In 2001, General Motors bought most of the bankrupt Daewoo Motor Company assets to form GM Daewoo. The new company started operations on October 17, 2002, with GM and its partners Suzuki and SAIC holding a stake of 66.7% with investments of $400 million. For Suzuki of America, this meant that several former Daewoo models would be rebadged Suzuki models, while the Chevrolet Nameplate would find home on the rest of the Daewoo model line around the world. Suzuki would soon offer new models to the American Public, but were they any good?
Let’s start with the Suzuki Forenza, offered as both a sedan and a wagon from 2004. This model range was slotted between the Suzuki Aerio (an actual Suzuki!) and a larger Daewoo model named the Verona, which we will get to later. This was a new Daewoo Nubira, and was marketed around the world under various brands; The Buick Excelle, Chevrolet Lacetti, Chevrolet Optra, Daewoo Nubira, Holden Viva and the Suzuki Forenza. Quite a bit of branding going on here. The US model line features the 2.0 L 4-cylinder E-TEC II made by Holden, developing a maximum power of 126 horsepower at 5600 rpm. Driving fun? Forget about it. Durability? None that I know of, but they sold very well everywhere else except the US.
The Suzuki Reno was simply a Nubira Hatchback with different front, and rear styling. The same uninteresting driving experience, lack of any determinable reliability, and sub par economy when compared to their contemporaries doomed this hatch even before they were sold here. The Forenza and Reno were discontinued within the 2008 model year, and the Reno has been replaced by the Suzuki SX4 Hatchback and Sedan.
Moving on to the other Daewoo sold as a Suzuki, the Verona. This was a replacement to the Daewoo Leganza, a car that was suppose to compete with other mid-sized cars such as the Camry, Accord, or the Altima. Introduced for the 2004 Model Year, the single most intriguing feature about this car is the engine, a Daewoo-developed XK6 inline-6 engine, which was a DOHC 24V design, producing 155 hp at 5800 rpm, and 177 lb·ft of torque at 4000 rpm. Other than that, it was a rather forgettable design, and was soon discontinued in the states after 2006.
So do you think that any of these Suzukis really deserve your attention, or should they be confined to the scrap heap along with the rest of the Daewoos?
Image Credits: Wikipedia