The Suzuki Forenza is a compact sedan that debuted in the United States in 2004. A Suzuki Forenza Wagon body style is also available. The vehicle is a rebadged version of the Daewoo Lacetti, which is available internationally. Vehicles that the Forenza directly competes with include the Hyundai Elantra, Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic. Due to lukewarm sales figures, the Suzuki Forenza was discontinued after the 2008 model year.
Suzuki intended the Forenza to be a value-oriented, low-cost alternative to more popular compact sedans. The exterior and interior of the vehicle reflects this with a variety of economical design choices. The body style is on the conservative side, but differentiates itself from other vehicles with a European-inspired design. Dimensions for the vehicle include a length of 177.2 inches, width of 67.9 inches and a height of 56.9 inches.
For a compact car, the Forenza's design affords quite a bit of interior cabin space. The vehicle boasts class-leading backseat legroom and accommodates up to five passengers. Surrounding the cabin inhabitants are silver plastic details that are intended to dress up the interior. However, low-quality shiny plastic dominates the dashboard. Total cargo room is decent for the vehicle class, with a total of 12.4 cubic feet of trunk storage. With the backseat folded down, storage increases to 62 cubic feet.
Suzuki Forenza Packages
The Suzuki Forenza sedan is available in one trim level and three packages – base, Convenience and Popular. The base Forenza features a good amount of standard features, including air conditioning, driver's seat height and lumbar adjustment, tilt steering wheel, split folding rear seat, power windows and locks, heated mirrors, rear defogger and stereo system with CD/MP3 player. The Convenience package makes minimal upgrades in the form of cruise control, steering wheel radio controls and remote keyless entry. The Popular package completes the lineup with a power sunroof and fog lights.
Suzuki Forenza Performance
The Forenza's focus on value results in mediocre vehicle performance. The sedan comes with one engine option – a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that delivers 127 horsepower and 131 lb-ft. of torque. Buyers can match this engine to a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic. The 5-speed manual provides EPA estimated fuel efficiency of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The 4-speed automatic offers 19 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. In test drives, reviewers repeatedly chastised the ride quality of the Forenza, noting such issues as high wind noise, sloppy suspension and poor handling.
Suzuki Forenza Safety
All Suzuki Forenza models come standard with dual front airbags, front side air bags, disc brakes and daytime running lights. Antilock brakes are available as an optional upgrade. This limited arrangement of safety features places the Forenza towards the bottom of the line for crash tests results in its vehicle class. The sedan failed to garner a single 5-star rating from the NHTSA, instead earning four stars across all categories.