Suzuki For 1998
By Carey Russ
Suzuki has found success in America through niche marketing. It sells small sport-utilities, sedans, and, new for 1998, station wagons. Suzuki dealers also have a full line of accessories to enable customers to personalize their vehicles.
Although the four-wheeled division of American Suzuki may be best-known for small sport-utility vehicles, not everyone who needs a roomy-but-small vehicle wants an SUV. Subcompact wagons combine versatility, useful interior space, and accessibility with a small exterior size and great fuel economy. So Suzuki has built the Esteem Wagon, based on its subcompact Esteem sedan.
Three trim levels of Esteem Wagon are offered, with a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions. All are powered by an economical 95-horsepower, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, and include air conditioning, a good sound system, and many other comfort features as standard equipment. Cargo trays hidden under the floor and a retractable security panel for the rear compartment help keep items hidden. Uplevel models add power windows, mirrors, and door locks, and even a power tilt-and-slide sunroof.
The 1998 Esteem Sedan has the same drivetrain and plethora of standard features as the wagon. It trades the extra room in the back for a covered trunk.
Suzuki's premium 4-door sport-utility comes in 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive models. Its 1.8-liter, 120-horsepower engine is larger and more powerful than that in the regular Sidekick models, and the Sport has unique body trim. New interior and exterior color schemes are available for 1998.
The regular Sidekick is again offered in 2-door and 4-door form this year. All have a 1.6-liter, 95-horsepower engine. Both body styles are available with 2- or 4-wheel drive. Unlike some of the newer competition, 4WD Sidekicks have a transfer case with 4-wheel drive low range for more serious off-road use. Two-door Sidekicks have a canvas drop top.
"Original" and "distinctive" are two ways of describing the unique Suzuki X90. It combines sports car and sport-utility features to create a new automotive genre.
The 3-door hatchback Swift is one of the most fuel-efficient and least-expensive cars sold in this country. For 1998, its 1.3-liter 4- cylinder engine has more power and there are new exterior colors.