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2007 Suzuki Forenza

You Might Just Forget You Drove To Work

     I absolutely love my job. Most days I spend pondering the industry, debating our Executive Editor on all the fine points of the upcoming Camaro and Challenger muscle cars; or laying on my back in the front lawn gazing at the mechanicals tucked between the frame rails of a 1-ton pickup. The point is this: cars fascinate me. All cars, including everything related to and revolving around this industry. But occasionally, a car happens across my path that just does nothing for me.
     That would be the Suzuki Forenza. This is basic transportation. It is in my professional estimation about the most boring thing to roll down the pavement on four-wheels. The designers had absolutely no imagination when it came to drawing this one up. In fact, I think I rank it lower on the list of cars I will never aspire to own or look at ever again than the Chevrolet Aveo, which I might add reminds me of a giant roller-skate. The verdict is still out on whether or not the blue paint adds to the monotony of the Forenza or actually helps it. In fact, mentally remove the big S from the grille and you get a car so indistinguishable that it could be used as the poster child for an endless supply of automotive accessories without anyone saying: “Hey, isn’t that car a Suzuki, as in like the same company that makes the Hayabusa?”
     Not many will put that little tidbit of information together once they get behind the wheel and drive this thing. The steering is about as communicative as a transistor radio covered in peanut butter. The body lists around corners like a sailboat, and the brake feel…well I don’t remember it ever saying anything. The engine buzzes and wheezes and gasps under anything but light acceleration, and worst of all, this car was upgraded to have the 4-speed automatic transmission. Interior noise levels going down the road easily reached the level of annoyance. We did try to measure the acceleration, but the data gremlins in our computers decided that it was too slow to record. Once again we were reminded that anti-lock brakes are not necessarily standard equipment when our first braking run concluded with a plume of blue smoke. That said she will track straight and true, but practice your pedal pumping before the snow flies.
     The interior is as flat as the soda I left open in the office fridge for a month, and the flavor is just about as imaginative. That said the controls and features included are at least adequate. The radio head unit appears to be a cheap knock-off of the current corporate GM piece. The A/C, to my liking, was plenty strong. However, the oversized urethane steering wheel I could do without. The shifter gate is annoying in that shifting from drive to park or reverse requires you to push down on the shifter as you are sliding it upwards. One thing I can say in the Forenza’s favor is that while it’s small I never had an issue of space. The roofline is fairly tall and alleviates headroom issues. Three across in the back would be crowded, but there is ample room for two. The trunk is roomy, but I could do with just a wee bit more interior storage space.
     I can appreciate the economy car, and I can appreciate the need for basic transportation. But the Forenza doesn’t even convey a glimmer of imagination. I’ve written term papers at 4 a.m. with more creativity. During our time with the Suzuki we averaged just over 27 mpg; not stellar, but respectable considering our heavy feet.
     At $15,349 our Forenza came equipped with keyless entry, cruise control, power windows and locks as well as the 4-speed auto. All nice things to have. While this is an attractive bottom line, more and more offerings in this segment are starting to offer far more imagination and ingenuity, not to mention dynamics worth getting excited about.

The Good:
Decently economical, provides basic transportation needs with a good warranty.
The Bad:
Boring to look at, boring to drive.
The Verdict:
If I hadn’t spent an entire week with it, I’d have already forgotten it.
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