2002 Aerio New Car Test Drive
Suzuki has introduced an all-new vehicle called the Aerio. The Aerio is among the new class of crossover vehicles that are a blend between two different kinds of vehicles. Suzuki calls the Aerio SX a 'sport crossover' vehicle, a cross between a sport sedan and, well, something more versatile. A minivan? SUV? Wagon? We're not sure, but it's certainly different, much like the new Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe, and similar to the Ford Focus ZX3 and ZX5 and Mazda Protege5. Regardless of what you call these cars, they are more entertaining than a station wagon, but have similar cargo capacity.
The Suzuki Aerio comes as a sedan as well.
To a certain extent, the Aerio is Suzuki's replacement for the Esteem (which remains on sale through August, 2002). The Suzuki Esteem has been an acceptably nice small car, offered in sedan and wagon form, both handsome in a conventional way. But it has not been a runaway sales success, restricted by both a limited dealership network and the difficulty of getting noticed in a crowded marketplace. The Aerio is more likely to get noticed.
Three models are available: Aerio S ($13,499); GS ($14,499); SX ($14,499).
The base Aerio S sedan comes well equipped with features including air conditioning, Clarion AM/FM/CD audio with an antenna integrated in the rear window, power windows and mirrors, tilt wheel, rear defroster, split folding rear seats, and fog lamps. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, with a 4-speed automatic a $1,000 option. ABS is also optional, priced at $500.
The GS and SX are similarly equipped, both adding a long list of equipment to the Aerio S's roster. Every GS and SX comes with 15-inch alloy wheels, power locks with keyless remote entry, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver's seat, and a rear seat armrest, among other amenities. Both also have a handy storage tray under the passenger seat. The GS also comes with a rear wing with an integrated stoplight. Floor mats, at $75, are the only option available.