Driving the new Suzuki Reno on dry roads was such a pleasure compared to my snowy initiation behind the wheel on Day 1. In the light of day the Suzuki is a pleasant commuter with plenty of power at high speeds even if the acceleration is pretty dismal.
I don't want to totally blast the car's performance because it doesn't match other cars we regularly test. I can't stand automotive journalists that think every car should be as fast as the WRX etc. The Reno is an economy car and that's that. Compared to the Kia Spectra I tested a few months back the Reno outdoes it in every performance category. Granted I didn't drive the new Spectra 5-door, but the sedan is the big seller and the prices are very similar.
Highway driving without slush on the roads was an extremely pleasant affair. The car is exceptionally quiet for an economy car, especially a hatchback. There was minimal road noise but there was noticeable wind howling around the windows at high speeds. I can say I reached 80 mph and only felt the car beginning to struggle around that mark. But as a highway driver it was much more capable than the Spectra, could pass other cars with more confidence and tracks better.
My main problem with the car in the driving arena is the mushy clutch. Every shift feels like I?m stirring cake mix. This is actually one tester I?d almost have preferred in automatic because of the response of the shifter. Luckily the clutch is nice and light and there is ample room for my foot when hitting the pedals. The driving position is relatively high which most buyers will appreciate, although I?m not in love with the adjustable driver?s seat on my legs.
While the handling and performance don?t measure up to more expensive economy cars like the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla XRS it does offer a lot of practicality and user friendliness for the price.