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2007 Suzuki Reno Review

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SEE ALSO: Suzuki Buyers Guide



Model: 2007 Suzuki Reno
Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC I-4
Horsepower/Torque: 127 hp @ 5400 rpm/131 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Wheelbase: 102.4 in.
Length x Width x Height: 169.1 x 67.9 x 56.9 in.
Tires: P195/55R15
Cargo volume: 45.4 cu. ft. (maximum)
Economy: 23 mpg city/30 19.8 mpg highway/mpg test
Fuel capacity: 14.5 gal.
Price: $13,499

The Bottom Line – Reno is a surprisingly fun ride with the small 2.0-liter inline four and the 5-speed manual transmission. There’s enough power to run with the big boys on the highway and still run through town. Economy was lower than expected, though, as was the bottom line.

I was prepared to dismiss the Suzuki Reno as just another econobox when I scheduled it. After all, it is a Suzuki, and Suzuki’s reputation for exerting a lot of energy to create economical, and close to cheap, cars is legendary. But I was pleasantly surprised.

Yes, it is an econobox, which in this era of ridiculously high-priced gasoline, is an asset. But it’s also fun. The 2.0-liter double overhead cam inline four-cylinder engine is peppy enough for the 2,739-pound Reno, especially with the 5-speed manual transmission. I had enough power to run with the traffic on the Interstates and more than enough to run through town comfortably. The shifter is easy to use and the gears are well-spaced for maximum performance.

Fuel economy is good at 20 mpg overall, but I would have hoped for more. Granted, we didn’t do a lot of Interstate driving, which would have pushed the number sup considerably, but still, for a car of this size and with a small engine, 20 mpg is on the low side of acceptable.

Handling is good, and about what you’d expect from a car in this class. Reno isn‘t a race car and cornering isn’t race-car tight and flat, but the Reno behaves on winding roads and through most corners without wandering all over the place.

Seating is comfortable, if non-exciting. The front seats are flat and offer little side support. Arm rests are molded into the door panels with fabric that matches the seats. The deep center console offers another arm rest.

Our tester had standard power windows, mirrors and door locks, but there was no remote door unlock on the key or key fob. We did have a standard CD/AM/FM/MP3 audio system with eight speakers, though. There was an AUX input for the audio as well.

I thought the HVAC system was okay, but we could have used more cool in hot weather.

Econoboxes are noted for their economy and, in general, their simplicity. I liked the steering wheel that was nothing more than a steering wheel with clearly labeled horn buttons. The instrument panel was also simple with a large speedometer, a tachometer on the left, and fuel level and water temperature gauges on the right. A digital clock was located in the center.

For dedicated manual gearbox users, there was a nice “dead pedal” located next to the clutch pedal to rest your left foot when it isn’t working. Our tester had four-wheel disc brakes and they did a good job of stopping the Reno.

Convenience features included two cup holders in the center console with a nice cubby in front of the shifter, two-12-volt outlets (one is probably a lighter) and a sunglass holder for the driver where the assist handle is normally located. There are assist handles at all the other doors. The front shoulder belts are adjustable for height, a great feature. It’s annoying when they’re not adjustable, because there’s always the fear of strangulation. The rear wiper is also a plus for a car in this price class.

Rear seating is fairly comfortable with good legroom and a fairly flat center floor so an adult could ride there. The rear seat backs fold to extend the trunk volume to more than 45 cubic feet. The flat seat backs are necessary if you want to carry golf bags. Still, the “standard” trunk si surprisingly good for a car of this size.

So while I wasn’t exactly thrilled to schedule the Suzuki Reno, by the end of the week I was sad to see it leave the Heilig driveway. It was a fun car to drive and proved to be much more than the sum of its parts.

2007 The Auto Page Syndicate