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Car of the Week - September 16, 2002

2002 Suzuki Aerio SW

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The new Aerio SW wagon jumps into the compact car ring with a healthy stack of standard features: air conditioning, power windows and mirrors, fog lamps, a six-speaker stereo with CD deck, a tilt-adjustable wheel and a digital display for the speedometer and tachometer. alloy wheels, keyless entry, power door locks, cruise control, a driver seat height adjuster, a rear seat center armrest, color-keyed mirrors and door handles, a chrome exhaust tip and a rear spoiler. We were surprised to find that we liked the digital speedometer despite intial reservations. We also like the extra headroom and passenger and cargo room (14.6-cubic-foot trunk).

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The Aerio is powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC inline four - 141 horsepower and 135 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices consist of either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. The ride is quite good - with McPherson struts all around and fully independent suspension. The compact field may be crowded, but the addition of the rookie Aerio will raise the eyebrows of both veterans and coaches alike.

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- Mark & Katie Fulmer

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