package adds a security alarm along with a couple of extra interior features.
The interior of the 2008 Suzuki Reno shows where the engineering team tries to make things a bit more interesting. The gauges have a funky design surrounded by metallic accents. These accents run along the dash. However, a lot of cheap plastic ruins the appearance of the interior.
The abundance of storage areas makes up for this slightly. It includes several storage compartments scattered around the cabin. The driver’s seat has a lot of adjustments, making it very comfortable. The back of the Reno provides a lot of space for passengers to stretch their legs and enjoy the ride. Also, a fold-down armrest provides some extra comfort. Cargo area in the back with the seats up totals nine cubic feet. With the seats folded down, the hatchback offers a very competitive 45 cubic feet of cargo space.
However, the Reno includes very few standard features. Standards include an air-conditioner with cabin air filtration, a tilt steering wheel, full power accessories, and a four-speaker stereo system, downgraded from eight speakers.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Reno comes with one engine option, a two-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 127 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque. This is actually one of the most powerful engines on the market for economy vehicles. With the five-speed manual transmission the 2008 Suzuki Reno handles itself quite well on the road. However, when the engine pairs with the four-speed automatic, the acceleration suffers immensely. The Reno shares this problem with the Suzuki Forenza. Also, like the Forenza, the engine has poor fuel economy for its class.
On the road, and paired with the five-speed manual, the 2008 Suzuki Reno passes on the freeway without too much effort. When paired with the four-speed, the Reno struggles to get up to speed. Ride quality is also lacking when compared with other hatchbacks on the market. The suspension feels butter soft and does not take kindly to any type of road abnormality. In turns, the Reno experiences excessive body roll, and don’t expect to go into a turn at full speed with the thin, cheap tires equipped on the 15-inch steel wheels. The four-wheel disc brakes provide a treat however, bringing the Reno to a stop with little effort.
The 2008 Suzuki Reno comes with front side-impact airbags and standard four-wheel disc brakes. Anti-lock brakes remain optional, unfortunately. Other safety equipment includes child seat anchors, headrests for four passengers and the driver, front seat belt pretensioners, and tire-pressure monitoring. The NHTSA gives the 2008 Suzuki Reno four out of five stars across the board for front, side, and rollover accidents. The IIHS awards the 2008 Suzuki Reno a score of “Acceptable""–its second best–for frontal-offset impacts and a rating of “Poor""–its worst–for rear collisions.
EPA Fuel Economy
Suzuki Reno: 20/28 mpg city/highway
- Lots of standard equipment
- Seven-year warranty
- Lots of storage space
- Hatchback design
You Won't Like
- Poor engine performance
- Bad handling
- Poor fuel economy
- Poor-quality interior
An economy vehicle best avoided due to poor performance and inconsistent quality.
If You Like This Vehicle