2002 Esteem New Car Test Drive
Suzuki's Esteem combines a moderate price, lots of standard features, and good fuel economy. We were surprised to discover it even throws in a sporty driving experience.
Bigger than the Swift, the Esteem is Suzuki's largest non-SUV offering, yet it's still a subcompact package. Basic four-cylinder power and front-wheel drive are the motivators here. No all-wheel drive, no slick V6 engines, and no upscale pretension. The Esteem is all about the basics, and it fulfills this mission well.
Changes for the 2001 model year are limited to redesigned sound systems with standard CD players and larger controls, as well as a restyled front grill and standard floor mats.
The Esteem continues in both sedan and wagon body styles. Prices start at just a tick over $13,000.
The base sedan and wagon are designated GL. The mid-level versions are called GLX, and the top of the range go by GLX+. A 122 hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine powers all models. The GL sedan starts at $13,199 and includes an independent suspension, intermittent windshield wipers, daytime running lights and air conditioning.
The GLX comes with larger tires and alloy wheels, a tachometer, passenger vanity mirror, front seatback pockets and a host of power features. The GLX sedan lists at $13,999. The wagon adds a roof-mounted rear spoiler to help keep the rear glass clear of rain and snow, and lists at $14,499. A sport package, including a rear spoiler, fog lamps and a chrome-tipped exhaust tip, is available on the GLX sedan.
Esteem GLX+ adds four-wheel ABS, cruise control and an automatic transmission at $15,799 for the sedan. On top of all that, the GLX+ wagon includes a sunroof and retails at $16,499.
GL and GLX models are available with the 4-speed automatic (instead of the standard 5-speed manual) for an additional $1000.